Note: SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T SEEN WAR HORSE (the play, not the movie).
You know, it’s hard to believe that I actually enjoyed Monday today. But it’s true. I did. Not only did we get a refreshing breather at work today, but I also decided to go to a spur-of-the-moment live streaming of The National Theatre’s War Horse at Cineplex Odeon. A friend of mine had an extra ticket, so I took it. Man, what a show. As much as I love theatre and think everyone should indulge in it, I understand that not everyone loves theatre and I respect the decision to stay away… except with this show. War Horse is definitely a show everyone should see. Pour quoi, you ask? Well, because of the ‘universal themes,’ as its author, Michael Morpurgo, said during the intermission talk-back. Not only is this show about war, but it is about reconciliation and the ‘desire for peace.’ Not to mention the puppetry is stunning and that goose is a hoot! Well, more like a ‘honk,’ I suppose… *slaps knee*
Along the lines of the puppetry, as I was driving home with another friend of mine, she mentioned how she liked that at some points more than the three designated puppeteers would aid in moving Joey, the title war horse. When I thought about it, what struck me is that Joey had more people operating him at two main points: when he was galloping or jumping, and when he was in pain. To summarize, when he was most powerful and when he was most vulnerable. And when I thought about it again, I realized how true that is for me as a person. The more powerful and confident I feel, the more people I seem to draw in. Conversely, when I am feeling my worst, those are the moments when I find I have a lot of support from those around me. Funny that being both strong and vulnerable draws in people power.
This is super interesting because whenever I used to think of vulnerability, I used to think of weakness. I hated being vulnerable (and still find it challenging) because I felt that being so made me weak, made me less of a person for giving into what I was feeling and perhaps even breaking down. Several times, actually. What I’ve come to learn, however, is that our most vulnerable parts are actually what drive us and where we get our strength. For example, showing others I love them is a hugely vulnerable thing for me to do, yet when I do just that my power grows and suddenly I am strong for having owned what I was feeling and sharing it with others. Albert is the same when he decides to go to war to search for Joey; his love for his horse propels him through thick and thin until they are reunited.
That’s what those moments in War Horse made me think of, how strength and vulnerability are one and the same, not opposites like we may think. So, go ahead and watch a live streaming of War Horse. Better yet, see the show in London! At the very least you’ll get a quack out of that goose! Oh, puns…
Peace and Christ is Risen!