April 3, 2016

What is up to the Gods?

A story on surprises.

Core concepts for the story:

“Deus ex machina”

meaning, an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel.

in combination with

“Catch and release”

There is one scene in Troy where Achilles tells his girl that the Gods envy us humans because we are mortal. For them, everything is equal, nothing special, because nothing ends. But the beauty of life and the beautiful things in life are finite. This is what makes them special and non-equal. This is what makes life and the things in life unique.

The great paradox in life, however, is that once we catch something beautiful, we hang on to it. We don’t want it to end. We don’t want it to go. We cannot accept that it’s finite. We rave. And we cannot see a solution in sight. Why release? What’s coming after? Often, we are just left with hypotheticals.

But just like in the theaters in Ancient Greece, where a playwright came up with something unexpected to solve the problem of his story, there are unexpected powers or events that save seemingly hopeless situations not only in plays, but also in life. Not only writers come up with plot devices to surprise their audiences. Gods surprise us too. You don’t always need the solution; they might have it for us.

One day I was walking down the street, didn’t know how to solve the problem of my story. I stopped at a window, randomly, and there was something written: “Deux ex machina”. It means that an unsolvable problem can suddenly and abruptly be resolved by an unexpected intervention. When I saw that, I still didn’t know what could solve my problem, but now I knew that I don’t have to know. It will just happen. Unexpectedly. And it did, one day later. You don’t always need to know. It is perfectly fine to not know sometimes. You can live happily in a world that you don’t understand.

When there’s a good theater play, you should go there, see and enjoy it. You should seek the moment. There shouldn’t be any expectations, just surprises. And when there’s great things in life, catch them! for they are precious. But then, even if you want to hold on to them, you have to release them – just like a good theater play closes the curtain of its show.

But what’s strange, is that some things remain. When you think of the great plays in Ancient Greece, you could picture Achilles in the audience. And among all the people who were also with him, it is only his voice that still echoes with us today. Some things are really especially special. Some things might really not end. But that is up to the Gods.