The Child

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Speeches from the plays  -  4.

Strasbourg Goose - closing scene - The Child


and she started shouting louder at him how dare he attribute such an opinion to her and that he was just a machine a ratiocinator but that she was a live human being and that there were no rational answers and she took out this halo out of her handbag see that she said I've earned that do you know what it means it means I'm a human being it means I'm alive and it means I'm holier than thou  and then she started hitting him over the head with it and saying she was going to have him locked up; and then it broke! it exploded! blew everything to pieces! -  all

the battalions of fact and caviar

and the gooseful of principles and legal paraphernalia -

all wiped out in one big flash and

swirling around in smidgereeny and a

big purple-brown mushroom cloud of dust...

And I got blown down the stairs. I don't

believe there's anything left above at all.


'Tis doubtful. That was a fierce big bang.

Like lightning, I mean thunder only a

million times worse. What harm.

We're all right here for the moment.

Didn't seem to bother this crowd at all.

We'll take a look out after a while.

O God your man's goin' startin' up with the music.

Cheer up girl, we've got to live.

Hey. Maybe Stump was on to the Wrong Reality, what?


Just thinking. As well my baby didn't

live if this was going to happen. Do you know,

this is such a foolish world I sometimes

wonder if I'm talking to myself

- do you ever get that feeling Packy?


What? O yes! No, I was wondering,

maybe it was only his reality, Bert's,

and hers, Emily X's, their Idea

of Reality - that blew up. I mean we're still here

aren't we, and all these people. O look!

See over there... know  who that is

- see. Over there with the little child beside him?

That's Lord Reason. I often seen him in court.

Come on over till we have the crack with him,

come on, ara do.


And Packy crosses the floor with Kate,

dawdling a little, after him.


Howaya Lord Reason, how's she cuttin',

how's the form, you don't know me at all,

Packy, Packy Conneely from Ardilaun

side behind, side beyond is all Mannions,

were you ever in it, were you, you know I seen you in court,

I often did you were mighty, pity they ever

took you off this case, that upstairs wouldn't have happened,

no need for it at all was there, way over the top

- how are you finding the retirement, hard to put in the time,

there's a lot of them say that, howaya little one,

isn't that the grand little child, ah Lord lovey;

did you meet the lads, did you, hey, The Dagda and

...and , he's some boozer, that Lú, drink anything,

hey what's happening any music lads? Lord Reason,

what about the few shteps, hey fellas,

music! The few shteps Lord Reason,

there's nothing to it, all part of the craic, like!


And it was with these words that Lord Reason,

so recently demoted and sent below stairs,

to sit in rags and tatters, in the disgrace of irrelevance

or seeming irrelevance, in company with the archetypes,

found himself invited to dance on.

Lord Reason

Maybe, Packy, when the music starts.

Just let me finish talking to the Child.

I've been trying to get my act together,

you might say.


And he took up once again his tale, the Fable of Being,

about how History that had just made bits of itself

after posing and masquerading as The Ultimate Reality 

- making a monkey of the thing altogether

and a bureaucrats' monkey at that -

but History didn't really exist any more

and never actually had because that time was gone now 

and in so far as it had ever existed, it had been largely

the History of the Forgetting of Being,

but that here and now - and it'll always be now,

it is always now, my dear little friends -

and now, and here, Being is all that matters;

and Being means, not Doing, simply Being...

And the old, fading, decrepit Archetypes,

who had seen it all and been it all -

having been there when it all began

or at least our portion of it - sat around,

pottering, footering, listening and not listening.

Imperceptibly, but perceptibly too if you

notice what I mean, they started to

change? Mutate is a jargon... They got younger;

little by little they got littler, and fewer,

their numbers dwindled; they began to merge, to meld;

until in the end there remained, with Reason, just one

radiant five-year-old, standing at Reasons's knee...

And Old Reason - for he was very old now,

he'd been going on for centuries, saying it over,

talking to himself - came to the end of his tale:





Lord Reason

So you see our best bet, and I'm not really a betting man

but we have to take a chance, times that are in it -

our best bet is to imagine that it all makes sense

in some way we don't quite fathom, and that

whatever it is, we love

in and thru the Affliction of the Universe;

it seems to need us - an overtone maybe

of our need for our children.



I know.


said the Child.

Lord Reason

What's that?


I know!


said the Radiant Wise Child.


I've always  known.

Lord Reason

Ah yes,


said Reason,

Lord Reason

I'm glad you're here,

dear little child. Where's your mother?


There she is!


Well I'm not really your mother,


said Kate.


Everyone's my mother,


said the Child,


and my father.




     said Kate,


that's lovely. Ah...

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