Are you like me? Probably not…
I think I’m a little strange about this, but if I see people on the street with clipboards or papers, I pull the shades, shut the doors and pretend I have a hearing affliction. I will jump thru hoops rather than answer the door to a sweet well-meaning person wanting my signature for a cause I will say no to or more likely – to sell me something big, like siding, new windows or the classic- waterproofing.
I’m going to say no (unless they are selling chocolate). So this avoidance saves them plenty of time. And no matter what I would say to them I worry that I won’t say it right and seem rude.
So, when Mime tries five ways from Sunday to get Wotan (head God in disguise) off his doorstep (Siegfried Act 1), I totally sympathize.
But I got to thinking a bit: What if God really came along willing to answer three questions?
Where on earth would you begin? These are probably deep within each of us- personal angst or mighty worldwide agonies.
Wotan gets angry at Mime who asks him questions that he really already knows the answers to. He doesn’t need the answers; he only wants to test Wotan (“ye shall not put…”). Wotan has genuinely come to help get things on the right track. He’s furious that Mime does not ask the one thing it is he needs to know.
But Wotan relents and gives him what he needs to know anyway.
So, maybe this isn’t about the answers we might receive directly form the deity. It’s about asking the right question and maybe if we can figure that out, the answer will be forthcoming. And if it’s important enough the answer will come anyway.
So when I’m stuck I’d like to remind myself to step back and see if I’m asking the right question.
And if that person coming to the door has a bit of an eye problem…. Well, maybe I’ll think twice?
The Valencia Ring is a modern production (not my video- from YouTube). I don’t love all of it but this scene with Wotan’s head in a fish bowl is quite fun!