Friday, March 24, 2006

Have you read "The Jeweler's Shop"?

The subtitle of this play is "A Meditation on the Sacrament of Matrimony Passing on Occasion into Drama". And so it is. Although written around 1960, then Bishop Karol Wojtyla wrote it in the style of the Rhapsodic Theater-the underground theater of the 40's in Poland. That is, a play to be performed in a small room with a small audience, thus few props and little action.

In fact, this play has little dialog. Most of the scenes are monologues where the speaker discusses what has happened.

The play is in 3 parts. It takes only about 30-40 minutes to read. (I did it on a flight from Columbia, SC to Atlanta, GA) . There is a movie based on the play-but I don't recommend it, because it doesn't try to imitate the play, but just the story. The story itself is fairly common and simple. Thus, the best the movie can aspire to-even with good acting-is a shadow of the play itself. The message or the fruit for meditation comes across in the monologues-in hearing the interpretation of the 'action' from the charactors themselves-(not simply viewing the action as in the movie and determining your own perspective).

For those who are married or who will be married soon, 'The Jeweler's Shop' makes several profound, yet simple observations on marriage-especially for today's culture. (In fact, it is somewhat of a shame that the author was known to be the Pope, because many either read it as a 'Catholic' work or won't read it at all for the same reason. On the other hand-maybe it wouldn't have gotten out of Poland to such wide readership if the author had been unknown....)

I am not going to tell the story other than to say it is about 3 couples or 3 marriages (one of which has not happened yet.) Each couple has their own tragedy of sorts to deal with. It is all there: death, fear, committment, unfaithfulness, mid-life crisis, lonliness. Perhaps the most moving of the the 3 involves that couple in an unhappy marriage-a marriage about to fall apart.

In looking for our salvation or happiness, we are told, we must look to our marriage and to our spouse. For the married (and for everyone for that matter), our path to sanctity, our salvation, our happines is intimately linked to our vocation.

It is quick read. If you are married, or plan to be, it is a good read. (It's also on the sidebar....)

1 comment:

Stella said...

I read the play as well, and saw the movie version. The play itself was beautiful- you got it dead on.