Clouds In The Head


We re-live our initiation rituals
9 May, 2014, 8:02 pm
Filed under: Nobody Loves A Thinker

I was trying to watch the beginning of the horror film Scream last night. It didn’t help that we live in a house in the middle of nowhere with large panes of glass (sliding doors mostly) facing empty bush and field. I got quickly scared. I knew what was coming. I turned off.

And then I got to thinking why this clearly cleverly contrived script would appeal, even why it would be made.

I’m not sure what the leap of logic was but this was my ponderment: perhaps we relive our initiation rituals or experiences, perhaps we seek for their re-creation in our recreation and our creations and our ceremonial re-cremations. Perhaps all those kids who did the horror thing in their teens (I was too scared to) are then searching for the occasions and proofs of their manhood/womanhood/naughty risk-taking away from parents. Perhaps that’s why indigenous societies have such formalised initiations for their early teens, because the big, frightening, age-busting, ceiling-shattering journeys punched into their early teens then provide a deep structure for later behaviour. Lacan would probably think it was way too late but he was somewhat French.

There’s something halcyon about those teen buzzes. Our friends are never closer, our future never brighter, our despair never more cutting. We dream and daydream and jump off (metaphorical and real) cliffs. Nobel prize-winners tend to have had significant mentors when they’re about 14 years old.

The script I’ve been working on for many years, Rainbird, is kind of about this moment, but from the side of a potential mentor. There’s this young fellow. Someone at the cliff edge of adolescence. Will they jump, pull back, or discover there’s a rope attached and they can abseil down?

I guess what I’ve constructed in Rainbird is an initiation ritual for the kid in question, and hope in its gizzards, instead of violence and suicide.

Perhaps he needs to be cut. I should cut him, in my script. My hero, a grieving woman age 40, should be the one to cut him.

I won’t burrow deeper for now. I’m too busy thinking.

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