Monday, December 17, 2012

Paragliding off Mamutik Island, Boreno and the Monsters of Oz

Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife.  -Baum, The Wizard of Oz

Flying by parachute over the Indian Ocean off the coast of Borneo's Mamutik Island, well... I guess I started thinking about L. Frank Baum, and the wonderful Wizard of Oz.
From the far north they heard a low wail of the wind, and Uncle Henry and Dorothy could see where the long grass bowed in waves before the coming storm.  -Baum, The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy is such a bright eye'd little kid thrust in a world of monsters. 
"She was the Wicked Witch of the East," answered the little woman.  "She held all the Munchkins in bondage for many years..."  -Baum, The Wizard of Oz

From Quadlings to Winkies, Munchkins to Kalidahs, Dorothy must learn their stories so not to fear them.
When Boq saw her silver shoes he said, "You must be a great sorceress."  "Why?" asked the girl.  "Because you wear the silver shoes and you have killed the Wicked Witch..."  -Baum, The Wizard of Oz

She helps one whose insides are stuffed with straw who proves to be most resilient and intelligent, another, a heart broken amputee of tin who feels so deeply, and finally a weeping feline who, well, doesn't see his own potential.
"But, alas!  I had no heart now, so that I lost all my love for the Munchkin girls... but during the year I stood there I had time to think that the greatest loss I had known was the loss of my heart..."  -Baum, The Wizard of Oz

Of course, all three, at least in the novel, become kings.
But the Tin Woodman would not let her do this.  "We must hurry and get back to the road of yellow brick before dark..."  -Baum, The Wizard of Oz

Like many people, I grew up with the 1939 film, popping buckets of buttered corn on Sunday nights bundled up in quitls on the sofa, singing along to the television.
"The streets were lined with beautiful houses all built of green marble and studded everywhere with sparkling emeralds."  -Baum, the Wizard of Oz

The book is much darker.  From the Fighting Trees beaten with an ax to the Dainty China People who break off their own limbs, to the great terrorizing Spider with the body of an Elephant and the Hammerheads of the Hillside, even the plagues that the cyclope Wicked Witch of the West orders to destory Dorothy, first the wolves, then the terrible crows, finally the black buzzing bees, it is only the truest most nobel character within that can defeat them.
So the Scarecrow follwed him and was admitted into the great Throne Room, where he saw, sitting in the emerald throne, a most lovely lady."  -Baum, the Wizard of Oz

As a boy, I was scared of the Flying Monkeys, I think the film version freaked me out, but in the book, they are Dorothy's saviors.  Once she finds the Golden Cap and sets them free.
The Ball of Fire burned fiercely for a time, and the voice said:  "Bring me proff the Wicked Witch is dead."  -Baum, The Wizard of Oz

How silly our worldly fears can be.  How much more real they become when the stories are not in books.
Aunt Em had just come out of the house to water the cabbages when she looked up and saw Dorothy running towards her."  -Baum, The Wizard of Oz

Mostly, we just hold life so precious.  We want every moment to count.  We don't worry about the stories.  They come later, safe on the sofa, listening in whispers that sail into dreams.

No comments:

Post a Comment