Cowardly Lion: I *do* believe in spooks, I *do* believe in spooks. I do, I do, I do, I *do* believe in spooks, I *do* believe in spooks, I do, I do, I do, I *do*!
Wicked Witch of the West: Ah! You’ll believe in more than that before I’m finished with you.
In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and Friends quake and quiver and stare in respectful awe at The Great Wizard. The curtain hasn’t yet been thrown back to show the little old man who hides behind a great fiery bravado.
Dorothy: It really was no miracle.
Once the man behind the curtain is revealed, the magic and mystery is gone. The man is exposed and thus isn’t viewed in awe, isn’t revered as The Great One. He’s only a man with a few tricks up his sleeve that he’d used to his advantage. He must come out, show his true self (and all along his true self was wonderful indeed–he never recognized this before).
Sometimes it’s like this with writers. Or, maybe I should say it was like this for writers. The little old man behind the curtain with all his levers and buttons and devices used to project the aura of magic—an enigma and a mystery. But, somewhere along the way the curtain was pulled back to reveal just who and what was behind all the fire and booming voice and bigger than life image projected.
Wizard of Oz: Step forward, Tin Man!
Tin Woodsman: Ohhhh!
Wizard of Oz: You DARE to come to me for a heart, do you? You clinking, clanking, clattering collection of kaligenous junk!
Now, with so much exposed, writers are pushed out into the world, blinking in the sunlight, their mouths in soft O’s of surprise, turning this way and that to all who stare at them and say, “Wait just a minute here—behind that curtain is just . . . you? What’s so special about . . . just you?” And like the wizard, the author must explain him/herself and then offer up gifts to show they really do have something more after all to give, and not just all the flash and thunder, but something more—what what? what they ask, what more? Our heart, Our brain, our courage . . . .
With the internet, social networking blogs twitter Facebook, et cetera; the author can no longer easily hide behind the Wizard’s curtain. Most all is exposed. The awed revered mysterious respect authors may have once enjoyed can be torn asunder as the heavy curtain has been drawn back and people peer in at the levers and buttons and projected image paraphernalia.
Wizard of Oz: A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.
I don’t know what it felt like to be an author during the Wizard Times. My experiences have all been after the curtain was thrown back and the Wizard’s controls were set to “off” and the fiery veil died down to embers. I have been the little old man from the beginning—exposed.
Do love what you do? Do you love yourself?
I’ve shown my heart to you through my writing. I’ve given of myself through what I reveal on my blog or Facebook, or any other site I may wander through or write thereof henceforth et cetera.
I still hide—there are sides and parts and parcels of me that I keep to myself. But, open my books and I am an open book. My heart beats within and among and between the pages of my words and characters.
I give myself to you, my heart. Tha-rump, tha-rump, tha-rump.
Wizard of Oz: You, my friend, are a victim of disorganized thinking. You are under the unfortunate impression that just because you run away you have no courage; you’re confusing courage with wisdom
Artists, actors, musicians, authors, athletes—all have had the Wizard’s curtain pulled back, leaving them vulnerable to speculation, observations, opinions in a way that is much more public and personal than ever before.
Lately, I have run away from it. I’ve not been writing. Oh, maybe something here, something there—no, I lie. I lie, lie, lie! I have not been writing at all. I’ve been running far far away from myself. I’ve been denying the heart of me and I wonder: do you feel the distance, my lovely readers? Do you miss me at all? And then I feel foolish for my meandering thoughts, for there are so many of us! How is even one missed? I quake and quiver—I’m confusing courage with wisdom.
Because sometimes we just need a little time to realize we are human after all.
Dorothy: Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore
How many times have you heard someone speak about the “downfall” of a “celebrity” with a little too much glee in their voice? Or a sense of “Huhn, they thought they were SO smart and SO important—now look at them, they’re only just a little old man and not a Great Wizard after all! How Pa-The-Tic!”
What goes up must come down. The bigger they are the harder they fall—you’ve heard the clichés. There were those halcyon days before, when that writer/actor/singer/musician/athlete followed that yellow brick road looking for the wizard—some to unseat him, some to find out his magic to take for their own, some to find heart or courage or knowledge or home.
The stakes seem higher now, the road longer, the expectations bigger. What’s a poor Wizard to do?
Scarecrow: Come along, Dorothy. You don’t want any of *those* apples.
Apple Tree: Are you hinting my apples aren’t what they ought to be?
Scarecrow: Oh, no. It’s just that she doesn’t like little green worms!
Follow the Yellow Brick Road. Follow the Yellow Brick Road . . .
We’re off to see the Wizard, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
You’ll find he is a whiz of a Wiz! If ever a Wiz! there was.
If ever oh ever a Wiz! there was The Wizard of Oz is one because,
Because, because, because, because, because.
Because of the wonderful things he does.
We’re off to see the Wizard. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
There will be a new day in the land of Oz—old ways turn to new ways. Things cannot stay the same because the Land of Oz is changing.
Meanwhile, our Dorothy dons her ruby slippers and turns three times:
There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home; there’s no place like home . . . .
But even home has changed, for Dorothy herself has seen the other side, seen behind the Wizard’s curtain.
And she turns, turns, turns—going to some altered version of what may or may not be truly home, never to be the same again.
But after all, is that so bad? It is neither bad nor good—it is life and love and hope and fear and trying again and again and again and giving up and giving in and getting up and going forward.
Oh! Auntie Em! Auntie Em! I’m following another road! Where . . . where . . . where . . . where . . . where . . . ?