Monday, September 26, 2011

“B” should be for Batty…

…for writers, anyway.

Since I was young I’ve gloried in tales of heroes and heroines, those who risk everything to protect their passion, whether it’s love, conquering new planets, or righting a terrible wrong. These stories resonate in my heart and I pray they always will.

Stories such as "The Green Hills of Earth," by Robert A. Heinlein, in which “Noisy” Rhysling, a blind and dying balladeer is hitchhiking back to Earth where he yearns to be laid to rest. Yet he sacrifices his dream to repair a malfunctioning space ship, to save those on board. His final words, before he dies…

…We pray for one last landing/ On the globe that gave us birth/ Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies/ And the cool, green hills of Earth.

I wept the first time I read that story and tears stream down my face now, as I type Rhysling's final song.

Then there’re Batty’s final words in "Blade Runner," based on the Philip K. Dick novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

“I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion; I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”

Yes, Batty is the bad guy, but is he really? At that moment he’s encapsulated his life as neatly as the white dove he holds. And he has been transformed, as has Deckard, the good guy whose life Batty first threatened and then saved. More than anything, both want to live. Both want to experience those “things you people wouldn’t believe.”

Isn’t that what writing is all about?

It takes courage to set emotions to paper and perseverance to claim the tale. It takes bravery to simply be a writer. In real life we might not wear armor and carry swords or wear four inch spike heels and miniskirts as we win the love of our life, but always and ever, we fight the good fight, every single day.

Exhausted yet exhilarated, I look forward to tomorrow’s battles. I have no doubt you do too…

By Janet Fogg


Patricia Stoltey said...

B is also for battered...and some days that's exactly how we feel. Nice post, Janet.

Angela Parson Myers said...

I, too, remember crying when I read The Green Hills of Earth. And as for your quote from Blade Runner, I want it read at my funeral. : - )