There Are No Words

A dark stage

A single spotlight comes up on an empty stage

A woman steps into the light

She reaches out her arms in front and spins around as though someone has just hit her

She falls to the floor

Music crashes in evoking an overbearing presence filled with malice. The woman sits in the center of the light protecting herself. The music subsides.

She is alone

Woman
Sometimes these things happen
and the end result is that we just remember who we are
more than ever before

A choir of men & women dressed in Quaker garb step into the light

Choir of Quakers
Men and women must seek the light
the great heresy is to await
In a kind of indifference
for the Light to come to us

Woman
There is so much that distracts us
from love and connections

Choir of Quakers
God is the Light, the  Truth that stirs within

Woman
Years of negativity and dislike
built brick upon brick upon brick
Such that we cannot see over to the other side of the other side

Choir of Quakers
Walk worthy unto that which ye are called
Practice abstinence from that which intoxicates
How increasingly incumbent is it upon you
to carry out your principles
so that you be not found in the background
of the great reformation that is taking place
in human society today

Woman (spoken)
Last night someone looked at me and said
“Oh honey, you’ve gained weight”
And when I mentioned that to someone else they said
“Well, you have, ya know”
I know that shouldn’t bother me but today it does

Choir of Quakers
Orthodoxy and bigotry shut men and women from the Light
Prune rote-creed and superstition from your mind
Let in the Light
The clear, stark, uncompromising Nantucket Light

Woman
I always struggle with my body
the discrepancy between what I see
and what others see
I think its time to assert myself
against comments like that

Quaker Choir
Let in the Light
The clear, stark, uncompromising Nantucket light
Where there is no room for prejudice to grow
Or oppression to flourish

Woman
Do not comment on someone’s body
shape or size
unless you are fucking asked about it

Quaker Choir
Woman is claiming for herself stronger and more profitable food
There is today a more extended recognition of her rights
her important duties
her responsibilities in life

Woman
Your opinion on my body is unwarranted
unnecessary
and I didn’t ask
so don’t comment

Quaker Choir
Launch forth, as men do, amid real, independent, stormy life

Woman
This is a cultural issue
that it’s been OK to objectify women’s bodies

Quaker Choir
It is interwoven throughout our country
and we may well acknowledge that we are all
All verily guilty concerning our sisters and our brothers

Woman
I think it shows a remarkable lack of tact
What the fuck is wrong with people?!

Quaker Choir
Inquire for thyself and acknowledge the Light that resides within

Woman
I need not set aside a special time for worship
I worship always seeking the divine will
and practicing holy obedience
I appreciate the wise laws of nature
and the divine spark in man and in woman

Quaker Choir
Breath in – breath out
you can’t change people
Only your response to them

Woman
Because the Light is one in all
it binds us together
In the bonds of love
Free discussion is never to be feared
except by such as prefer darkness to light

The spotlight has expanded during this interlude and now floods the stage in brightness
The woman changed her clothing from the party girl out on the town look into simple Quaker garb. She now stands with the choir undistinguished from the rest

The end

_______________________________

Librettist’s note: This weeks Micro Opera is a curious mixture of words from a Lucretia Mott address and a dialogue I watched unfold on FaceBook. Somehow I found them to be related. This is raw, I didn’t take enough time but I had to post something because I played hooky last week. It was Passover, I was tired and full and buzzing from many glasses of wine. But this also points to my ongoing process of “turning over, and turning over” the words of my ancestor in the hopes of finding new meaning for our society today. There must be a connection. I continue to dig. I’m 20 minutes past my posting deadline. Time to get this sucker up there.

As always, thank you so much for reading.

MMN

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