A Comedy in Two Acts by Richard Bankowsky
So we'll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, . . .
And take upon's the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies.
( King Lear, V,iii.)
[Only four actors are required, three of whom play multiple roles]
CARL GUSTAVE JUNG - the famous psychoanalyst [lead actor]
TONI WOLF - his mistress [lead actress]
EMMA JUNG - his wife [second actress]
HANS KUHN - a caretaker [second actor]
SALOME - an archetypal figure out of his unconscious [lead actress]
KA - another archetypal figure [second actress]
ELIJAH and PHILEMON -more archetypal figures [second actor]
RUTH BAILEY - his nurse/companion [second actress]
[The second actor might be dispensed with, were Hans Kuhn played by the same actor that plays Carl Jung, and were the masked figures of Elijah and Philemon played by the actress who plays Emma, Bailey, and Ka. On the other hand, as many as seven players might be used should this seem desirable. In any case, masks should be worn where stipulated]
SCENE 1: 1956. Morning. Jung's stone tower on lake Zurich, Bollingen,
SCENE 2: 1913, summer, late morning on the lake shore a decade before the tower was built.
SCENE 3: Months later. A winter evening at Kusnacht.
SCENE 1: l956. The tower. Evening.
SCENE 2: 1925 and 1956. The tower. Night.
SCENE3: 1956. The tower. Morning.
The action takes place at Jung's rustic weekend retreat at Bollingen on Lake Zurich, Switzerland.
All stage directions are from the point of view of the audience.
Appropriate music of J.S. Bach, Jung's favorite composer, accompanies
the action, either recorded or performed by single harpsichord and cello.
1956. Morning. Jung's stone tower on lake Zurich, Bollingen, Switzerland.
The audience enters to offstage harpsichord music and is seated in what, from the point of view of the actors, is Lake Zurich. Open lakefront and upstage birches, left, and tower, right.
We seem to be back in the Middle Ages; the expressionistic set has a dreamlike, unreal aura about it. The entire two-story stone tower, including the courtyard wall bordering the "lake," is partially or, in some places, wholly transparent. The roof line is one dimensional; under and over it we see birches isolating the retreat from the outside world and, above the trees, the morning sky.
Usually the actors observe the imaginary wall lines, entering and exiting only through an archway into the offstage annex, right, or the door into the down stage courtyard with its gate out to the lakefront. In the reverie scenes, however, these boundaries are sometimes broken, and the characters enter and exit the tower and courtyard by stepping "through" a wall as do imaginary or ghostly characters who appear in the present.
A kitchen on the first floor, one step above ground level, contains a fireplace, firewood neatly stacked under the cooking counter, a wooden table and kitchen chairs, an arm chair and end table, hanging oil lamp, some books shelved and scattered about--everything very primitive, rustic. On the mantle sits an old shotgun above which hangs a magnificent African mask and spear.
Above the kitchen under the pointed tower roof is a bedroom with a stairway winding up to it. This bedroom contains a double bed, a dresser, and a door with WC painted on it which provides backstage access. Covering the upstage bedroom wall is Jung's famous painting of PHILEMON, a white-bearded old man with the wings of a Kingfisher and a coiled, black snake for a companion.
Darkness at rise. All the shutters covering the narrow, leaded glass windows of the Tower are tightly closed since the house has been shut down for the winter. Therefore, the entire stage is dark. Slowly, a somewhat spectral, unearthly Special illuminates TONI WOLFF sitting at the kitchen table writing in a notebook.
[TONI is a dark-haired young woman in her late twenties. There is about her a quiet, dream-like, almost unearthly quality. And though she is not beautiful in the strictly classical sense, she can look far more than beautiful; more like a goddess than a normal woman, especially at the moment, dressed in a gown of wonderful kingfisher blue]
[We watch TONI, busy at her scribbling for several moments, before another spectral Special suddenly illuminates EMMA JUNG standing across the table from TONI, appraising her frankly and warmly, a motherly smile on her face.
[EMMA is a handsome, woman in her early thirties wearing a charmingly simple dress]
EMMA: [quietly] Toni?
TONI: [looking up, pleasantly startled] Emma? Is it really you?
EMMA:I guessed you'd be here.
[The women embrace warmly]
EMMA: [holding TONI's hand at arm's length and surveying her dress] How beautiful!
TONI: Isn't it lovely being young again. [flexing her fingers] No more arthritis! No more wrinkles. [surveying EMMA at arm's length] Look at you. As fresh and lovely as the day you married.
EMMA: And in the same fifty-three year old homemade wedding dress.
TONI: But it's you, darling.
EMMA: [petulantly] Exactly! You they bury dressed like a goddess in the magnificent colors of a kingfisher, and me? . . . But forgive me; we ARE supposed to be above petty jealousy by now, aren't we?
TONI: Not at all! You've only been dead a few months. It's been three years for me, and I still envy your having Carl's children, your . . .
EMMA:Which of course explains your absence at my funeral?
TONI: And your waiting five months before coming to visit?
EMMA:The truth is, I've never felt comfortable here at Bollingen, even after your death. I was mistress of the house in Kusnacht, but here at Bollingen . . .
TONI: Oh bother! Dead and buried and still squabbling like schoolgirls.
EMMA: Suppose we'll ever stop being jealous of each other?
TONI: We're women after all. Dead or alive.
EMMA: [ironically] Ah, yes, the eternal feminine, Frau Mutter, all belly and breasts and suckling babes hanging on our nipples like grapes on a vine.
TONI:[curtsying] Mustn't forget Fraulein Anima! The temptress, the haetera and femme inpiratrice.
EMMA:How silly all this psychoanalytic jargon sounds now doesn't it? From our perspective?
TONI:Musn't make fun; it's very helpful to the living--primitive as it is.
EMMA:Honestly, I never imagined outliving you. And Carl, of course, never dreamed he'd survive us both. He's having a rough time coping; been driving poor old Bailey crazy. Which is why I'm here. A weekend away from each other is exactly what they both need.
TONI:[flustered, touching up her hair] Carl's spending the weekend?
EMMA: They're on the road right now. I came ahead--"Spirit Express" so to speak--with a short detour to visit the grandchildren. Can't stand the way he criticizes Bailey's driving. Poor thing, I don't know how she puts up with him.
TONI:[gently teasing] Considering she's not even his wife?
EMMA:No. Nor his mistress either, though he still flirts with every new ingenue at the Institute, the old lecher. No, Bailey puts up with him for the same reason we did--his genius. [sitting down with a sigh] God! being a woman's difficult, dead or alive!
TONI:Dead's considerably easier.
EMMA: The first thing he told her when she agreed to look after him during my illness, is not to take his shouting and yelling seriously.
TONI:How well I remember. [mimicking J, puffing on her thumb like a pipe] "No, no, my dear. You mustn't take any notice of my explosions. Really I'm quite easy going. All you have to remember is not to do anything to make me angry."
EMMA:He's always been bad, but in the last few years . . . You can't imagine.
TONI:Remember that weekend you accidentally poured salt instead of sugar into his artistic soufflé?
EMMA:Served him right--I'll never forget his face when he bit into it?
TONI:[devilishly] I made you do it.
TONI:He was being such a poop, screaming about the soggy tomatoes in the salad, pontificating on men's culinary superiority, I . . EMMA:I knew it! I knew it! I could feel your presence. And it was you who kept mischievously misplacing his blue tobacco jar so he'd blame me, wasn't it?
TONI:[mock innocence] I?
EMMA:Confess! Or you'll go straight to hell.
TONI:[laughing] Well, invisibility does have its advantages.
EMMA:[with a sigh] I must admit, after fifty-three years of marriage, it is rather a pleasant reprieve. Now it's poor Bailey who has to put up with his tirades.
TONI: Who's this? [mimicking playfully] "I am deeply concerned about preserving the distinctions between the sexes. Women plunged into the process of co-education, trying to make the sexes equal instead of emphasizing their differences are touched by the raging hermaphroditosis." [guffawing and flexing her biceps like a side-show strongman]
EMMA: [laughing] Oh, Toni, you're hysterical!
TONI: [feigning shock] Hysterical? Hysterical? Did the lady say HYSTERICAL? [standing stiffly, glancing at her notebook and reciting like a schoolgirl]
HYSTERICAL HERMAPHRODITOSIS, a new poem by Antonia Wolf, dearly departed. [curtsying to applause from EMMA]
[EMMA claps and TONI continues]Let a woman complain of neglect,
Of suffering lack of respect,
Of psychic or sexual abuse,
Double standards for gander and goose.
So long as her doctor's a male
He'll dismiss her complaint without fail,
With a pompously prompt diagnosis
Of Hysterical Hermaphroditosis.
[EMMA screams with delight]Let her complain of narcosis,
Tuberculosis, sclerosis, mononucleosis,
Or that of all most dreaded "osis"
[EMMA begins to clap and TONI holds up her hand]The ultimate prognosis,
The definitive diagnosis,
Will inevitably be
Exclusively female neurosis,
[TONI curtsies as EMMA applauds enthusiastically]And like buffo in opera seria,
Her physician will bluster and shout,
"Another case of female hysteria!
Throw the malingerer out!"
EMMA:So you're still versifying are you?
TONI:Only when I'm not inspiring Carl.
EMMA:[shaking her head] Still playing femme inspiratrice, even now?
TONI:More than ever. I'm truly Carl's eros-winged muse now that I'm dead. Not just the interfering nuisance he came to regard me toward the end.
EMMA:Well, he can certainly use some inspriation these days. He hasn't done a thing but make a nuisance of himself since the funeral.
TONI:One doesn't lose one's life companion and carry on business as usual. On the other hand, don't be surprised if he shortly begins a paper on UFO's.
EMMA:Flying saucers? Carl? What nonsense!
TONI: Nonsense? [to the audience] Thousands of people all over the world are suddenly seeing mysterious round objects glowing in the skies and she calls it nonsense?
EMMA: Be that as it may. The point is, you've been dead three years now, and you're still playing the role Carl assigned you in life. And liking it apparently.
TONI:And what about you Momma Jung? Still playing the proper, dutiful, faceless, hausfrau, humorless to the grave?
EMMA:I'm a mother after all. It's easy enough for you . . . You never married or had five children. You . . .
TONI:Exactly my point. We made our beds and that's that! [briskly brushing her hands]
EMMA:[frightened] Surely not for all eternity!
TONI:No, only so long--as I understand it--as it takes to completely shuffle off all earthly attachments--especially to loved ones.
EMMA:But there were thirty children, grandchildren and great grandchildren at my funeral, I . . .
TONI:Don't despair. What's a few thousand years in terms of eternity? [throwing her arms heavenward] Cheer up, darling! "Vive l'mort! Vive la liberation!" [standing stiffly again and reciting like a schoolgirl Another poem by Antonia Wolf, dearly departed, [drawing EMMA to her side] In collaboration with EMMA JUNG, more recently departed. Ahem. DEATH, THE ULTIMATE FEM LIB. First line: Being ghosts is a lot of fun.
EMMA:[reluctantly] Second line: Death is a life that's just begun?
TONI:[pointing to the audience] They'll find out when their time has come.
TOGETHER: O, two little haunts are we!
[MUSIC. And the women move about very demurely in a sort of restrained minuet, bodies stiff but gesticulating exaggeratedly and affecting aristocratic speech, rolling their "r's" etc.]
TONI:[to the audience] If we don't cavort about absurdly, please don't take it amiss.
EMMA:It's not because we're otherworldly, so much as that we're . . . Swiss?
TONI:[pointing to EMMA] This little ghost was a bride, [ironically] Ho hum!
EMMA:[mock tears, pointing to TONI] This little ghost wasn't ever one.
TONI: Proteges of Carl Gustave Jung!
TOGETHER: Two little ghosts are we.
TONI:From two protégés take life away.
EMMA:Two little haunts remain, and they . . .
TONI: Wouldn't have it any other way!
TOGETHER: O, two little ghosts are we.
[Sounds of an auto engine and a rather antique car horn off stage}O, two little haunts quite gay and merry,
Sassy as hell and quite contrary,
Graduates of FEM lib seminary.
Two little ghosts are we!
EMMA: [flustered] Oh my, they're here already. That woman drives entirely too fast!
[The horn sounds again several times as EMMA rushes about tidying up the place]
TONI: Relax, darling!. Bailey won't even let him out of the car till she's frightened off all possible intruders with her horn blowing.
EMMA: As if anyone could possibly get in here, boarded up the way it is . . .
TONI: We did!
EMMA: We're different; we walk through walls. Voila! [demonstrating as she produces a broom and dust mop] Voila!
[The horn sounds again and again]
J:[shouting off stage with the slightest German accent] Stop that bloody racket. Enough! Enough! You'll wake the dead!
[The car horn ceases. MUSIC, and the women again cavort demurely]
EMMA:Wake the dead?
TONI:Wake the dead?
[Fast BLACKOUT as the florescent broom and dust mop seem to fly about, performing their chores in time to the music]
[MUSIC ENDS as, offstage right, we hear bolts drawn and a heavy wooden door thrown open with a great bang as a shaft of daylight knifes into the dark, shuttered, tower kitchen through the arched passage from the offstage annex, right]Two little lively haunts are we!
Fully awake as you can see.
Tidying up for company.
O, two little haunts are we.
J:[shouting off stage, but as though echoing inside the annex now] No! NO! Stay in the car. You'll get your shoes muddy; Hans has over watered again! Yes, I can manage. It's perfectly safe.
[ENTER J, stage right, through the annex arch, lugging a rather large stone tablet and paying no attention at all to the women since of course he cannot see them]
[CARL GUSTAVE JUNG is a handsome, white-haired, mustached man of eighty who doesn't look a day over sixty five. He is quite robust and strong judging by the way he handles the tablet. A cold pipe upside down in his mouth, tiny round wire spectacles on his nose, he wears old, country clothes, muddy rubber boots with his trouser legs tucked in the tops, and a straw-boater hat]
[Placing the heavy stone tablet as gently as possible on the kitchen table, he wipes his brow, catching his breath as the car horn begins sounding again off stage]
J: Stop! Stop! [EXIT J hurriedly, right] [offstage] There's nobody here! Everything's boarded up solid! Go! Go! I'll be fine. No, no, I won't forget to put the groceries in the larder. Yes, I'll do it now. Mine Gott!
[J can be heard trouncing around in the annex, opening and slamming the larder door off stage and cussing in German --Gottverdamte! etc.]
EMMA:[hands on hips, shaking her head over the tablet] On the kitchen table. He has no manners at all down here. Like a savage, honestly!
TONI:[running her fingers over the tablet] Why, it's in Chinese script! Wonder what it means? Well, whatever it means, it's certainly beautiful. Carl is such a gifted artist; I've always maintained he missed his calling.
EMMA:Better not let him hear you say that!
[The car is heard starting]
J:[shouting off stage, more pleasantly than before] Yes, yes. Monday at noon. I'll be ready. Yes, yes. First appointment at two. Good bye! Good-bye! I'll be fine. Yes, plenty of firewood in the kitchen. No, I promise, no chopping!
EMMA:Perhaps, we ought to hide the ax. His heart . . .
J: Yes, if I need anything, I'll telephone from the Kuhns. I promise, yes. [annoyed again] No! I don't need Hans looking in on me! What am I, an invalid? Good bye! Good bye! [the car is heard disappearing down the road off stage] And good riddance!
EMMA:How can she put up with him? The woman is a saint.
TONI:Like someone else I know?
EMMA:If wifely martyrdom were a canonizable offense, the martyrology would be the fattest book in the Vatican.
[ENTER J noisily with another tablet placing it carefully down beside the first]
J:[breathlessly, plopping down on a kitchen chair]] Damn! Must be getting old.
EMMA: And asking for another heart attack.
[J remains seated only for a second, catches his breath and jumps up and unbolts the kitchen shutters. Simultaneously with the throwing open of the shutters, the entire stage lights up with morning sunshine--inside and out. And MUSIC begins]
[J's rhymed soliloquies should not be recited but rendered as much as possible like normal speech, the ruminations of a very self-sufficient old man accompanied by much appropriate business]
J:Alone at last! No doubt about it, (at the risk of being crass) women can certainly be a swift pain in the ass.
[TONI just smiles]
J:If I told that woman once, I told her a thousand times, I don't need
neighbors looking in on me, much less looking after me.
I'm just as self-sufficient now as in my prime. [having difficulty with one of the shutters] Well, perhaps not entirely. Nevertheless, she'll send old Han's round secretly to spy on me. Well, let it be--makes no difference, anyway. By noon tomorrow, come what may, Carl Gustave Jung'll be history.
EMMA:History? By noon tomorrow, he'll be history? What does that mean?
TONI:A new honor perhaps?
EMMA:[skeptically] Perhaps. His eightieth birthday was universally acclaimed, but . . .
J: Yes, being here alone's my greatest joy, the place I'm most within my depth. It's here that I can always best face the tensions of my life and the brutal fact of death.
[J picks up off the fireplace mantle a framed portrait of EMMA and himself at Bollingen shortly before her death, and as EMMA moves as if to comfort him, she is tenderly restrained by TONI]
J:Here I live in my truest self and see life in the round--as something forever coming into being and forever passing on.
[Sniffling and wiping his glasses, he replaces the portrait and searches about in a cupboard full of tobacco jars. Suddenly MUSIC CEASES]
J:[furious, shouting] Damn! Damn! Damn! My blue tobacco jar! I know you're here, Emma? Where is it? Where is it?
[EMMA looks perplexed, making a how-do-I-know gesture]
J:[petulantly] All right, I won't waste time looking for it. I'll just wait till it comes magically to hand again, eh Toni? Pah! Between Emma and Bailey, I haven't had a decent pipe full in six months.
[EMMA frowns with hands on hips in a disapproving manner as TONI goes over to the open cupboard and, reaching in, comes up with the tobacco jar]
TONI:Just as I thought, right in front of his nose.
[As J makes his way up the stairs to the bedroom, TONI sets the blue jar atop the mantle of the fireplace within easy reach, and follows J upstairs]
EMMA: [following and shaking her head] And you say you love him.
TONI:Oh Emma! For God's sake! At his age there are few enough little pleasures.
J:[unbolting and throwing open the bedroom shutters] Well, all together again like old times, eh? Good! Good! I'll catch some nice trout for supper and then tomorrow morning . . . But tell me, how did you like the funeral?
EMMA:She wasn't there.
TONI:He can't hear you.
J:Ah, when I had to lead the grandchildren into the chapel, all twenty of them, I . . . But I mustn't ruminate on that. Bailey's right about that at least. After all, we're born to die. [crossing the portrait and intoning like a priest] Requiescat! Rest in peace. Still, how can I help it? With all the memories about? [fondling other photographs and mementos of TONI and EMMA etc.] Ah, when half of you 's already gone (and your better half at that) . . .
[He gestures toward the empty bed as EMMA curtsies, wrinkling her nose at TONI]
J: And in my case even more than half. I mean my Toni, my other "better half" sans benefit of matrimony?
[TONI curtsies and wrinkles up her nose at EMMA]
J: Two halves make one; that no one can deny! And where does that leave Carl Gustave Jung? Why, there's scarcely anything left of me to die. [vehemently] Some wrinkled skin, some bone--calcified and brittle. Teeth that are only half my own. Rheumy eyes, sulfuric spittle. [spitting out of a window] Pain in every working part--sagging jowls, sluggish bowels, a cranky, broken-down old fart with empty arms and . . .[tenderly] a broken heart.
TONI:He's not ailing, is he?
EMMA:Physically he's healthy as a horse. An aging one, granted. Emotionally on the other hand . . .
J:No, some things you simply can't prevent. No matter what, there's sure to come a tim when death's a rather welcome ascent from the ridiculous to the sublime. Without my women here beside me . . . Really, what good is life without a wife? Or two?
EMMA:I don't like this. He doesn't ruminate this morbidly at home.
EMMA:"Death is a welcome ascent? From the ridiculous to the sublime? What good is life?"
TONI:"What good is life without a wife or two." To screw is what he means. What's morbid about that?
EMMA:[shocked] Toni! How vulgar! At his age?
TONI:[nudging EMMA, winking] You said yourself he's healthy as a horse?
EMMA:[blushing] You're not implying that Carl and I . . . At our advanced ages?
TONI:Pardon me, but as I recall, several weekends before your illness last fall . . .
EMMA:[shocked] You didn't!
TONI:No, but I heard.
[J chooses this precise moment to bounce on the bed, the bedsprings bruiting]
EMMA:How embarrassing! How rude!
[EMMA turns and disappears backstage, followed by TONI]
TONI:Emma, darling, we're dead! Remember? Don't be such a prude!
J:[descending the stairs again] Used to be I could peddle down here on my bike or sail down in my boat, or hike.Too old now for such rugged fare. Old legs won't take me anywhere; get winded on the bloody stair. A decrepit, impotent old goat they cart back and forth by car. It's humiliating growing old, debilitating growing old. Growing old is aggravating, excruciating, [his hand upon his heart, breathlessly, sitting down on a chair] heart palpitating.
To hell with it! Enough's enough! I've thought it over carefully, The time has come to call life's bluff. Hell! I've already accomplished all that I can do. Written all the books inside me. Can't think of a single thing that's new. And so, why not? Here in my stony tower on my eternal lake I'll quietly finish my tablets and, for love's own sake, mount them in the courtyard come morning, and then, without the slightest warning, on this glorious weekend of the solstice eve, Carl Gustave Jung will quietly take his leave.
[Donning a gardener's apron hanging on a hook beside the fireplace, he discovers the blue tobacco jar on the mantle]
J: Ah ha! my blue tobacco jar! Trying to bribe me, eh, Toni? Well, it's a waste of time; I know damn well I can't take it with me. But Carl Gustave's definitely made up his mind. Tomorrow morning, with the rising of the sun, this earthly life is over! Finished! Kaput! Done!
[Lighting his pipe and puffing contentedly, J carries the tablets and
tool basket into the courtyard, where he continues his chores, pumping
water from the well, splitting some unnecessary kindling on a portable-tree-stump
chopping block just for
the fun of swinging an ax.]
J: Ah yes, what better place for a man to end his life than in this stony tower on this watery shore? Why here at Bollingen I'm virtually spread out across the land, inside every living thing, in every tree, in every bush and rock, in the lapping of the lake upon the sand, the clouds and animals that come and go. Here, silence surrounds me audibly-- the music of the spheres arranged by Bach. I live with nature here in total harmony, with the procession of the seasons walking hand in hand.
[He carries some kindling back into the tower]
J: Here, I actually live in several centuries simultaneously in addition to the present time. There's very little here to suggest the present day. Why, were a sixteenth century gentleman to move inhere today, only the kerosene lamp and matches would be new to him. Everything else'd be as familiar as a comfortable old shoe to him. Pah, who needs electricity, automaticity, hydro felicity, heating centricity? What we need's simplicity, the back to basics route. Muscle power in; labor-saving gadgets out!
[Building a fire in the fireplace, he does not light it]
J: Running water, that's for sissies. A real man pumps it from a spring behind the house, chops his wood, cooks his food, tends the fireplace and stove himself--self-sufficient, primitive. No, there's nothing like an open fire to take us back to where we really live, what it's really all about--shadows flickering in prehistoric caves, warmth and light when the sun and stars go out and night's as dark as the grave.
Evenings now, I light the old oil lamplight's somehow brighter measured in candle-power than in watts and amps--pull a book down off the shelf--a detective novel, Christie perhaps or Simenon, a soporific to get a good night's sleep on. Simple acts, simple thoughts, simple ways. God knows how difficult it is to be simple these days.
[He carries a crude, homemade, garden chair and his tool basket through the courtyard gate and places the chair down on the edge of the lake facing the audience and, sitting down, removes his boots and heavy socks, rolling his trouser legs up on his calf]
J: It was settled from the start, of course, that I would build near
water--water, the female, the mother, the wife, the daughter,
the symbol of the unconscious par excellence long before Freudian or Jungian parlance. Though only an outer image in real life
it helps more than anything else when one is faced with ignorance of one's self to bring one's seemingly irresolvable inner strife
here to Bollingen on the edge of the inland sea like a troubled child at his mother's knee.
Ah, yes! The twentieth century lacks secular cloisters where those of us sick of the hectic stress and fuss of modern life can live outside of time. And so I built my Tower here in peaceful, rural Bollingen. Built it in a kind of dream, stone upon stone fitting together, like the incidents of my life. Or at least so it seems. Why, in these eighty long and happy years of life--though I wasn't able to secure this piece of land on the upper Lake till '22, or start to build till '23--nonetheless, it encompasses all of me--from childhood to imminent mortality.
My tower--symbol in stone of my truest self, the unfolding of a vision of the great unknown granted to one who undertook, deliberately, with half closed eyes and ears, to see and hear the form and voice of being in my tower here at Bollingen, composing down the path of decomposing years my ultimate confession in stone.
[He sits down on the apron edge and dangles his bare feet into the audience as though into the lake, speaking directly to them, addressing them as though they are the lake]
J:Damn, you're cold! Brrrr! Cold as a critic's heart!
[He winks slyly, and from his tool basket removes a fishing line wound on a spool and drops it over the apron into the audience]
J: The truth is, we're all of us poor fishes aren't we? Swimming about
[pointing heavenward] in a cold galactic sea? Some of us swimming better
than the rest, some poorly, some not so well, some better, some best. But
even the biggest fish is a little guppy'
in a pond as big as this. And no matter what our size or prowess, sooner or later we all go belly-up. So defrost cold fish! Defrost! [pointing to the sun] Let mighty sol, melt your icy winter souls. I'm fishing for understanding, warmth, human empathy, not refrigerated trout or sole.
[Getting up, he secures the fishing line to the chair leg and returns to the courtyard]
J: Nothing, of course, is closer to one's own demise than losing one's dearly beloved wife. Why, it's more than an eighty year old man should be expected to survive.
[He carries one of the tablets out through the gate to the lake edge]
J: And were it not for these stones and my final return to mount them here in the courtyard of the earthly Bollingen--the final installment of my confession in stone--I'd never have survived the winter alone.
[Sitting in the chair again, he begins carving the tablet on the portable chopping stump, his deliciously aromatic pipe smoke pervading the house as he taps with his mallet and chisel, which tapping is taken up by the piano]
J: Bailey's been a companion to me, of course, but any attachment have
left for living is like a vaguely remembered dream.
Huge chunks of everyday reality retreat into the mist, as I go on reliving the distant past nostalgically, scene by sentimental scene.
[segue into next scene with J still tapping away]
The tower recedes into shadow and reverie lights and cello music suggest the past. 1913, summer, late morning on the lake shore, a decade before the tower was built.
ENTER TONI in her early twenties from the wings, left, barefooted and wearing a bright summer dress. She is carrying a parasol and a picnic blanket and keeps looking back over her shoulder as she spreads the blanket on the open lake front, left.
TONI: Carl? Carl? Where are you?
[J, still tapping away on the tablet, perks up his ears]
TONI: Don't tease. Where are you? I'll not go a step farther.
[Putting down his mallet, chisel, and pipe, J enters the darkened tower through an invisible wall, removes his white hair and mustache and his apron, and hanging them on the clothes hook, enters the scene through another imaginary wall as TONI lies down on the blanket sunning herself]
[J is a young man now in his late thirties with modified crew cut and small mustache. Wearing round, wire spectacles, he looks and behaves somewhat like a young Prussian army officer on holiday, stiff, curt, insensitive even, while at the same time, confused, frightened, isolated. He still wears the straw boater, is barefooted with trousers rolled and is carrying the tool basket which now serves as a picnic basket]
[As J stands looking down at the prone TONI, MUSIC CEASES]
TONI:[startled] Oh, there you are! How did you get over there?
J:Had to find a place to tether the boat.
TONI:[flirting] Come, lie down on me.
J:[uncomfortably] The lake steamer will be passing any minute.
TONI:Good, we'll wave! Come on, I won't eat you. Then again . . .
[kneeling and shielding herself from the audience behind her parasol, she reaches for him]
J:[evading her and setting the basket down on the blanket] [uncomfortably] Time for lunch. [kneeling and removing food from the basket]
TONI: It's not even noon yet. We could move back into the trees. [repeating the parasol bit]
J:[jumping up, annoyed] Is that all you ever think of?
TONI:[reaching into the basket and coming up with a bottle of wine]
Here, you need a drink.
[J opens a bottle of wine with his red Swiss army all-purpose pocket knife, as TONI, resigned, produces a wheel of cheese, French bread, and wine glasses]
TONI:[languidly] I love this spot. It's very special to me.
J:I know. Your family used to picnic here when you were a little girl.
TONI:Actually, I was rather a big girl the last time.
J:Don't tell me! You lost your virginity on this very spot . . . to a schoolmate with a dueling scar no doubt.
TONI:Nothing quite so wicked or you'd have heard of it in therapy. But I could fantasize for you . . .
J:Honestly, you have sex on the brain.
TONI:[offended] I? You were the one who always . . . at least used to always . . . It's just in the last few weeks that you . . .
J:[uncomfortably] So then why did you bring me here?
TONI:Never mind! I wish I hadn't!
J:Now don't be petulant. I'm sorry; it's just that I have so much on my mind.
TONI: This is the spot where Father and I spent our last hours together!
J: [shouting] What? Why haven't I heard this in therapy! You swore you'd told me everything. How am I supposed to cure patients who insist on keeping things from me?
TONI:That's just it. You HAVE cured me, or at least cured me enough that I can finally talk about it. Which is why I brought you here today.
J:[the therapist in him taking over, very gently] You're right of course. You weren't ready. I'm forgetting my own therapeutic principles. [defensively] But after all, our relationship isn't strictly patient and doctor, the way it should be, the way . . . [catching himself losing it again] Forgive me, I'm acting more like the patient than the doctor. [the therapist again, almost hypnotically] So this is the beautiful, peaceful childhood picnic spot you and your father . . . go on, please.
TONI:[lying back and slipping easily into the patient role] Father and I spent our last moments together here on this very spot. I was twenty and it was the first time he'd ever taken me out alone without Mother or my sisters. He was home only for a short visit, we had no idea it was his last . . . God, he was so incredibly handsome in his crewing clothes--those almost oriental eyes, the exotically smooth almost ageless face. He was like a god to me--immortal, impervious to time . . .
J:[nodding, patiently, very solicitous] You're doing just fine. So you put ashore here . . . and . . .
TONI:We put ashore here and picnicked, Father and I, just like this. And I drank a lot of wine. And so did he. And we talked about all sorts of things, but mostly about me. And as a mother and her fawn stole down to the lake to drink, Father said that I was very like a doe myself, shy, delicate, too sensitive for my own good. He was afraid, I think, that my deer-like shyness might hinder me from ever growing up to be a mother and wife, from finding a man to marry me, saying that my sisters had told him I was strange and boasted that I'd forgo marriage glad for an intellectual life of literature and poetry.
I didn't deny it. An essentially lonely person, even in childhood, I decided at a very early age to stay independent, not for the body, but for the soul. And when he asked what I wanted out of life the wine had loosened my tongue enough for me to say I wanted to live in a tower overlooking a lake like this, in a spot like this, only far from Zurich in a faraway land, Japan or China or Samarkan, in a castle somewhere built so close to the water, the waves would lap against the walls like in a moat, and I'd live there happily ever after, with my music and books and the poems I wrote to dedicate to him!
I never dreamed he'd react the way he did. I'd said it all in fun--the wine and all you know, showing off, being poetic. perhaps even flirting a bit. I couldn't believe it when I saw tears in his eyes. I'd never seen anything before quite like it. Father crying? I was horrified. Speechless. He just sadly smiled and, taking me in his arms, said that my words had broken his heart and begged my forgiveness for never having time anymore with his business to take the family picnicking on the lake the way he used to when I was little. Promising that he would retire shortly and build my castle on a lake for me, not in China or Japan or Samarkan, but right here on lake Zurich on this very spot, because he couldn't desert my mother and my sisters and all our relatives in Zurich, the whole patrician lot.
However, he would make it a rule he promised, that none of them, not even Mother and my sisters be allowed to set foot in my Castle by the lake, even if I invited them myself for politeness sake. And he'd sail over from the family estate and send my future husband and children back to spend the day with Mother and my sisters in Zurich. And here beside the lake in Bollingen I'd read aloud the poems I wrote for him.
It was then, at that very moment, that a beautiful bird alighted on the blanket where we sat, a kingfisher with feathers all radiantly blue. We were delighted when the rogue began to peck at our picnic, and boldly too, until, distracted by an equally beautiful butterfly, spreading his wings, off he flew. It was then that Father said, here beside the water, the most beautiful thing, I now realize, a father could possibly say to his daughter. Quoting somewhat imperfectly, with tears in his eyes just for me . . .
[J does not speak, he simply takes TONI tenderly in his arms as the MUSIC CONTINUES]We two will sing like birds in a cage.
When thou dost ask me blessing,
I'll kneel down and ask of thee forgiveness.
So we'll live, and pray, and tell old tales, and sing,
And laugh at gilded butterflies,
And take upon ourselves the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies.
TONI: He died that night at his club . . . of a broken heart.
J:[caressing her hair] Hush! Mustn't blame yourself.
TONI:Oh, I don't. Not anymore. I know it was just a banal heart attack brought on by overwork and business worries. Not at all poetic. Quite pedestrian, actually. I told you I was completely cured, didn't I? Look not a single tear. Father's gone, but I now have you to sing in my cage with me.
When thou dost ask me blessing,
I'll kneel down and ask of thee forgiveness.
TONI So we'll live, and pray, and tell old tales and sing
J: And laugh at gilded butterflies.
TONI and J:And take upon ourselves the mystery of things
As if we were God's spies.
[The MUSIC CEASES as they remain in each others arms for a moment before J speaks]
J: And what do you think would happen if . . . if for some reason we no longer had each other?
TONI: [panic-stricken] What? No longer had each other?
J:Kingfishers, butterflies; that's all a very pretty fairy tale. Just as your thinking yourself cured is. But I know better.
TONI:[panicking] Emma! The children! They've been setting you against me again. They think I'm a harlot, a home wrecker.
J:Calm down! They don't blame you; the children perhaps, but not Emma. She knows I'm completely at fault. Offering the spiritual guidance your father was too busy to provide is an irresistible form of seduction.
TONI:Nonsense, I seduced you. You would never have . . .
J: [curtly] Not true! You're not the first, as you very well know. But
this sort of thing has to stop. We can't see each other
any longer. Not outside therapy, anyway. You're not cured by any means, despite what you think.
TONI:[frightened, reverting to seduction as a means to keep him] At least my fawn-like shyness is gone wouldn't you say, Doctor! [she reaches for him again behind her parasol]
J:[pulling away] No! Alone with me you overcompensate! In public you're still the proper, shy, timid, young lady your mother first brought to Kusnacht.
TONI:Poor naive Mother . . . the only woman in Zurich who hadn't heard about the young Doctor Jung's disreputable bedside manner. [seductively] Why do you think I agreed to therapy in the first place? [reaches for him again but he evades her]
J:Stop trying so hard. Be yourself. I liked you better shy, timid
TONI: This is myself. My real self. The self I could never show anyone before you, not even you at first. You've brought the woman out in me. Cured my neurosis, my . . .
J:[reverting to a professional tone] A successful transference can temporarily cause a neurosis to disappear, true enough. But it's only a provisional state, not a cure. A cure requires learning to do without me.
TONI:Which is why you haven't made love to me in weeks? Can't you see I'm ravenous?
J:Its time to break the transference . . . I'm not your father, and I can no longer be your lover.
TONI:Of course you're not my father. You'd have to have sired me at thirteen.
J:But as part of the transference . . .
TONI:I need some transference right now. Where shall it be? Back in the trees or here under the unblinking sun? [she falls back on the blanket and pulls her skirts up to her hips]
[MARINE BELLS AND WHISTLES OFF STAGE]
J:[mortified] Good god, the steamer! [hiding her under the parasol]
TONI:[sitting up and waving over the parasol] Yoo hoo! Over here!
J:You're mad! I have a wife, remember, and children and a practice, and patients . . .
TONI:Yes, and most of them women.
J:Nonsense! Sex is the farthest thing from my mind these days.
TONI:Oh, I see! No need for sex, no need for Toni. Simple as that, is it?
J: I just can't anymore . . . Not with you . . . not with Emma. Not with anybody.
TONI:[surprised] You think you're impotent? [laughing] I'll fix that soon enough.
J: [jumping up] Intellectually, it's all very fine. The family is a biological trap; I owe it to myself to develop my personality; the prerequisite of a good marriage is a man's right to be unfaithful. I know all that, believe all that . . . [anguished] But I have bad dreams.
TONI:[coquettishly] Really! Erotic dreams? Would the doctor care to tell his adoring patient his dreams?
J: [anguished] Stop! Stop it! It's no joke. Rivers of blood, monstrous floods covering all of Europe, drowned bodies of uncounted thousands floating in the rubble of civilization, corpses in crematoriums . . . I'm frightened. I'm heading for a psychosis, I know it.
TONI:[solicitously] Why, you're serious, aren't you? Why haven't you told me before this? I'd have understood. I . . .
J:[looking off across the lake] Sometimes I feel as if gigantic blocks of stone were tumbling down on me. One thunderstorm follows another. It's just by brute strength alone that I endure, that I'm not completely shattered as so many others have been: my patients, my assistant Ricklin.
TONI:So that's why you've had so little time for me. I've been so selfish. Thinking only of myself, when you . . .
J:I'm supposed to be the doctor not the patient.
TONI:How long has this been going on?
J: Ever since the parting of the ways with Freud. I've severed my ties to the Master and haven't yet found my own footing. I feel totally suspended in mid-air, orphaned, both emotionally and, now that my my colleagues have deserted me, intellectually.
TONI:I'll never desert you.
J:Oh, darling, can't you see? Cheating on my wife, leading you on with no intention of divorcing and remarrying . . .
TONI:But I'm not asking you to marry me. I'm not trying to steal you away from your family.
J:I just can't handle the guilt, the inner pressure. It has to stop!
TONI: But we're soul mates. I've blossomed under your touch like a flower. You've opened intellectual horizons, created new worlds for me.
J: I never should have allowed our relationship to escape its professional restraints.
TONI: But it was I who encouraged a deepening closeness between us, something I'd never have done, hadn't I sensed your loneliness, despite your successful practice, your apparently happy family life surrounded by all sorts of admirers. I . . .
J:Tokens of worldly success, nothing more! You're right. You came into my life like fate just when I'd come to realize the brutal reality behind the mirage of marriage, the impossibility of making mother and lover coincide in one woman.
TONI:You needed me, as much as I needed you.
J:Nevertheless, allowing the transference to continue any longer isn't good for either of us. Psychic health demands a painful sacrifice on both our parts, a mighty effort of the will, a sacrifice that will either lead to a cure or . . .
J A total relapse. But that's a chance we have to take.
TONI:Why? I'm happy just the way I am! Never been happier!
J:It's not as though we wouldn't continue to see each other--in therapy, at an occasional Sunday dinner with the family. Only the hypocrisy and quilt will be gone. And little by little, God willing, the transference will resolve itself.
TONI:Resolve itself? What does that mean? If you think I'll ever stop loving you . . .
J:It means getting you to accept me as a doctor instead of an illusory resolution of the father-lover conflict in your psyche, a conflict which, contrary to Freudian theory, is essentially religious, not sexual.
TONI:[sarcastically] Religious? Not sexual? Oh I see; your penis is nothing but a phallic symbol, a shriveled relic of itself. Is that it? You're not my lover anymore, you're my castrated savior.
J:No, I'm your doctor. And I'm trying to help you.
TONI:Physician, cure thyself!
J: Precisely. But I can't unless you cooperate.
TONI:I'll cooperate all right! Not only are you not my lover anymore, you're not my doctor either. No doubt you've already found another young neurotic engenue to take my place in your appointment book. [taking her parasol and marching off toward the trees]
J:Where you going?
TONI:I'll take the train back to Zurich, thank you!.
J:Barefoot? The station's a mile away across a dangerous crossing.
TONI:Save you the trouble of tying me to the tracks?
J:Nonsense! I won't run after you, if that's what you're counting on.
I won't submit to emotional blackmail. Besides, I can't leave
TONI:Precisely what I was counting on.
[EXIT TONI upstage into the birches]
[J reaches out, makes a move to follow her, but restraining himself, watches TONI disappear into the trees, as MUSIC BEGINS]
[ENTER EMMA, right, through the annex arch into the semi darkness of the tower kitchen. And as the outdoor scene continues under the bright sunshine, left, EMMA, like a busy hausfrau, transforms the tower kitchen into J's study back at the family residence in Kusnacht, drawing down painted bookshelf drops over the kitchen cabinets like window shades and adorning the kitchen table with a desk lamp, books, family photographs, tobacco canisters, etc.]
J:[stooping to pick up a pebble off the beach] We're little more than pebbles on a beach, grains of salt in a great galactic sea. Yet every single grain's itself a galaxy--cystaline worlds within worlds, no star ship of the mind can ever reach. [picking up a handful of sand] And every grain of sand's a crystal masterpiece--the humble pebble and the diamond in a kingly crown --billions of tiny atoms aligned in perfect order, not a molecule in a million out of place. And yet, its imperfections are precisely what account for its most precious properties, its identity and personality, its brilliance and its beauty.
[He lets the sand run through his fingers]
J: The hour glass of Time runs out. [looking at his empty hand] The glass itself is sand, crystalline dust unto dust returning, and with it all our hopes, our yearnings, all our imperfections, our particular and most precious properties, our identities and personalities, our brilliance and our beauty.
[The wind begins to come up before the end of the soliloquy, and as
he collects pebbles in his pockets, the lights fade on the beach scene
as EXIT J into the wings, left, with basket and blanket to the sound of
frantic KNOCKING off stage, right. And segue immediately into next scene]
Months later. A winter evening. The family home at Kusnacht. In one corner of the garden a miniature village of sand-
pebbles, such as are often built by children.
TONI: [anguished] But you must let me in! I must see him!
EMMA: Carl's no longer at home to you--as a patient or anything else.
[Lights up on the windy garden at Kusnacht and EMMA, with a shawl wrapped around her shoulders is barring the garden door into J's study against TONI, who wears a long, hooded, winter coat]
TONI:But I need him. It's been five months. I've had a complete relapse, I . . .
EMMA:Serves you right! And if the Zurich doctors can't cure you, there's always the lake.
TONI:Emma, you can't mean that.
EMMA:After what you've done to Carl, to our family . . .
TONI:But I love him. I love you all. And he loves me.
EMMA: If you loved him, you'd leave us alone instead of skulking around trying to force your way in the garden door.
TONI:[trying to force her way past EMMA] But you won't answer the front door. And my telephone calls . . .[shouting past EMMA] Carl! Carl! It's Toni. It's Toni, I . . .
EMMA:[shaking TONI] Hush! You'll wake the children. Get a hold of yourself; he can't hear you anyway; he's not at home.
TONI:If he's not home, why won't you allow me in out of the cold to talk, to . . .
EMMA:We have nothing to say to each other. [taking TONI's arm and leading her out into the garden away from the door] Come! I'll show you back to your motor car.
TONI:[falling to her knees near the sand-pebble village] Emma please! I'm ill. I must see him.
EMMA:All you think of is yourself. You call that love? What about Carl? He's on the verge of a psychosis, and you . . .
TONI:That proves it! He needs me as much as I need him. We're in love, can't you see? We can't live without each other.
EMMA:If you can't live without Carl, there's always the lake. Or perhaps Carl's own pistol. I'll be happy to get it for you.
TONI:You're as sick as any of us, Emma. You don't love Carl; you love only yourself and your children, this house, and your proper Swiss family life.
EMMA: All of which you'd promptly steal from me, if I let you.
TONI:The truth is, your marriage is as insubstantial as these childish sand castles. [pointing to the sand-pebble village] What are you afraid of? If you love him, let him go. There are plenty of other pebbles on the beach. Why continue this domestic charade? To hell with Swiss propriety.
EMMA:[sadly] Plenty of pebbles on the beach, you say? Uncountable fish in the sea? Why continue this domestic charade, Carl's acknowledged infidelity? Divorce? Separation at the very least? Resolution of the marital dilemma? For others perhaps but not for me. For other perhaps but not for Emma.
[Weeping, EMMA kneels beside TONI and picks up a handful of pebbles lying beside the miniature village]
EMMA: The only pebbles in my life are these that Carl, like a child upon his knees, builds little cottages of where happy families live and love, peaceful, serene, undisturbed by ugly domestic scenes. He makes orderly villages out here in the garden while in his brain disorder reigns. That's what this miniature village in our garden here at Kusnacht is. It's not the children at play; it's their father fighting desperately to keep approaching chaos away and maintain his ebbing sanity.
TONI:Carl? Not the children?
EMMA:The children are horrified; they try to understand. It's mortifying for them to see their father gathering pebbles on the sand, building miniature towns. A grown man on his knees, like a child at play with tiny building blocks, building day after day, little cottages and shops and winding roadways, and even a tiny chapel with a crystal altar like the one in town where we married in my homemade bridal gown.
Starting each morning before his first patient arrives, as soon as the last one is on her way, he's down on his knees again performing his magical rite, a ritual he seems to think will keep him off the brink of sanity. And, sometimes far into the night, he talks to himself or, what's worse, to others in the room I cannot see, casts his eyes on nothing, on the air, in dread, drawing in his Black Books, writing verse in a trembling hand, frightening things I cannot understand, conversations with the ancient dead.
[TONI lifts EMMA to her feet and embraces her and leads her back into the study which is lit only by firelight as the sky darkens with an approaching storm]
EMMA:I can't get over the sadness of my husband's incipient madness and my inability to help. I know he's missing you sacrificing for his family's sake. And I blame myself for nagging him to give you up despite the heartbreak. Oh, Toni, I haven't gotten my husband back, only a piece of him.
[EXIT TONI and EMMA into the annex as J appears from the wings, left, wearing the blanket over his shoulders and scrutinizing the now very windy beach as he slowly walks toward the courtyard gate picking up a pebble or two. Emptying his pockets of pebbles and small stones before the miniature village, he kneels and begins to build as the CELLO dies and is replaced by the recorded, quiet, Latin chanting offstage of the Fortuna, Imperatrix Mundi from Carl Orf's CARMINA BURANA, which increases in tempo and loudness as J impetuously demolishes part of the village with a sweep of his hand and stands up holding his head before rushing into the study where the fire flames up wildly in the fireplace, and the chanting increases in volume]
J: [shouting to the fire, waving his fists] No, I don't wish to turn back. That's not what I'm saying. But I would like to spare Emma, my children, my patients . . .
[The chanting suddenly becomes frighteningly loud, as a window shutter begins slamming angrily with the approach of the storm across the lake and darkness falls outdoors]
J:[to the fire] All right! All right! No more talk of family, or commitments to patients!
[The chanting subsides and the slamming shutter ceases, and J sits at
his desk with the blanket over his head like a monk in a drafty scriptorium.
Lighting a pipe, he scribbles in a small, black, leather-bound notebook]
J:I've formulated everything just as I've observed it, just as you ordered, here in my black book, in Latin, in all the pretentiousness of your high and mighty rhetoric and bombast. I don't mind telling you, It's a style I find embarrassing; it grates on my nerves, as when someone draws his nails down a plaster wall, or scrapes his knife against a plate.
[Grating sounds are heard magnified many times and J covers his ears]
J: Sometimes it's as though I'm hearing your voices, sometimes shaping them with my tongue, whispering aloud.
[ENTER KA as though out of the fire]
[KA, who is played by the same actress that plays Emma, is a masked demon with the head of a bull and the gilded, seminude body of a woman, an Egyptian figure who holds in its hands crossed over its golden breasts a golden crook and grain flail]
J: Another figure out of my unconscious! Are these fantasies endless? Who are you?
[KA speaks in J's own voice recorded and slowed offstage as the Latin chanting continues in the background]
KA: I am Ka, your own archaic soul, bull of your mother, procreator divine. I come from below, out of the molten earth as out of the shaft of a mine. Art thou ready, puny mortal, to take the final step . . .
J:[frightened] The final step?
KA: . . into the primordial fires of rebirth plummeting down into the flaming underground, into the bottomless abyss below the marge of consciousness where everything is seething bliss?
[STORM rages outside]
J: But I'm afraid! Afraid of becoming prey to my fantasies, of being sucked into the maelstrom of insanity.
KA: There is no other way there. Thou canst not expect of thy patients something thou thyself dost not dare. How canst thou hope to cast out demons thou knowst naught about? Therefore, ye must put aside thy dread, and enter the land of the ancestral dead not for thy patients' sake alone but also for thine own. For all ye now possess are one or two analytical theories of dubious value. From this day hence, speak with the authority of experience.
J: [rising from his desk, histrionically, to the heavens] For my patients then as well as myself. In Advent of this fateful year, I Carl Gustave Jung resolve upon the final step. Trembling with fear and holy dread, let me now dare open wide the gates past which men's steps ever flinching tread, and enter the ghostly land of the ancestral dead!
[Howling like a man falling off a precipice, J lets the pen fall from his hand as though the ground has given way beneath his feet. Strobes flash and the Latin chanting crescendos as EXIT KA]
J: Where am I?
[J is on the floor now feeling about like a blind man till he finds the edge of the imaginary wall, left, separating the slightly raised study from the previously darkened stage, left, which has suddenly become a whirling pool of light, as though he were on the edge of a crater-like abyss]
[ELIJAH and SALOME are seen standing in the center of the whirlpool of light, ELIJAH leading her on the end of his long gnarled staff]
J:Where am I?
ELIJAH:In the land of the dead!
SALOME:The nether world.
ELIJAH:On the crater edge of the cosmic abyss.
[ELIJAH wears the mask of a stern Old Testament prophet with a long white beard. Floor-length robes hide platform shoes which make him look larger than life. The mask should disguise and considerably lower the voice of the actor]
[SALOME is veiled so that only her opaque, blind eyes are visible, and she speaks with TONI's voice but in an otherworldly, spectral tone, a voice with a ring of dazzling ambiguity, seductive and fatal. She is a bare-footed, nearly naked, young girl, wearing finger cymbals. Around her neck she carries a fat, black SNAKE, which she caresses seductively and manipulates as realistically as possible]
J:[afraid to move, feeling around the crater edge of the abyss] Who are you?
ELIJAH:[sternly] I am Elijah.
J: The Old Testament prophet?
SAL:[dancing, working her finger cymbals] And I am Salome of the seven veils.
[Astounded, J walks through the wall out into the abyss, stage left]
J: Salome and Elijah? What a strange couple!
ELIJAH: We have been together from all eternity.
[SALOME and her black snake, display an unmistakable fondness for J. And as Salome dances seductively, fondling her snake and making erotic overtures toward J, who is distinctly suspicious, even frightened, for she and her snake are ratherobscene, J makes every effort to keep ELIJAH between them]
J:But why an Old Testament prophet?
ELIJAH:Hast thou forgotten that thy father was a clergyman?
J: But that explains nothing at all.
ELIJAH:Hast thou forgotten that thy Master is a Jew?
J:My master? A Jew? What's this a riddle?
ELIJAH:Like an Old Testament prophet, thy master undertook to overthrow the false gods, to rip the veils away, exposing mercilessly the fetid rottenness and hypocrisy of the contemporary psyche.
J: You're quoting me! Those are my own words, my own Freudian panegyric. But I'm through with Freud; tell me something I don't already know! What do you signify? And why Salome, a woman young enough to be your grand daughter? Why are you together?
ELIJAH: Was it not thine own heretical theory that incest was no longer to be taken literally but as a symbol of higher ideas? Was it not this that set thy master against thee?
SAL:The connection between an older lecher and a youngish slut like me should appear perfectly natural to thee.
ELIJAH:In dream wanderings through deepest waters one frequently encounters old men accompanied by femme fatales young enough to be their daughters.
J:But I'm not dreaming; I'm wide awake!
ELIJAH:Examples of such couples may be found in many mythic tales as thou well knowest.
SAL: [in a thick New York accent, still dancing, to the rhythm of finger
cymbals] Old Simon Magus picked up a shicksa,
in a brothel--a bauble, a toy, a reincarnation of Helen of Troy. But he's much too old to screw so he licksa.
ELIJAH: And what about Klingor and Kundry? Lao-tzu and his dancing girl?
SALOME:Siggy Freud and his wife's younger sister?
J: [laughing] Yes, she appreciated the old man. He once told me he slept with her.
SAL:And what about thy psychotic patient and thee? Let him without sin, cast the first stone, Mister!
J: [ironically] And the snake? Freudian, no doubt. A phallic symbol. Of course!
SAL: Hast thou noticed, it hast thine eyes? I'm blind as a bat, but my snake hast thine eyes? What makest thou of that?
J:[to ELIJAH] All right I give up? Why is Salome blind? And why are her snakes eyes mine?
SAL: I'm blind because I do not see the meaning of things.
ELIJH:Without me, only through the eyes of instinct canst thou see. For I am the wise old man within thee. Have always been and always will be.
J:Now I see. Of course! You're the personification of Logos? And Salome's your feminine opposite Eros!
SAL: You might say we're intra-sexual.
ELIJAH:But such a definition would definitely be excessively intellectual? It is more meaningful to let us be what we are now! What we are now . . . [suddenly turning his mask around]
SAL:Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum! [producing huge kingfisher wings from out of the darkness]
ELIJAH:. . . or what we may yet become!
[SALOME helps ELIJAH don huge kingfisher wings with their characteristic colors, and he becomes PHILEMON]
[PHILEMON is a very benevolent-looking bald old man with white beard and whiskers and the horns of a bull, resembling as much as possible J's painting of him on the presently darkened bedroom wall. In addition to his staff, he carries draped over one arm seven, brightly colored veils with the kingfisher blue predominating and holds a ring of four keys, one of which he clutches as if he were about to open a lock. Though he is a winged spirit, he has a lame foot and limps]
SAL:Tataaaaaa! The Kingfisher god, Philemon, the old wise guy, limping messenger from lake and sky.
PHIL:I am Philemon.
SAL: Elijah with wings.
PHIL:The loving one, the Halcyon spirit, wisdom's jester, holy fool.
SAL:Lame of foot, and limp of tool.
PHIL: I am the spiritual aspect or "meaning;" I give meaning to the void; he whom thou looked for, found, and tragically lost in Freud.
PHIL:I am the limping messenger from the lake, physically lame and dependent
on the halcyon wings of spirit.I represent
paternal wisdom, a guiding light. And have come to bring home to thee a crucial insight: there are things in thee which thou dost not produce . . .
SAL:. . .but which produce themselves. Sometimes indiscreetly?
J: Like you? [to PHIL] I disassociate myself from her completely.
PHIL: No, that thou canst not do. Ye must try on the contrary to gain power over her; lest she gain power over thee.
SAL: I represent forces which are not thyself.
J:And say things which I never thought.
SAL:[holding out her snake and dancing] Thoughts are like animals in a forest!
PHIL:[flapping his Kingfisher wings] Birds in the air!
SAL:When ye see animals in a forest, or birds in the air . . .
PHIL:. . . ye do not think ye made them or art responsible for them.
PHIL and SAL:We come to teach thee psychic objectivity, the reality of the psyche and its collectivity.
PHIL:There is something in thee which in the end can say things thou dost not know.
J:[to SAL] And certainly don't intend.
PHIL:Things which may even be deliberately directed against thee.
[SAL and her snake direct malevolent gestures at J as the storm breaks. Thunder and lightning]
PHIL:Listen! Pay heed! I am your psychogogue, your teacher, Your Guru!
J:But most people have a living Guru.
PHIL:As ye had Freud, that's true. But there are the very lucky few who have a spirit teacher too.
J: [as SALOME and her snake envelop him] If you don't mind, I'd prefer a living Guru who can disentangle me from these involuntary creations of my infernal imagination.
SAL: Not a very flattering way to speak to one's psychogogue, now is it? What if Dante had spoken so to Virgil on THEIR otherworldly visit?
[A lightning flash and thunder as PHIL, his feelings hurt, takes SAL by the arm and begins to move away]
J: Wait! Wait! All right! All right! I'm listening.
PHIL: Harken! I begin with sexuality. First, understand that sexuality which ye now profess to disdain is not something ye possess and contain.
SAL: On the contrary, [manipulating her snake obscenely] WE contain and possess you.
PHIL:The daemon of sexuality ascendeth as a serpent, half human desire.
The serpent is a whore, she wantoneth with the devil,
a mischievous tyrant and tormentor, ever seducing to evilest revel.
[SALOME works her finger cymbals and dances seductively but always out of the reach of J's grasp]
PHIL: The serpent willeth it not, they say, yet she must be of use to
thee. Mind, she fleeth thy grasp, thus showing thee the way,
with human wits alone ye could not find.
J: Wait! Wait! Let me write this down!
[J runs through an imaginary wall back into the study and begins writing and sketching in his Black Book followed by SALOME who poses obscenely before the desk with her snake as PHILEMON remains in the whirlpool, left]
J: I can't draw you; you're obscene! What is a good and wise old sage like Philemon doing with a horny little vixen like you? [to PHIL] Where's your faithful old wife, Baucis?
PHIL:One might ask the same of thee?
[Dropping the seven veils in the whirlpool, EXIT PHILEMON, left]
J:No, don't go! Don't leave me here alone with this obscene . . .
SALOME: Hush silly. I won't eat you. After all, your wife's in the next room. Don't make a scene!
J: Emma? My poor Emma. I'm killing her just as sure as Faust killed Baucis? What am I doing?
SAL:Drawing me, presumably. [posing obscenely]
J:[disgustedly] This has nothing to do with science. Nothing at all.
SAL:You're right about that, old fart! To hell with science! [posing obscenely] This is calendar art!
J: But I'm a scientist not a pornographer!
SAL:You're an artist, a mantic arts practitioner.
J:That's what the Freudians call me. Anything but a scientist. Jung the wizard, the witch doctor, curing his patients by dancing round a wastebasket fire.
SALOME: Am I a liar? You said yourself this isn't science. What then can it be but Art!
J: [scornfully] I see, those are the only two alternatives in the world are they? That's the way a woman's mind works doesn't it? Typical!
[J turns with some effort from the figure of SALOME and continues writing in the BLACK BOOK]
SALOME: [admiringly over his shoulder] This is certainly art! No doubt about it. A prose poem for a tart. A bit rough at the moment, professionally speaking, but certainly inspired, direct from the heart.
[J catches her roughly by the arm as KNOCKING is heard off stage]
J:This has nothing to do with art, I tell you! It's science!
SALOME: The fact is you're writing love letters to me, a part of yourself with a different viewpoint from your conscious self, don't you see?
[KNOCKING off stage]
J: [sarcastically] Thank you Doctor Salome! I'm in analysis with a trollop. To hell with this.
[J tries to stop his hand from writing]
SAL:There's an invisible presence compelling you to write, despite what you wish.
[J struggles not to write, but it is as though the pen wont leave his hand. Though he tries to put it down, it draws his hand back to the BLACK BOOK]
PHIL: [off stage voice booming] If thou dost not write, there will not be any escape from her intrigues. Can ye not see? Ye must write everything down very carefully.
SALOME:Go ahead! Write down what you're thinking!
[continued KNOCKING off stage]
SAL: Write down, "I'd sure like to screw my psychotic little patient again!" After all, it's what you're thinking, aren't you? [shaking her head] You men!
J: [triumphant] Ah ha! I thought I recognized your voice. So my beautiful patient, my talented psychopath, whose poems surpass even the great Goethe's, our transference has become so strong, you've become a living figure in my psyche, have you?
SAL: Oh, quite the contrary. You've succumbed to me through Toni, not to her through me. Through your little psychopathic screw I've--boldly and without warning--insinuated myself in you. Your patient as such is fortuitous merely, a poor accidental creature whose function is simply to engage the mechanism of transference, a blank page on which to project me.
J: Either way, it's over. I'm through with Toni, with all women save Emma, and therefore with you!
SAL:[temptingly] No, you'll never be through with me. The world is full of Tonies.
J:I refuse to be the victim of an adoring band of love struck Amazons.
SAL: Let's face it, you just need to screw something besides your wife now and then. What's the harm? It's your due!
J:[reaching into the desk drawer and bringing out a loaded revolver, yelling at the top of his voice] I will not accept the banal tyranny of my sexual instincts! It's an unnecessary humiliation. I have a wife, five children, a practice, I . . .
SAL: That's right, the only way you'll ever be completely rid of the likes of me is to kill yourself. But taking your life wouldn't be much comfort to the kids and wife. Why not write an erotic poem instead, on, say, the finer points of giving head?
J:I see what you're doing. What you say is full of the deepest cunning. You're trying to seduce me into believing I'm a misunderstood artist, the way Toni and her artistic friends did my colleague Ricklin.
SAL:If, as you choose to believe, the poems of a twenty-three year old, love-sick, borderline psychopath rival those of the great Goethe; imagine the poems a middle-aged, love-sick, borderline psychoanalyst could write?
J:Ricklin neglected his family and his psychiatric work, took to drinking and went to seed. You're trying to destroy me the same way, my wife, my children, my patients and my integrity as a scientist.
SAL:You're simply manifesting again your negative feelings toward women. To you, as to so many other men, we're all snakes in the grass under the skin, rising out of the primal ooze, instinctively infested with the slimy tentacles of sin and monstrous depravity.
[MUSIC, and SALOME begins her dance of the seven veils. However, instead of discarding veil after veil, she performs a strip-tease in reverse, donning veil after veil throughout the dance]
Your ingrained distrust of demonic cunning in female guise--a cunning which can utterly ruin a man otherwise wise, prevents you from accepting the union, since the birth of order out of chaos, of the old man and the younger woman--the fusion of logos and eros.
Though bold and reckless in the realm of ideas, you're far from adventurous in daily life. Wracked with conscience and bourgeois fears of professional scandal and domestic strife, you'd rather suffer yourself than betray your wife.
But though for a long time you've refused to acknowledge this painful dilemma, your diffidence, your fear of being abused by the femme fatale to betray your Emma was tamed by the shy virginity of an adoring young patient named Toni.
A woman who owed her spiritual life to you, who looked up to you as
a demigod, and who radiated that nymph like sensuality
of girls who live on the edge of sanity.
A young, attractive, well educated protégé who, aching to share your imaginative flights, placed herself deliberately in harm's way, absorbed your every word with passionate delight.
When all this beckoned, it was no surprise that you found it increasingly hard to resist her, that before long you should recognize this touching, enticingly vulnerable creature to be your very soul, and one fine summer day reluctantly gave your heart away.
[SALOME dons the seventh veil and, removing her face veil and opaque eyes, stands before J as TONI dressed in her kingfisher blue gown as the MUSIC CEASES]
TONI: [calmly removing the revolver from J's limp hand as from a sleepwalker and returning it to the desk drawer] You're all right now? Everything's going to be fine.
J:[as though waking from a dream] Where am I? Who am I?
TONI:You're Carl Gustave Jung, the world-famous psychoanalyst. You have a medical diploma from a Swiss University, dozens of patients who need your help. You have a wife and five children. You live at 228 Seestrasse in Kusnacht.
J:And who are you?
TONI:Don't you recognize me? I've been sick--I've had a complete relapse, but do I look so changed that you can't recognize me?
J:Toni? Is it really you? You're not a dream?
TONI:No not a dream.
J:You've come back to me?
TONI:Yes, Emma sent me. She said you need me, that she can do nothing for you.
J:[uncomprehending] Emma? My wife?
TONI:She said we need each other. That you're having a nervous breakdown, seeing visions, writing mad things in your notebook, mad, incomprehensible things.
J:[as if by rote] No, I'm not mad! I have a wife and five children. And I live at 228 Seestrasse in Kusnacht. I have a medical degree from a Swiss university and dozens of patients depending on me . . .
TONI:And you've written a marvelous book called SYMBOLS OF TRANSFORMATION, a unique and pioneering work.
J:Yes with your invaluable help. And now I'm writing down my experiences in the underworld, and with your help . . .
TONI:[thumbing through his notebook] Why this isn't madness; it's poetry!
And this drawing . . . How beautiful . . . you're an
artist, a great artist. My trivial poems are nothing compared to this.
J: No, this is neither madness, [waving the black book] nor is it poetry. It is, instead, a voyage of discovery, ambiguous, dangerous, full of mystery.
J: And you, my darling, are the promised land to which I can always return, assuring me that I'm an actually existing man, an ordinary person, not merely a blank page [tearing some pages out of the BLACK BOOK and tossing them into the air] whirling about like my maddest patients in the winds of spiritual rage.
[Toni gathers up the discarded pages]
J: A point of support in "this world," my tower of strength, my link to social reality. For I mean to meet life's obligations and fulfill its profoundest demands to my marriage, my family and my profession. And like Ariadne you'll help me thread my way out of the labyrinth of unconscious aberration into the conscious light of day, the eternal way to true salvation, to wholeness and selfless individuality.
TONI:You are Carl Gustave Jung! You have a medical degree from a Swiss University!
J:And dozens of patients depending on me.
TONI:You have a wife and five children, and live at 228 Seestrasse in Kusnacht.
J:And I have my Toni. And my Emma sent you to me.
[They kiss tenderly; the storm has abated, and EMMA, her shawl over her head, appears standing in the windy garden over the little stone village]
EMMA:There are plenty of pebbles on the beach, they say, uncountable fish in the sea. No need to continue this domestic charade--Carl's acknowledged infidelity. Divorce! Separation at the very least! A resolution of the marital dilemma! For others perhaps, but not for me. For others perhaps, but not for Emma.
l956. The tower. Evening of the same day.
At rise, the stage is only partially lighted by an open fire on the hearth and an old oil lamp hanging over J's reading chair. He snores quietly his glasses down on his nose, a detective novel open in his lap, an empty bottle of good wine on a small table beside him, and an empty wine glass.
TONI, illuminated by her Special, is seated at the dining table which is set for three rather elaborately with candle sticks and guttering candles. An empty wine bottle and remnants of a feast remain, but only J's plate has been used, and the women's wine glasses have full pours in them.
EMMA is pacing the floor, wringing her hands, followed by her Special.
EMMA: I'm sorry, I just don't understand. Carl announces at dinner that he's planning to kill himself, and you're pleased?
TONI: Why not? We'll all be together again like old times. Without this invisibility business between us. [dreamily] Ah, just imagine--Carl all young and beautiful again. Not that he isn't now--beautiful I mean. Even in those smelly, ersatz slippers.
EMMA:How can you take it so lightly?
TONI: I've been dead longer than you. Oh Emma, be honest with yourself. You're only concern is the children. They're all grown up now; he's only a burden to them.
EMMA:Easy for you to say; you've never had any. Anyway, the world still needs him even if the children don't.
TONI:You said yourself he's done nothing but sculpt and make a nuisance of himself since the funeral. Still, perhaps you're right; there is that book on UFO's I'd like to see him write.
EMMA:Nonsense! He owes the world an autobiography not a book on flying saucers. I've been after him to start one for years.
TONI:Autobiographies are such a bore. UFO's now . . . Anyway, not to worry. Carl isn't the kind to kill himself.
EMMA:[frustrated] The man stands up at dinner, drinks a toast to his death, promises to join us in the hereafter come morning, and you . . . Oh I give up.
TONI:Well, I certainly can't imagine him hanging himself, can you? And
you verified, Spirit Express, his pistol's still in his
desk drawer at Kusnacht.
EMMA:There's always the shotgun.
TONI: Yuk! Think of the mess! Those magnificent old brains of Carl's splattered all over the walls. Surely, he'd be more considerate than that.
EMMA:There's always poison. The garden shed's full of insecticides.
TONI:What do you suggest? Tossing the shotgun into the lake and feeding the fishes weed killer? What's the worst possible scenario anyway? "Three little ghost are we? Haunting our tower through eternity?"
EMMA:If you think Carl's going to hang around haunting a dilapidated old tower on a provincial Swiss lake . . . You heard his toast--"to the solar systems of the psyche, entire galaxies of the spirit!"
TONI:Well, if that's the case, I have no worldly attachments tying me down. [teasing] Now you on the other hand, Momma Jung .
EMMA:I knew it! You two had it planned all along? Off together to some entirely different galaxy while I . . .
TONI:[embracing EMMA] Oh darling, I'm only teasing. We'd never desert you. We're a team, remember! Have been for forty years. Besides, I couldn't imagine leaving Bollingen. At least not permanently. Perhaps when he's finished his explorations we can all reincarnate together and . . .
EMMA:Oh Toni, first flying saucers, and now reincarnation. Really!
TONI:Remember that last weekend you spent together down here? Carl was chopping wood beside the lake and stopped to watch a mama kingfisher teaching her young to dive and fish among the reeds. You were already ill and said something about hoping if there was anything to reincarnation, this would be the last time you'd have to go round.
EMMA:Why not? I've had a full life, children grand children . . .
TONI:Exactly! And Carl agreed with you. At first, anyway. But remember what he said after thinking it over for a bit?
EMMA: [transported back in memory, dreamily] He laid the ax aside and looking all around him in silence, said very seriously, "No, I'm wrong. If I might have Bollingen, I would be willing to come again." And he wiped his brow and laughed. "As a baby kingfisher perhaps, eh Momma?"
TONI: A kingfisher with her nest in the reeds beyond the courtyard wall. Yes, that would suit me just fine. God, I'll never forget that first evening he carried me over the threshold--a spray of wild flowers for my bridal bouquet. His wife sans benefit of matrimony he called me . . . [her hand to her mouth] Oh, darling, forgive me! How thoughtless! This must be painful for you. I . . .
EMMA:[smiling ruefully] Nonsense. I was over all that jealousy business long before you died. You must have known that. What troubles me is your having such fond memories of the shabby way he treated you!
TONI:Oh well, in terms of eternity . . .
[J snorts and chortles in his sleep]
EMMA:Well, he's still alive apparently. I'd certainly have preferred his drinking himself to death to a messy shooting in the morning.
TONI:You're not still fretting over that? He was drunk, dramatizing himself again, a sentimental old man in the grip of his inferior anima. Come morning, he'll have forgotten all about it.
EMMA:Let's hope so. In the meantime, perhaps we should help him up to bed. His weary old bones in that chair all night . . .
TONI:He's much to heavy. We'd have to materialize first, and regulations . . .
EMMA:Oh bother regulations! He'll think he's dreaming.
TONI:Well . . . Why not?
TONI: Together now!
EMMA AND TONI: Abra Kadabra! One! Two! Three!
[the women close their eyes and stiffen for a moment as their SPECIALS are extinguished]
TONI:[opening one eye] You there?
EMMA:Think so. Let's see.
[EMMA shakes J awake]
J:[groggily] Emma? [startled] Emma, is it really you?
EMMA:Hush! You're only dreaming.
[EMMA helps the nearly comatose J upstairs like a sleepwalker, staggering a bit on the stair until TONI, who carries the oil lamp, comes to her aid]
J:[noticing TONI for the first time] Ah, this is much better than dreaming of dreary old Agatha.
EMMA:[disgusted] Agatha? I don't remember any Agatha in his life.
TONI:[smiling] Christie? The writer? Author of his murder mystery?
J: [drunkenly] Two of you at once? Well, well, well . . . how delightful! How un-Swiss! This calls for a drink!
[J downs one of the wine glasses snatches from the table as they pass and, hurrying up the stairs, quickly begins drunkenly removing his trousers]
J:Don't worry, I'm still a satyr. In dreams at least. I'll be right back. Give you two modest little virgins time to undress and slip under the covers, eh? [rubbing his hands together] Won't need a foot warmer tonight, no sir!
[J ducks into the water closet]
TONI:[giggling] We'd better get out while the getting's good.
[Leaving the lamp, the women hurry downstairs into the dimly fire lit kitchen where they stiffen and close their eyes]
TOGETHER:Kadabra abra, Three! Two! One!
[They are immediately illuminated by their Specials and resume their places at table]
TONI:[amused] The old satyr . . . Both of us at once? Can you imagine?
EMMA:[shocked] In the same bed?
TONI:[amused] Wherever would a proper Swiss gentleman get such indecent notions?
EMMA:[mortified] Certainly not from Agatha Christie. It's those American Amazons at the institute; they're as bad as the French.
[ENTER J from the upstairs WC in his nightshirt]
J:[looking disappointedly under the bedclothes, grumbling drunkenly] That's the way it is with dreams. Just when they get exciting, you wake up to a bladder that needs emptying. Oh well
[J, kneeling before the bed, quickly mumbles some prayers]
TONI:[giggling] If regulations allowed . . .
EMMA:Why you evil little scubas, you!
TONI:Unfortunately incubi and sucubi went out with the middle ages.
EMMA:[facetiously] These modern regulations!
TONI: Ah, for a return to the good old days.
[In the meantime J crosses himself and, crawling under the covers, blows out the lamp. Only the women's specials and firelight illuminate the scene]
TONI: I'm just teasing, of course. Sex is one attachment to life I purged long before death . . .
EMMA:Carl on the other hand . . . Never mind. Perhaps we should clear the table and do the dishes.
TONI:Still the proper Swiss hausfrau are we? What about the ultimate Fem Lib? Take advantage, Emma darling!
EMMA:[begins to clear away J's dirty dishes] We'll just have to stretch
regulations a bit. No harm done, He'll simply think he
did them himself.
TONI:We keep making fun of him of course, but really it's quite touching. Setting three places and drinking a toast to joining us shortly. Those were genuine tears, not just old age and too much wine. You were as moved as I, admit it!
EMMA:[mimicking J again] "I drink to my beloved Emma, wife and mother extraordiaire. And to my darling Toni, my hetaera and femme inspiratrice!" [petulantly] Wife and mother! Wife and mother! It's so damned unglamorous!
TONI:Not from my point of view.
EMMA:You're right. I'd never have willingly traded places with you, even though sometimes I wished just for a night or two . . . [a far away look in her eye]
TONI:We were neither of us ever very happy with our "arrangement," were we?
EMMA:The only happy one was Carl. Had it all his own way. Never imagined that we . . .
TONI:Not at least before that night . . . Remember?
EMMA:[growing excitement] That one glorious night when both of us let him have it?
TONI:[uppercutting the air several times] Pow! Pow! Pow! God, what a magnificent evening!
EMMA:The first and last time he ever had us over together for dinner. You don't suppose this evening he might have been . . .
TONI:. . . reminiscing? About one of the worst verbal lashings a man ever suffered at the hands of a wife and mistress? Not unless he's a masochist.
EMMA: But isn't this the same sauce he made that night--sixteen ingredients?
TONI:[looking at one of the empty wine bottles] And the same wine, different vintages of course.
EMMA: And you were wearing that very dress! God, I'd give anything to relive that night . . .
TONI:Despite the pain , the tears, the . . .
EMMA: You don't suppose regulations would permit . . .
TONI:[jumping into EMMA's chair] I was sitting here, and you . .
EMMA:[plopping into TONI's chair] Here! Yes lake trout with sixteen ingredients just like tonight.
TONI:And his famous sun downer aperitif, and the same wine.
EMMA: I remember it as though it were yesterday. As usual there was barely any talk at all with dinner,
TONI: Save for grunt like mummers of appreciation from the chef over his own cooking. [evilly] Ha, but after supper. . .
EMMA:We'd both deliberately drunk much much more than usual.
TONI:And when the lord and master lit his big Brazilian cigar and began pontificating on the compatibility of our little menage . . .
[ENTER J, a fifty year old, through an imaginary wall. He is informally dressed for dinner in tweed jacket, vest and knickers and is smoking a fat Brazilian cigar]
TONI:. . . and how one day the world would be as grateful to us as he was, since it was out of our "extraordinarily compatible relationship" that his anima animus theory emerged.
[The lights begin to change as J takes his place at the table, and segue into the next scene]
1925.The tower. Evening.
J at fifty is a robust, mercurial man. His rimless spectacles, shorn hair, and austere countenance make him resemble more a Prussian military officer than the world-famous analyst he has become. More mellow, less intense, more active, less neurotic than he was in the first act, he smokes his cigar with self-evident enjoyment, exuding tremendous reassurance, vociferously bawling commands at the women or bursting into roars of boisterous laughter. Standing at table with thumb hooked in vest, he clinks his spoon against his glass]
J: Ahem, ahem! I have gathered us here together tonight to thank you, ladies, not only for all your help in preparing for my second trip to Africa, but also as the world will some day thank you, Emma, for sticking by your husband through those terrible years of my descent into the unconscious, and you, Toni, for providing me with the Ariadne thread out of labyrinth.
[The women respond negatively, raising eyebrows at each other]
J:Having, with your help and understanding, endured the perils of my quasi psychotic experience, I have emerged stronger and more autonomous than ever. No longer the disciple and understudy of Freud, I am now the herald of my own doctrine of the collective unconscious and the reality of the soul--the lofty spirituality of which it seems is "just the thing" for rich Americans and Britons repelled by the sexual crudities of Freudian analysis. [guffawing]
[The women, begrudgingly clap]
J:All my work, all my creative activity, has come from those initial fantasies and dreams which began almost a dozen years ago with the onset of the insanity of World War and only finally abated with the signing of the armistice in 1918, [guffawing]--not only the armistice between the nations of Europe but also between two women who together complement the double nature of the universal man of genius who requires both earth-mother-wife and eros-winged companion. And therefore on this the occasion of the first anniversary of the construction of my stone tower here at Bollingen, I drink to you, Emma, my official wife and mother of my children, and to you, Toni, my eros-winged hetaera and femme inspiratrice.
TONI: [sarcastically to EMMA, but deliberately directing her sarcasm at J] And how does it feel, pray tell, to be the earth-mother-wife complement of a universal man of genius?
EMMA: [equally sarcastically] A rather convenient theory, it seems to me, to justify the universal man of genius's sexual involvement with another woman?
TONI:Who "naturally" feels thoroughly fulfilled as the eros-winged hetaera and femme nspiratrice of the universal man of genius, don't you know?
EMMA: And certainly one would never expect it to occur to a double-natured man of genius that earth-mother-wife. . .
TONI: . . . or eros-winged hetaera, god forbid . . .
EMMA: . . . might just possibly be tired of revolving like planets in the orbits prescribed by some self-proclaimed, so-called universal genius's, solipsistic, double nature.
[J, uncomfortably amused, sits down and puffs on his big Brazilian cigar]
TONI: [standing, and a bit tipsily striking her wine glass a few times with a butter knife before pointing at J] You take great pride in having managed to maintain for more than a decade now this complex triangle of which you form the apex!
EMMA:[also standing to make a speech] It's been convenient enough for you! But . . .
TONI:. . . till now we 've submitted without much fussing to your imperious typecasting.
EMMA: Our occasional rebellions were put down rather easily in the past.
TONI:Attributable, no doubt, to your self-proclaimed prowess as a lover.
J: [suddenly realizing an incipient revolution in progress, tries to joke] I'm counting on both of you (and a few other ladies, I hesitate to add), to see to it that this salient sexual talent of mine doesn't escape future biographers.
[J guffaws and drinks, confident he has put down the revolt]
TONI: [not to be deflected from her rehearsed harangue] You relish the devotion of two quite individualistic women, and our willingness to settle for half of you . . .
J:[very cocky] Half? How about a third? A fourth?A woman comes to me one hour, and I'm her brother. An hour later another comes, and I'm her lover. Another and I'm her father or even her great grand mother. [laughing] Honestly, if a delegation came to me tomorrow and offered to crown me King of Hearts, I would seriously consider whether I had the right to refuse the role.
EMMA: [undeterred] Nonetheless, you haven't quite managed to convince us our situation is ideal.
TONI: But as subservient and servile as we were, trying to fit the roles assigned by you . . .
EMMA:. . . ultimately neither of us is happy with our fate!
TONI: We feel trapped in a situation you declare to be "natural"
EMMA:. . . but does violence to the nature of both of us.
J:Hold on! Hold on! This is rehearsed. You sound like you're reading a script in a play--some dreary domestic farce.
EMMA:Do we, now? Well, perhaps the years we've spent in analysis together--at your insistence--hasn't been a total waste.
TONI: Not that it's totally eased our rivalry; the conflicts between us are too deep-seated to be simply talked away.
EMMA: However, we've come to some definite conclusions about our relationship.
TONI:The role of official mistress might have its glamorous aspects in the French or British upper classes, but in bourgeois Zurich of the 1920's my social status is trying, to say the least.
EMMA:Officially betrayed wife is not exactly an estimable social position either.
J:So that's why you insisted we have dinner here at Bollingen instead of Kusnacht?
EMMA:The fact is, this entire affair might have been considerably less troublesome if you hadn't insisted on having your official mistress as a regular dinner guest.
J:Would you rather we reverted back to before my breakdown, when we clandestinely . . . ? You sent her back to me yourself, remember! We all agreed we detested the bourgeois hypocrisy of clandestine affairs!
TONI: [tapping her glass, mimicking J] "Ahem, ahem! The pre-requisite for a good marriage is the man's license to be unfaithful. In China, for instance, it is the most gracious duty of a good wife to be helpful in developing a beautiful and open arrangement."
EMMA:[mimicking J] "The girl who enters the family at the husband's wish subordinates herself modestly to the wife as a younger sister. She must not take it upon herself to supplant the mistress of the house, for that would mean disorder and lead to untenable relationships."
J: [defensively] Of course it's a difficult and delicate matter, as I've always maintained, requiring tact on the part of all concerned. But under favorable circumstances . . .
EMMA:Favorable circumstances, my foot! The truth is, no matter how I tried to make the family accept her . . .
TONI: . . . the children show little sympathy for their dear "Aunt Toni" and tease me unmercifully.
J:So you planned to get me up here alone without eavesdropping children and servants to harangue me with your rehearsed revolt. Is that it?
TONI:Disappointed? Hoped we were arranging something kinky as a going away present?
J:[shocked] Toni, you're drunk!
EMMA:[equally shocked] Yes, my dear. We've had enough wine. It's time to say our piece.
TONI:[drunkenly] I don't tell you how much to drink in your home, and would appreciate your not telling me in mine!
EMMA:[even more shocked] Yours? This is YOUR home? You consider me the guest?
TONI:You are mistress at Kusnacht. Here at Bollingen I am mistress! [smiling and hiccuping] No pun intended.
EMMA: [refusing to be sidetracked] [to J] She's right! The houses may be less than twenty miles apart, but they represent two different worlds. And though I may not have the courage to tell you the way I feel in my own home, here . . .
TONI:Tell him, Earth-mother-wifey! Tell him!
EMMA:When you first reacted to the pain you were causing me and the children with your incipient madness, I had no choice but to allow the affair to continue. Toni could do for you something I apparently could not. Since your recovery, however, you've managed very conveniently to smother any guilt you might have once felt, insisting on your right to amplify your life and . . .
TONI:. . . and, as our affair went on without being legitimized, try as I might to be content in the role of the inspirational woman, something in me rebelled, and . . .
EMMA: . . . she began demanding that I divorce you and allow you to marry her.
J:[to Toni] Marry you? But you insisted from the start you didn't want to marry!
EMMA:You heard only what you wanted to! The great psychologist! How can you possibly know so little about women?
TONI:Your defenses were too formidable; I couldn't even talk to you about it. If I even hinted, you'd simply laugh at me. And so my offensive took the form of a massive direct, forceful and gauche interference in your family life, . . .
EMMA: . . . which I could not ignore and to which the children reacted by becoming ever more hostile and mocking toward "Aunt Toni."
TONI:Apparently the only one unaware of what was happening was you, EMMA: . . . insulated as you were by a convenient psychological theory designed specifically to favor your own digestion and peace of mind!
TONI: . . . manipulating the facts to make them fit your precious doctrine, reducing people to amorphous, vapid "functionaries" and parading it as character enrichment.
[Toni is now weeping into her handkerchief]
J: [uncomfortably, trying to laugh it off, bowing to TONI] Forgive me, your highness. I went too far. I am apparently in error and will review my entire theory when I return from abroad. In the meantime . . .
EMMA:[abruptly] Too late; Toni's getting married.
TONI:I've found someone to marry me.
J:[disturbed but refusing to let on] [after a pregnant pause] So you've found someone to marry you. Congratulations! [to EMMA] To both of you! Who's the lucky fellow? Do I know him?
EMMA:Oh stop the cavalier act, Carl; I know you too well. You might fool Toni with your affected callousness but . . .
J:[very controlled] The fact is, I've seen this coming for some time. I suspected from the beginning she needed a poet in her life and would never rest content being the mistress of a mere scientist.
TONI:James is a businessman.
EMMA:[like a proud mother] A vice-president in the family firm.
J:A businessman? In the family firm? [laughing] So you're marrying your father after all.
EMMA:Oh for God's sake, can't you simply respond as a man sometimes instead of a bloody psychologist?
J:A businessman, a mediocrity! What a joke! The woman who stubbornly maintained that the fantasies rising from my unconscious were art . . . I expected a watercolorist at the very least! [laughing]
EMMA:In any case the wedding's in March!
J:Too bad! I'll be abroad at the time. [laughing sardonically] I might have given the bride away.
EMMA:[sighing] Ah, where is the Doctor Jung admiring patients and disciples experience--warm, patient, caring?
J:If she wants to opt for mediocrity what can I do? There are plenty of pebbles on the beach.
TONI: [composed] [sadly] Admittedly, you're a man of genius, Carl Gustave Jung. Next to you, the effete artists and university professors of Zurich seem rather anemic, I admit. But James is a dynamic, powerful man of the world, and . . . and he loves me.
J: Ah, but do you love him? What about when he finds out about us?
TONI: I'm completely frank about my relationship with you. I talk quite openly--indeed why shouldn't I?
J:[losing his composure] You know, sometimes you behave as though you were a reincarnated goddess. What do you expect me to do, get down on my knees and beg you not to do this? [to Emma] Or do you expect me to divorce you and marry her? Is that what you want? [angrily] Well, I refuse to submit to this obvious female demand for power.
EMMA:Demand for power? Demand for power? Why, if anyone is guilty of a demand for power . . .
TONI:[in complete control once more] [to EMMA] Never mind, darling. It's not his fault. Despite all his intensive self-analysis, he's never come to terms with his deepest emotions.
EMMA: [to J] She's right. Your emotional stiffness is felt by everyone, by your friends and colleagues as well as your family. And sooner or later your health will be affected . . . your heart
J: [slamming his fist down on the table] Enough! That's it! If you think I'm going to stand here and listen to a sermon on my health . . .
EMMA:[to Toni] That's typical. When confrontation threatens, he either resorts to bullying or runs off like a spoiled child.
J: [at the door to the courtyard] Congratulations! All three of you: the happy couple and the surrogate mother of the bride. I'm sure you'll all be very happy together.
[J storms out of the tower and through the courtyard to the moonlit lakefront as the tower lights fade on EMMA comforting the weeping TONI in her arms like mother and child]
[MUSIC BEGINS as J, picking up imaginary pebbles on the moonlit beach, scales them out over the lake]
J: Every evening in my sleep, like these pebbles, I plunge naked to
the bottom of the lake, where life is meaningful, dark and deep. But in
the morning when I awake, I put on the clothes of Dr. Jung and try as fully
as I can to live . . . a lie. My trip to Africa is not only what it seems
to be, a flight from friends and family, from patients and responsibility
and, alas, from my beautiful Toni. It's also a response to pressures building
not only inside of me but in all European society, another night sea journey,
into the heart of darkness, that primitive, wild and pagan, continent of
the unconscious. For the "blond beast" buried deep in the souls of civilized
men, unlike Mistuh Kurtz, is far from dead, turning in the abysmal lava
bed of our collective sleep,
threatening to explode once more, even more disastrously than before into the cataclysm of a second world war.
And, so no matter how I should have liked on bended knee to plead with Toni to marry me, I mustn't wear my heart upon my sleeve, Must steel myself and take my leave, knowing at least as well as she, that sooner or later, a wedded muse, is bound to lose her powers to inspire, and in the end we'd not only undo our own happiness but Emma's and the children's too, A woman needs children--needs to be a wife; If Toni doesn't marry now, she'll end up blaming me for the rest of her natural life.
[On bended knee, J finds a dead kingfisher on the lake shore]
J: What's this? A dead kingfisher, the body still warm and showing no external signs of injury.
[As J caresses the dead bird, lights very slowly fade to BLACKOUT and we hear EMMA and TONI conversing] [ EXIT J]
EMMA: And we didn't see you again for how long after that?
TONI:Not till several months after Carl's return from Africa. You weren't pleased with me as I recall.
[As EMMA and TONI continue to converse in darkness, ENTER HANS from the wings, left, under a moonlight Special]
[HANS is a middle-aged, old, bucolic type, comic in dress and manner and is carrying a sipping jug from which he guzzles copiously]
[As HANS weaves comically up to the tower, the sounds of dishes clinking in the kitchen sink are heard amid the women's conversation and florescent dishes seemingly fly in the air]
EMMA:I was furious. For your sake as well as my own. If you hadn't deliberately put off the wedding, if you'd been married before Carl's return from Africa as we'd planned . . .
[Surreptitiously peering into a window and seeing the flying dishes, HANS yowls in fright, and EXIT HANS running into the wings, left, as their Specials slowly reveal EMMA and TONI doing the dinner dishes at the sink by firelight]
EMMA:What was that?
[They listen for a second]
TONI:Probably the Kuhn's old hound dog baying at the moon.
EMMA: I'm surprised Hans hasn't been by this evening to check on Carl. I'm sure Bailey insisted . . .
TONI:Tomorrow morning more likely. He never comes up at night unless he's drinking; insists the tower's haunted.
EMMA:[straight-faced] Haunted? How ridiculous. As I was saying, if you'd been married before Carl's return from Africa as we'd planned TONI: Believe me, it was only my loyalty to you that prevented my phoning him the day he arrived back in Europe. And of course the hope that he might just phone me. It wasn't till the end of summer that I finally gave in and . . . Oh Emma, darling, I was desperate, irrational, so young and foolish.
EMMA: [sympathetically] And so in love. Ah, but who knows? It was meant to be. Anyway, that's all water over the dam now. Is there anything else for the larder?
[Having packed leftovers into a large dish, EXIT EMMA with the dish into the offstage annex]
TONI: [raising her voice a bit amid sounds of EMMA opening and closing doors in the annex larder] It wasn't till August that I found the courage to drive down here. [wrapping a dish of leftovers for the larder] Nearly midnight before I arrived.
[EXIT TONI into the annex with covered dish as the firelight fades away and knocking is heard off stage.]
[Suddenly, it is 1925 again, and a middle-aged J, suddenly sits up in bed and lights the lamp, grumbling as though awakened from a deep sleep by the knocking. He is barefooted and in his nightshirt]
J: I'm coming! I'm coming! Hold your horses!
[more knocking, as he quickly descends the stairs with the lamp and EXITs into the annex]
J:[shouting offstage] Who is it?
[MUSIC BEGINS amid offstage sounds of unbolting the door and ENTER J carrying TONI like a bride over a threshold. She is holding the lamp now, her head buried in J's chest as he carries her up to the bedroom and lays her down on his bed, blows out the lamp and lies down beside her in the moonlight as they embrace and kiss]
[TONI rises and, with back to the audience, removes her clothing in the dim moonlight as J sitting on the edge of the bed buries his face in the standing Toni's now nude belly]
TONI:[patting J's head, whispering] Don't cry, darling. It's not a dream. I'm back. Forever.
[They make love under the comforter on the bed as the light of the moon fades to BLACKOUT. After awhile, the sound of an approaching auto is heard offstage. It stops and then is heard pulling away again. TONI, lights the lamp dimly and, wearing J's nightshirt now, goes to the window, looks out for a moment and, returning to bed, watches J sleep as MUSIC CONTINUES]
TONI: There are plenty of pebbles on the beach, they say, uncountable fish in the sea. For others perhaps but not for me. For others perhaps but not for Toni.
[ENTER EMMA from upstage trees and stands on the beach looking up at the lighted window]
EMMA:Plenty of pebbles on the beach, uncountable fish in the sea. For others perhaps but not for Emma. For others perhaps but not for me.
[TONI blows out the lamp and BLACKOUT]
1956. The tower. Firelight comes up slowly and sounds of the larder door closing in the offstage annex.
TONI:[off stage] I never told you about that night. Too ashamed of myself, I guess.
EMMA:[offstage] Don't feel guilty. I never told you, but I knew all about it.
[ENTER EMMA from the annex illuminated by her special]
EMMA: I'm ashamed to admit it, but I was standing on the beach beneath your window that night.
[EMMA goes back to the dishes, and ENTER TONI from the annex under her Special and in her Kingfisher dress again]
TONI:I don't believe it?
EMMA:Don't know what possessed me. Wifely intuition I suppose. Anyway, when I saw your car in the drive, I fully intended to drive right back to Kusnacht. Instead, I parked in the trees and . . . I wasn't as young as you, but just as foolish.
TONI:And we foolishly managed to maintain this improbable triangle for almost thirty years?
EMMA:Forty! It's thirty years since Carl's return from Africa.
TONI:[sighing] Africa. How I've always yearned to seeAfrica. Kenya, Uganda, the Nile. How I envied Carl his stories. Every time he told them I felt the most intense deja vu, as if I had always known that world and was separated from it only by distance in time.
EMMA:[enthusiastically] The great game preserve of the Athi Plains, gigantic herds of animals to the very brink of the horizon: gazelle, antelope, gnu, zebra, warthog, giraffe . . .
TONI:. . . grazing, heads nodding, moving along the broad savanna like
a slow river, silently eating, giving birth, dying through
hundreds of millions of years.
[During the ensuing conversation, the fire dies and morning slowly begins to light up the set, outside and in. Simultaneously the women's Specials slowly fade away]
EMMA:I've never forgiven Carl for not taking us with him. It was the least he owed us after all those years of unselfish devotion.
TONI:Not so unselfish on my part. I owe my sanity to Carl, remember.
EMMA: No more than he owes his to you, the ungrateful beast. You deserved better than the role you settled for. And even that limited role was constantly contested by others.
TONI:How could he resist? All those suffering young women falling at the feet of the famous Swiss doctor.
EMMA:You're a much more forgiving spirit than I. Of course at that point I no longer cared; I had my children to worry about. Still, I have some experience with how much his philandering must have hurt you.
TONI: The truth is, we all suffered. All three of us quietly making the best of an all but intolerable situation.
EMMA:Nonsense! Carl prospered! His trips to Africa and America, his growing fame allowed him precious little time to worry about our happiness. Why if you and I hadn't had each other and the children . . .
TONI:[they embrace like sisters] You tried your best to make me feel part of the family, didn't you?
EMMA: Even so, your last years weren't exactly serene, drinking and smoking yourself to death the way you did.
TONI:My heart was broken. As the years went by and Carl needed me less and less, I didn't care anymore what liquor and cigarettes did to me. [sighing] There had been a time when we saw each other every day, when love illumined every hour we spent together.
EMMA:It wasn't that he ever stopped loving you; you mustn't think that. He was deeply affected by your death.
TONI:[sarcastically] Yes, he immediately burned all our letters, which wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I willed them to him.
EMMA:He thought it was what you'd want; you were always so shy of the limelight.
TONI:Nonsense, he burned them to protect you and the children, and rightly so. Hardly the sort of thing one wants one's children reading. It makes me blush just recalling some of my puerile forays into erotic verse.
EMMA:He always loved your poetry. Our Swiss Goethe he used to say.
TONI:Demontrating either a ridiculous overvaluation of my verse or a secret dislike of Goethe's. But isn't it amazing how from this perspective, all of it, even the pain, the suffering, all of it seems so . . . so . . .
TONI: No, that's not quite the word. And yet, in terms of eternity . . .
EMMA:. . ."inevitable" perhaps. It might have been different, but well . . . it just wasn't.
TONI:It was, however, the best we could manage at the time . . .
EMMA: . . . given who we were and what, and who and what everybody else was.
TONI:Just being part of it . . . Oh God, how I'd love to, ache to experience it all again, all of it, the pain as well as the joy .
EMMA:Oh come, Toni! Surely not the loneliness? The arthritis?
TONI:Yes, all of it! It was my life and nobody else's. And as painful as it may have seemed at times, it was mine, me. And now that we're dead, you know as well as I that we enjoyed living, no matter what happened to us, good and bad.
EMMA: Which is not to say that everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.
TONI:Certainly not, but from our perspective, here in the afterlife, even our most tragic moments somehow seem in tune with the celestial harmony.
EMMA:Ah, yes. Wonder what it's like to sit in a petal of the heavenly rose and . . .
TONI: That's just a poetic symbol Dante invented. Certainly you don't think . . .
EMMA: Well, why not? I mean, what exactly does happen after one finally outgrows one's earthly attachments? Do we go off to distant planets or galaxies as Carl seems to imagine, or what?
TONI:Your guess is as good as mine. We'll find out soon enough I suppose.
[During the ensuing conversation, bird song is heard offstage, and J begins to stir upstairs as morning lights up the stage. In his nightshirt, before a window, he stretches and breathes deeply, perhaps even exercising a bit before adjourning to the WC]
TONI:[at a window] Oh look, it's dawn already. We've talked the whole night through. Listen to the birds, Emma? How will we ever do without bird song?
EMMA: Have to settle for the music of the spheres I suppose.
TONI:But never again to see the sun rising over the trees . . .
EMMA: [playing the platonist] An imperfect shadow of the eternal light, nothing more.
TONI: Oh bother, Plato. He's such a bore. It's the very imperfection of life that's beautiful. [running out into the garden] Good morning imperfect world! Imperfect lake! Imperfect sky! Exciting reflection of dull perfection.
EMMA:[following TONI] Oh look, the roses have bloomed overnight.
[Overjoyed, the women recite a spontaneous litany]
TONI:Good morning imperfect rose, improbable summer rose,
EMMA:Imperfect shadow of absolute flower, grown in shadow of imperfect tower.
TONI:Garden variety Rose of Heaven, enfolded passion, chaplet of thorns.
TOGETHER: Mystic Rose, fragrance of heaven, daughters of Eden, of earth and air, gaze upon thy sightless beauty in our reflecting eyes--
TONI:unconscious nature's consciousness,
EMMA: creation'sl ooking glass,
[In the meantime, ENTER J from the WC in his old work clothes, trousers tucked into rubber boots. A towel folded over one arm like priest at the offertory, he holds a covered chamber pot aloft as he descends the stairs into the kitchen and the MUSIC CEASES]
J: [chanting] Introibo ad altare Dei. All right, all right, I know you're here. Might just as well show yourselves. I wasn't dreaming last night. [seeing the table tidied and the dishes done] Ah, ha! Know damn well I didn't do dishes in my condition.
[J goes out into the courtyard and digs in the garden briefly with a spade]
J: Ah, my darlings, you were beautiful last night--the first roses of summer! [sniffing the new roses and cultivating the soil around them] What must I do to make you show yourselves again, eh? Drink another bottle of wine for breakfast?
EMMA:I wish regulations allowed; I'd love to materialize for him the way we looked on our deathbeds.
TONI: The sixty year old arthritic who killed herself with drink and cigarettes?
EMMA: And the wasted cancer victim. Would serve him right!
J:[emptying the contents of the chamber pot into the garden] A little so and so to make the roses grow. Pah, I'm through with chamber pots forever. [tossing the empty chamber pot aside, intoning like a priest] Offerimus . . . [wrinkling his nose] . . cum odore suavitatis . . .
[J spades dirt over his mess, walks out of the courtyard to the lake shore and washes his hands and face in the lake and dries them with the towel]
J:[intoning] Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas . . .
[Three toots of a passing steamer are heard off stage and as J and the women wave, MUSIC STARTS]
J: [histrionically] I'm going to miss you lake. The waves of your steamers washing on theshore. The sun glistening on your surface. Nevermore. Without you I could never have lived at all, without your incomparable splendor, stretching away into the morning mist like the boundless reaches of collective unconsciousness. Freud likened his psychoanalysis to the arduous reclaiming of arable land from the sea, rather like annexing provinces of a dying God. But the ocean cannot be drained, the powers of God cannot be fathomed, much less can they be annexed. God knows, we've tried our best to murder him, dismember him, and bury him. But no, Friederich Nietzsche, God is not dead! Nor is he dying, Herr Doktor Freud! He's gone into hiding instead, somewhere between heaven and the void.
TONI:He's certainly in rare form this morning.
EMMA:For a man planning to kill himself!
J: So search where you will theologians. Astropologists dig up the sky, scour the mountain tops, the deserts, the oceans, Olympus, Valhalla, Oldavai. Shine your light where're you will, searching for father-pie-in-the-sky. These days, there's only one place the old troglodyte's likely to be found. And that's deep down underground in the subterranean regions of inner space.
No the gods aren't out there in space double parked in a quark; they're within us, in the collective unconscious of the race. And only when our scientists embark on space probes of the human soul, only then can we play our destined role as the light that comprehends the dark. For the soul without the mind is blind but without the soul, the mind's a cenotaph, an empty tomb. Only the mystical marriage of soul and mind gives birth to the holy child cradled in the psychic womb.
[J plants himself in the old chair beside the lake where he continues chiseling away on the tablet he was working on the previous evening, puffing on his pipe.]
J: Yes, I'm going to miss you lake, but I have to go. You see, since the funeral . . . I don't know . . . Ah, the ravages of time! I feel like an old car that's gone a hundred thousand miles or so but can't forget the horsepower it commanded in its prime.
TONI:[to J, as though he can hear her] Still plenty of horses left. Enough for another book or two anyway.
J:Why, used to be I could work round the clock. New bursts of creativity would assault me every hour. My brain virtually teemed with ideas as though the dove of inspiration were sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear. Exhaustion? Never a trace. Nowadays, I work three or four hours at most, and then only at a snail's pace.
EMMA:That's for sure! Whenever, I'd mention an autobiography, he'd . . .
J:How can I settle gracefully into a life that not only moves at the pace of a snail but requires frequent stopovers to rest him? My once erect figure now brittle and thin as a rail from recurring bouts of illness--new embolisms, intestinal fevers, liver ailments and the rest--requiring each time a longer and longer convalescence and uncountable medical tests. Even at my best, like now when I'm feeling just fine, everything I do, whether watching a cloud or cooking soup, is done on the edge of eternity. As though I'm doing it for the very last time.
EMMA:I still think we ought to hide the shotgun.
TONI: It's against regulations.
J: I'm on my last leg, by golly; I don't even feel up to planting my patch of black soil outback of the house. And the sight of weeds sprouting there only makes me melancholy. My daily routine is dictated by my doctors. Wine only in moderation. Tobacco completely forbidden! Pah, holding on to an extinguished pipe, carrying it around like some ritual object, fondling it and sucking in cold, tobacco scented air with my declining lung power is fine back in Kusnacht, but here in my tower . . .
[He puffs defiantly]
EMMA:[waving away the smoke, facetiously] I know! He's planning to smoke himself to death.
J:[puffing contentedly] Pah, a little tobacco helps one to concentrate. Besides, sacrifice puts me in a terrible state. What do the gods expect without the soothing incense? What would they do without our burnt offerings?
EMMA:Burnt offerings? He's not planning to incinerate himself?
TONI:[laughing] Like a buddhist monk? Oh Emma!
EMMA:We could at least hide the kitchen matches.
J:The older I become, the more in doubt about myself I am. And coming from a man who's spent such a vast amount of time investigating his psyche, that's tantamount to an admission of failure. But you see, I'm both disappointed and not disappointed in me. I can't pass any final judgment on myself. Alas, I observe me here in Bollingen--over eight decades of my life have come to pass--and I must admit to having found, either outside myself or within, no plain answer to my fate--certainly nothing very profound.
TONI:Nothing profound? Nothing profound? The greatest psychologist of the age . . .
EMMA:Never mind. I find this newly found modesty very becoming.
J:The more I try to pontificate, the more I realize my inadequacy. I don't have a window on eternity. I don't pretend to understand the worth of this temporary projection here on earth of my permanent self that exists elsewhere or perhaps even everywhere. The mysteries of death and rebirth surpass all understanding. But while the man who lives believing his soul will not survive the grave contradicts the instincts of all mankind; he who believes in the afterlife lives with hope, if not peace of mind. Both, to be sure, live in uncertainty, but as the one marches bravely towards extinction like a soldier to his doom, the other marches gravely toward eternity like an over-anxious bridegroom.
Pah, who knows? Perhaps the Freudians are right after all--the myopic sons-a-bitches. Perhaps my work's not science at all but a throwback to the superstitious conjuring of wizards and witches. Or perhaps as Toni used to insist, I'm nothing but a goddamed artist. Who knows? Why, Freud himself admitted psychology's a feeble attempt to systematize what artists have always intuitively realized.
TONI: Finally, he admits it! After all these years.
EMMA:It was his medical training; it warped his entire perspective.
J:I'm an anachronism. I know. Nobody understands what I mean. Only a poet could sense it, and she died three long years ago--the beloved flower in a lover's dream. And it is to her I dedicate this stone as I dedicate this other to my Emma, my wife--memorials of what each has brought into my long and happy life.You, Emma were my rock, and on your stone I've chiseled, "She was the foundation of my house." And on this other, my Toni's stone--a few more strokes of the chisel and . . . Ah yes -- "She was the fragrance."
[J puts down the mallet and placing the tablets on either side of his chair, re--lights his pipe and sits back comfortably overlooking the lake]
[Suddenly EMMA picks up the mallet and brandishes it over J's head as TONI intercedes]
EMMA:[shouting at J like a hausfrau] It's all very touching, I'm sure, your tablets and your dedications. But why the hell can't I be the fragrance just for once? Why do I always . . .
TONI:Emma, don't be silly. I'd trade with you gladly. [taking the mallet and replacing it on the tree stump] Besides, he can't hear you!
EMMA: [turning on TONI, tearfully] Just for once? It's like buying perfume and flowers for the mistress on Christmas, and some bricks and mortar for the dreary old hausfrau.
[TONI embraces the weeping EMMA like a big sister]
J:[unaware of the aborted attack] I'm ready, my dears. One last pipe full and you can take me. It's time; I've finished my explorations here. I'm anxious now to see what lies beyond the planets in the noosphere--those undiscovered countries beyond the farthest reaches of the galaxies.
EMMA:[still in tears] What did I tell you? He won't hang around here a second longer than he has to. As for the children, he'll say they can fend for themselves; he's a man after all.
TONI:You're right. We chance losing him completely. Regulations or no regulations . . . we'll hide the shotgun!
[EMMA and TONI rush into the kitchen through the walls and seizing the shotgun, rush about comically looking for a place to hide it, slamming closet and cabinet doors, etc. Finally they place it under some couch cushions on which they seat themselves, primly and as innocent looking as possible]
J:[smoking contentedly and blowing smoke rings] Smoke rings always bring to mind wedding rings, which, by the way, reminds me of something that happened driving down from Kusnacht yesterday. Three times the car was held up by weddings. This is the month of June, it's true, but Bailey thought it a bit peculiar too, though perhaps not quite so synchronistic as I do.
[The women steal back out into the courtyard out of curiosity]
J: Death calls us to a marriage, Novalis insists, and I keep thinking of dancing girls on Greek sarcophagi and the funeral weddings of the kabbalists. For in the dawning light of eternity death is a wedding, most certainly--a mysterium coniuctionis, the soul wedding its missing half, achieving psychic wholeness at long last, the resolution of the opposites of body and soul, of male and female, of this down here and that up there, intimately united, wedded--a wholeness I long to share.
EMMA:If he has a phial of poison in his pocket . . .
TONI:. . . regulations or no, we'll snatch it away and throw it to the fishes.
J:The only difficult part about dying, an Ashanti witch doctor once told me in a memorable palaver on the plains of Athi is getting out of the material body. What one has to do, he said, is to give up one's maniacal will to live. To get quite naked and void of matter instead. To quite literally will one's body dead. With that, the old boy laid aside that mask and spear hanging over the fireplace inside and, drawing a circle round his chair, blew and spat into his opened palms, chanted a few Ashanti psalms, and right out there in the open air quietly up and died.
[J scuffs a crude circle in the dirt round his chair with his heel]
EMMA:What's he doing?
[Laying his pipe aside and blowing and spitting vigorously into his
palms, J sits down and, with palms up and closed eyes turned
to heaven, chants loudly]
J:Ayik adhista, adhista ayik! Mungu, mungu, mungu!I offer up my living soul. Roho, mungu, adhista!Accept me into the house of the dead. M'zuri, m'zuri, adhista! Into the land of the ancestral dead.
[As he repeats the chant during the following dialogue, (minus the English translation) his voice trails off slowly into silence]
TONI:He doesn't really imagine he can just up and will himself to death like some Ashanti witch doctor, does he?
[J's head falls to his chest as the chant ceases and a deathly silence pervades the scene, giving the impression that he has indeed willed himself to death]
EMMA:[carefully scrutinizing J] You don't suppose he could have swallowed something when we weren't looking?
TONI: If he's dead, we'd see his spirit body, wouldn't we?
EMMA:Could he possibly have slipped off to some other planet without us? Without our noticing? In the blink of an eye?
TONI:Impossible! I've been watching him like a hawk!
EMMA:I wouldn't put it past him. I . . . [a frightening thought occurs to her] That pretty new analyst at the institute, the American. You don't suppose . . .
TONI:Emma you're not serious.
EMMA: [rapidly convincing herself] That's it! That's it! That's what all this tablet dedication business is about. Just to throw us off, don't you see?
TONI:Oh Emma! Really!
EMMA: You keep an eye peeled, and I'll just flit back to Kusnacht for a minute, [threateningly] and if I find him there I'll kill him I swear.
TONI:[trying to convince herself as much as EMMA] If he's anywhere, he's probably at one of the grandchildren's.
EMMA:Hardly! Back in the blink of an eye. [EXIT EMMA through an imaginary wall] [off stage] Abra Kadabra, one, two, THREE!
[As TONI walks around J's chair eyeing him very carefully, putting her
face close to his, trying not to blink, J suddenly snores in
[At this precise moment, the antique car horn is heard and the rattling of the auto pulling up offstage]
TONI:[at a window] My God! It's Bailey!
[TONI rushes into the kitchen and, removing the shotgun from under the couch cushions, replaces it on the mantle and sits down on the couch as primly and innocently as possible as knocking is heard offstage and J continues to snore away until the knocking turns to pounding]
J:[jumping up and waving away imaginary pipe smoke, pipe in hand] Oh, my God! If she catches me smoking . . .
[Frantic pounding offstage as J runs into the tower]
J:Hold your horses! I'm coming! I'm coming!
[J, juggling the hot pipe bowl, hides the pipe in the kitchen closet and sits down in his reading chair, book in hand, waving away pipe smoke]
J:[gruffly] Come in! Come in; it's open!
[Sounds of the door opening into the annex offstage and ENTER BAILEY from the annex in a tizzy]
[RUTH BAILEY is a handsome woman in her fifties, a woman enjoying physically an Indian summer. She is a no-nonsense type, who treats J like a spoiled child as TONI looks on amused]
BAILEY:How many times, have I told you not to leave the front door open? Some maniac could just walk right in and . . .
J:Some maniac HAS just walked right in!
BAILEY:[frightened, looking behind her] Where? Who?
J:WHO? WHO? WHO? A maniac owl, that's who! You're the only maniac around here. Rushing in like a mad woman! What are you doing here anyway? It can't be Monday already. I can't have lost a complete day!
BAILEY:Be quiet Carl Gustave! I have news!
J:It's so important it couldn't wait till tomorrow? So what are you waiting for? Out with it, woman! Out with it!
BAILEY:Kurt Wolf telephoned from Erranos last night. He's flying to Zurich this afternoon and needs to see you. He wants an autobiography and . . .
J:I'm not interested in autobiographies. My life has been singularly poor in outward events. Admit it; you're here to check up on me. To catch me smoking behind you're back. Damn you woman!
BAILEY:He also wants you to do a book on Flying saucers.
J: [suddenly interested] Flying saucers, did you say?
TONI:[forgetting herself] Yes, flying saucers! UFO's!
BAILEY:I smell smoke!
[Smoke is pouring out between the cracks in the door of the kitchen cabinet]
J:[calmly, not noticing the smoke] I had a fire in the fireplace last night.
BAILEY:[pointing to the kitchen cabinet] That doesn't look like a fireplace to me!
[J rushes to the cabinet picks up the pipe by the stem like a mouse by the tail]
J:[shouting] A mouse! A mouse!
[He heaves it out the door into the courtyard and the smoke immediately dissipates]
J:[sheepishly, as RUTH stands like a hausfrau with hands on hips] It's the mice! Chewing on the matchboxes again. The little pests! Yes, the mice. The mice? [uncertainly shaking his head as RUTH shakes hers] [taking the offensive] Damn you woman! Do you realize what your meddling has interrupted?
BAILEY:Yes, a fire!
J:[frustrated] No, no! May you burn in hell! May all women burn in hell.
TONI:Well, I like that!
J: There I was floating high in stellar space, looking down on the bluish silvery globe of the earth far below me. Leaving the earth farther and farther behind.
BAILEY:Ah, you were dreaming! So sorry.
J:[shouting] No! No! God damn you, I was dead! Floating high in stellar space leaving the earth farther and farther behind.
BAILEY:I see, snoring away, dreaming you were dead.
J:[out of control, pulling his hair and jumping up and down on his hat] No, no. I was dead! Dead! Dead! Dead! Do you hear? All my questions were about to be answered. I yearned with all my being for this ultimate consummation. But just when . . . just when I was about to . . .
BAILEY:[enthusiastically] I know! A messenger from the earth arrived and said you were still needed below. I've had similar dreams myself.
J:[putting his crushed hat back on, resignedly] What's the use? What's this about Flying Saucers? A whole book on flying saucers?
BAILEY:Yes, and an autobiography.
J:Autobiographies don't interest me. Flying saucers on the other hand . . . Curious! Another case of Synchronicity. No doubt about it. Just in the last few months I've found myself thinking about all these sightings, almost despite myself . . . Toni said she saw one once, shortly before she died and ever since . . .
TONI: [to the audience] I've been whispering into his ear.
BAILEY:We must hurry. I left the car running. Herr Wolf has to fly back to Frankfurt tonight. He brought a whole box of big Brazilian cigars for you, and some very fine cognac. I told him I disapproved, but I might just allow one cigar and a little brandy as you discuss the autobiography.
J:Brazilian cigars, eh? And flying saucers. Toni saw a flying saucer, and the man who wants to publish a book about them has the same last name as she.
BAILEY:He spells it differently.
J:[lost in thought] Coincidence upon coincidence. Curiouser, and curiouser.
TONI:[like leading a cheer] Do it, Carl! Do it! A book on flying saucers!
J:[to BAILEY] Cognac, eh? And big fat Brazilian cigars?
TONI: U.F.O.'s Carl . . . satellites of the mind, shooting stars of the soul, undecoded messages from inner space.
J: [suddenly, clapping his hands together] Well, what are we waiting for, woman? We have worlds to conquer. Just let me lock up and . .
[TONI lets out a war whoop]
BAILEY:Never mind, never mind! I've already spoken to Frau Kuhn. She'll walk down after lunch and lock up herself. Apparently Hans is convinced the place is haunted.
J:It is! [J playfully grabs BAILEY'S derriere as she turns to leave, and she gives an appreciative shriek]
BAILEY:[unruffled] Next you'll be telling me you believe in Flying Saucers as well as ghosts.
J:I do. [histrionically] Spirit sightings in the sky. Unidentified flying saucers of the soul. Collective projections of modern man's desperate search for salvation in outer space, when it's ours for the taking right in here. [punching his heart]
[EXIT J and BAILEY into the annex, and we hear RUTH screech again delightedly offstage before the front door slams]
TONI: [dancing about excitedly] We did it! We did it! [looking up] Where are you Emma? We did it! A book on flying saucers!
[ENTER EMMA through an imaginary wall as we hear the car starting up off stage]
EMMA:[outraged] Did you see that lecherous display? At his age! And she liked it, the hussy!
TONI: There's life left in the old goat yet!
EMMA:[resigned] Thank God! Really, I couldn't bear to deal with him if he really had succeeded in dying on demand.
TONI: Oh darling, you should have been here. He hid his pipe from her in the kitchen cabinet and it looked for a minute like the house was burning down? You should have seen his face! [mimicking J] "The Mice! The Mice! Gnawing at the matchboxes again!"
[The sound of the door opening again off stage and ENTER J on the run, startling the women and running out into the courtyard where he retrieves his cold pipe like a mouse by the tail]
J:[grinning] Forgot my mouse!
[Knocking out the tobacco, J puts the pipe in his mouth upside down and, going over to the tablets, taps them as though on the derriere, perhaps even causing the women to jump and shriek a bit]
J: See you next weekend girls. In the meantime, give old Hans a fright for me.
[EXIT J, sound of door closing, motor revving up and the tooting of the horn as the car pulls away]
[The women laugh aloud and wander over to their respective tablets, surreptitiously caressing them as they speak]
TONI:Well, till next weekend then.
EMMA:And another die-on-demand attempt?
TONI:No chance of that now that he has a new project.
EMMA:Wonder if Bailey can talk him into the autobiography? He really should you know; he owes it to the children, to the world.
TONI:Perhaps if we both whisper into his ear? But let's forget about Carl for the moment; he's in capable hands. Let's just enjoy ourselves this weekend. Together. I've missed you so, [ponderously in a deep voice] Frau foundation of the house.
EMMA:And I you, [holding her nose and talking funny] Fraulein fragrance of the house.
[They laugh, embracing like sisters]
TONI: Shall we take a stroll big sister? On this lovely summer solstice morn?
EMMA:[plucking a rose for TONI] And where to, little sister?
Along the lake or through the woods behind the house?
[TONI plucks a rose for EMMA, and, laughing, the women stroll arm and arm through the courtyard wall to stage left]
EMMA:[sniffing her rose] Wonder what it'll be like? You don't suppose there really is a Heavenly Rose?
TONI:Let's hope it'll be a long time before we find out! Still so many things we haven't done, places we've only heard about.
EMMA:Like Africa perhaps?
TONI:Ah, Africa! Animals to the brink of the horizon!
EMMA:Gazelle, antelope, gnu, zebra, moving along the broad savanna like a slow river . . .
TONI:. . . silently eating, giving birth, dying through hundreds of millions of years.
EMMA: Perhaps we could whisk over--Spirit Express.
TONI:Why not? We wouldn't even have to make airline reservations or need a passport!
EMMA:Nor leave a forwarding address.
TONI:Ah, there's nothing quite so convenient as out-of-body travel, is there. [offering EMMA her arm] Shall we cavort!
[MUSIC BEGINS and the women do their prim little dance arm in arm]
TOGERTHER:OOOOOOO. Two little haunts in purgatory, bodiless and transmigratory, off on adventures exploratory . . .
[curtsying to each other]
[Still arm-in-arm, they close their eyes and stiffen as the car horn toots away fading into the distance]
TOGETHER:Abra Kadabra, one two three!
[and FAST BLACKOUT]