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The Great Divide - Day 18

"For the wages of sin in death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ Our Lord." -Romans

Continental "Great" Divide
Ruth says to Ghent near the end of the play, "If you could have said, "The wages of sin is death!" and suffered the anguish of death, and risen again purified! But instead of that, what you had done fell off from you like any daily trifle." At this point in the play, she has been trying to teach him her way of life for so long that it's killing her. She is emotionally and physically drained, and Ghent simply cannot see it her way. He says, "What have we got to do with suffering and sacrifice? ... Our law is joy, and selfishness." What we have here are two hard-headed people with opposing points of view who are terribly in love and just can't seem to make it work. 

Will they ever close the great.. divide.. between them?? You'll just have to come check it out and find out for yourself!

On my mind:

Stages of Grief: Briefly in rehearsal the other day we talked about acceptance with regards to Ghent towards the end of our relationship. When I looked up the stages to remind myself of what they are (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) it struck me when I read that a person might not necessarily feel all of the stages nor necessarily in that order. This made me think, what exactly am I grieving in this play? *That* night, in a moment of weakness I made a promise. Almost immediately, I try to get out of it, then accept my fate. I spend the rest of the play punishing myself for choosing life over death (silly? perhaps, but true nonetheless). I think some of the stages are shown in scenes - depression, denial, acceptance, and anger for sure.. many of them I can pinpoint all in one scene.. some may be experienced off-stage. Ruth and Ghent certainly experience their grief differently, just as they experience their love differently.

Ruth: What's in a name? Ruth, meaning "friend, companion" is probably best known from the book of Ruth in the Bible. When I was down at ASF, I was fortunate enough to work on a new play by the talented John Walch called In the Book Of, which is based on the story of Ruth in the Bible, so I had some familiarity. In the story, Ruth says to her mother-in-law,  
Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.
This is not exactly how my Ruth begins with Ghent, but it is certainly where she ends up. She has left her home and the life she knows to make a new life with this man. She tries to show him her way of life, to save him, but in the end she says, "Teach me to live as you do." She spends most of the play trying to change Ghent, and in doing so, ends up changing herself. 

Tomorrow's Play: That Pretty Pretty; or, The Rape Play by Sheila Callaghan

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