Defying Gravity from the Musical Wicked
Have you ever seen a whale breach? It’s amazing, while I’ve never seen one in person, pictures and videos which capture this chance occurrence are stunning. A breach occurs when a whale flips itself entirely out of the water, twists in midair and lands loudly on its side. Whales often breach in groups, performing multiple breaches at a time – each breach takes about 1% of a whale’s daily intake. The immense cloud of bubbles and underwater disturbance caused by a breach can’t be faked thus if neighbors detect these bubbles they know a breach has taken place. Why do whales breach? When do they breach? And how do these mammoth animals catapult their massive bodies out of the water?
While scientists have not determined the reasons why a whale might breach here are some of their theories:
*Communication – the sound from a breach carries farther than their underwater sonar noises, what they are attempting to say can only be guessed. Perhaps they are altering friends to plentiful food, enticing mates, merely announcing their presence or warning of danger.
*Exfoliation – the impact of the landing is enough to break off a great deal of dead skin and barnacles.
*Feeding – the forceful impact has been known to knock prey unconscious long enough for the whale to swallow it.
In the Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Sue Monk Kidd describes her journey from traditional Christianity to the Sacred Feminine as a breach. She shares her story as a way of calling out to other seekers both warning them of the dangers she faced as well as her joys. I see this devotional as a collective breach by our faith community. Each writer has taken the time to share a part of who they are, certainly using more than 1% of their daily intake. Sharing our thoughts and music with you is a risk, when we jumped we had no idea how you’d respond, would you like it, hate it, be changed, or concerned?
One of the beautiful parts of breaching is that it’s intent is determined by the breacher (warning or joy)…what others make of the super-sized water ballet is up to them. As a community we need to breach when we can and feel called to. Some of us will be breaching this week in Texas and others of us will continue to boldly breach in our home communities. No matter where or what forms your breaching takes, I appreciate our communities risk taking in defying gravity together.
GLINDA: (spoken) Elphaba - why couldn't you have stayed calm for once, instead of flying off the handle! (sung) I hope you're happy!/ I hope you're happy now/ I hope you're happy how you/ Hurt your cause forever/ I hope you think you're clever!
ELPHABA: I hope you're happy/ I hope you're happy, too/ I hope you're proud how you / Would grovel in submission/ To feed your own ambition
BOTH: So though I can't imagine how/ I hope you're happy right now
GLINDA: (spoken) Elphie, listen to me. Just say you're sorry: (sung) You can still be with the Wizard/ What you've worked and waited for/ You can have all you ever wanted:
ELPHABA: (spoken) I know: (sung) But I don't want it - / No - I can't want it/ Anymore:
Something has changed within me / Something is not the same/ I'm through with playing by the rules/ Of someone else's game/ Too late for second-guessing/ Too late to go back to sleep/ It's time to trust my instincts/ Close my eyes: and leap!
It's time to try/ Defying gravity/ I think I'll try/ Defying gravity/ And you can't pull me down!
GLINDA: Can't I make you understand?/ You're having delusions of grandeur:
ELPHABA: I'm through accepting limits/ 'Cuz someone says they're so/ Some things I cannot change/ But till I try, I'll never know!/ Too long I've been afraid of/ Losing love I guess I've lost/ Well, if that's love/ It comes at much too high a cost!/ I'd sooner buy/ Defying gravity/ Kiss me goodbye/ I'm defying gravity/ And you can't pull me down:/ (spoken) Glinda - come with me. Think of what we could do: together.
(sung) Unlimited/ Together we're unlimited/ Together we'll be the greatest team / There's ever been/ Glinda - Dreams, the way we planned 'em
GLINDA: If we work in tandem:
BOTH: There's no fight we cannot win/ Just you and I/ Defying gravity/ With you and I/ Defying gravity
ELPHABA: They'll never bring us down!/ (spoken) Well? Are you coming?
GLINDA: I hope you're happy/ Now that you're choosing this
ELPHABA: (spoken) You too (sung) I hope it brings you bliss
BOTH: I really hope you get it/ And you don't live to regret it/ I hope you're happy in the end/ I hope you're happy, my friend:
ELPHABA: So if you care to find me/ Look to the western sky!/ As someone told me lately:/ "Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly!"/ And if I'm flying solo/ At least I'm flying free/ To those who'd ground me/ Take a message back from me/ Tell them how I am/ Defying gravity/ I'm flying high/ Defying gravity/ And soon I'll match them in renown/ And nobody in all of Oz/ No Wizard that there is or was/ Is ever gonna bring me down!
GLINDA: I hope you're happy!
CITIZENS OF OZ: Look at her, she's wicked!/ Get her!
ELPHABA: Bring me down!
CITIZENS OF OZ: No one mourns the wicked/ So we've got to bring her
CITIZENS OF OZ: Down!