Hoodlums & Heroes

And so I suddenly stopped, in the middle of the street, and in that instant I saw it all. The illusion that we all occupy. That busy street, full of people and puddles and pictures we believe into reality. Who are all these humans? Who are these actors, these holograms? Who are the hoodlums, and who the heroes? Who amongst them will have drama, who trauma, who triumph?

And I wish for a moment I could step off set, consult the script, see it all from behind the lens. Pause the action and place myself at some other moment, perhaps in some other street, where would that illusion lead me?

Then, in a blink of an eye, the illusion rests its gentle veil over all of us again. The slo-mo reverts to full flow and I no longer see the inner workings, but only my role in this epic tale we have all agreed to star in.

What if someone asked us to stop? What if someone told us we could? What if one person, a person who could see beyond and behind, what if they shared that knowledge and woke us from our motion picture. Would that person be hailed as a Messiah? The grand Director who released us from our thespian binds? Or would they be cast out, for fear that this story is our only home, and without it we would not know how to be, or who to be, or what we are together for.

Well of course, these miniature awakenings happen all the time. Across the globe, and even in our own provincial, bustling streets. And, on the whole, the woken are unwanted, rejected or ridiculed. But just occasionally, small groups of bleary-eyed, bed-headed characters sit up, and as they yawn and stretch their arms say as one “Did you hear that?” “I think I heard a hero?”. And they will look to and lift that voice, in the hope that they can wake their fellow Earth-mates from their slumber.

Our world has these clear-sighted heroes. Our world needs these clear-sighted heroes. Of course there are others besides. We can all see the hoodlums, even the drowsy recognise the hoodlums – though they may tell you they can’t, for fear of having to rouse themselves to be other than they are.

But even in the worst films you have ever seen, the hoodlums come unstuck. These hoodlums on our horizon will come unstuck. Their story just hasn’t reached its climax yet – though the music is building, and the heroes are rising from their seats, and the extras are wondering if they will get another role if this film tanks.

Watch out for those heroes. They are amongst us – they are within us. Have faith in those heroes. Hear their voices, share their voices, try your own out for size. Have faith in this plot line. The hoodlums have already rallied the heroes (as was the entire purpose of their casting). And history is the best screen-writer we will ever have.

Copyright © 2018 · Forty and Everything After


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