The Haunted Heaven: Chapter Twenty One: "Will"
By Michael Moriarty
How did I find myself on a first name basis with the greatest poet in the English language?
Hmmm … where do I begin?
Love's Labor's Lost at Stratford, Ontario's Shakespeare Festival, 1961.
When you think you've seen God on stage … umm … yes, the God of both the Old and New Testament … and it changes your life forever? In Shakespeare's rhyming and most rigidly poetic comedy, a "God" named Don Adriano de Armado, as portrayed by Paul Scofield, is madly in love with the town slut!
Well … uh … gee … yes.
Where do I begin?
Our Lord's love for all of us … and certainly his love for Mary Magdalene … the uh … "town slut".
Not only "Will's" genius but Paul Scofield's insights!!
"Don Adriano de Armado as a Christ figure?!"
The Don was the role Scofield played and, yes, transformed into a Divinity.
In my eyes he did.
Now, over fifty years later, the memory still carries the same authority: the Christian God madly in love with his creations and willing to forgive almost anything except hypocrisy.
Of course, this is what I saw after four years with the Jesuits and after my first three years in a pagan dwelling of New Hampshire called Dartmouth College.
Now, sitting in British Columbia and looking out of my window under a grey October sky, I realize that despite all my privileges – and there have been many – I still see life as a war between those who kill their fellow man and those who don't.
The abortionists versus the pro-lifers!
If a war is declared, then "Pick a side and fight!"
I understand the Liberal Dream having lived it in New York.
It is the Marxist belief that much of the insanity in the world is created by the Judeo-Christian hold upon human morality and, of course, once those superstitions are abandoned, all will be in a state of Utopian Progress.
Hmmm … I don't believe that anymore.
Since most animal life does not destroy its own offspring, Man's increasing propensities for infanticide and the potential genocides of euthanasia reveal humanity's utter rebellion against not only God but also the general morality of nature itself.
The Progressive Movement now encompasses every pathological presumption Man has ever adopted since he uttered his first word. The conglomerate evil of the world – and that includes all prior forms of villainy within the human race – is now contained in the so-called Progressive Movement.
Communism, Nazism, Fascism, Islamic Jihadism?
Not a single Bad Boy of any kind is left out of the endless Progressive Machinations.
I know that such a declaration will make this memoir unacceptable to most, mainstream publishing houses.
However, I know that my symphonic compositions will elude the Progressive censors and find their way into the repertoire of many major symphony orchestras. That may very well occur after my death. However, I continue composing with such a certainty in mind.
Many will object violently to my faith in God but they will not, because of my music, be able to merely dismiss it.
My favorite composition so far is my Easter String Quartet. God willing it will thrive.
Having just read a brief bit of an interview with the atheist Christopher Hitchens, I merely ask: "Can Hitchens dismiss the achievements of Bach, Mozart and Michelangelo, those workers of genius doing in the name of their faith in God and Christ?"
He can try but I rather think Hitchens would merely avoid the subject of religious genius, if at all possible.
"One man's inspiration is another man's enemy?"
That is an observation, not an argument
I once met a similarly dismissive intellect such as that of Hitchens in the author, Tom Wolfe. He shut me up within milliseconds of my first utterance. I spoke not a word subsequently.
Is that a Hitchens/Wolfe "gain" or "loss"?
Christmas decorations in what I call "Our Little Love Nest" have begun and they are already splendid!
American Thanksgiving is only weeks away and that means the best month of winter, December, will be soon upon us!
I just thought of each human being as a molecule of the divine ocean of God's will, and, at Christmas particularly, we see those "waters" flood each others' eyes with Yuletide colors!
Somehow a sense of my own mortality grows more tangible with holiday seasons.
Thoughts like, "This could be my last Christmas on earth!"
I certainly hope not; but then again such dread also inspires me to taste every joy that does exist at the moment.
Glimpsing the precariousness of life is, indeed, an awesome experience in and of itself.
Is there an Afterlife?
I certainly hope so.
If not, I'm eternally grateful for what God did provide me with as my experience on Earth.
It will soon be Thanksgiving Day.
Much of what we possess relies upon the mere whims of a man many of us don't trust: President Barack Hussein Obama.
However, let us offer thanks to God for what we still do have and implore the Almighty to once again set America right again.
As for myself personally, I was set right with heart failure.
This is, in a way, what Paul Scofield led me to.
Now, Scofield's King Lear!
Hmmm … no, it lacked the animal savagery of Laurence Olivier's version but the "Reason not the need" speech?! I cannot imagine any great actor, including Sir Anthony Hopkins, outdoing the x-ray depth of Scofield's recitation.
Of course, Hopkins would be coming at the role from an entirely different direction, inevitably out of his own indisputable genius. He would most certainly perform it with much the same incisiveness he approached Picasso's sexist supremacy and Richard Nixon's tortured ambition. Sir Anthony as Lear would undoubtedly take our breaths away and most likely set a watermark for acting triumphs, one possibly unsurpassable.
We will, I hope, eventually see Sir Anthony Hopkins' King Lear.
Won't we, Sir?
Meanwhile, I must press on with my Tone Poem of The Haunted Heaven, possibly dedicated, if I ever finish it, to … hmmm … possibly Leonard Bernstein.
I know, my brief encounter with Mr. Bernstein might not warrant the presumption of understanding him. However, he has been a lasting inspiration, both for his encouraging note to my agent, Robby Lantz, about my composing skills, but mainly for the mesmerizingly tortured wars within his own divine talents.
Presently I am re-examining an old war horse of mine: the Kaufmann Symphony. I have already broken up a few of its movements and placed them into separate pieces. Two so far: my Concerto For Orchestra, now dedicated to Sidney Kaufman – the violinist who copied out my early scores and contracted my studio orchestra to play them – and my autobiographical Tone Poem: Haunted Heaven.
King Lear is one of the ghosts presiding in it!
Perhaps I'll be reciting bits of Lear throughout a film of Haunted Heaven.
All of this, because of my faith, is not entirely my decision.
"God may have other plans."
Then again, He might not.
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.