They say that all music can be traced back to a single song. That there is one tune that all the others are mere variations on. I’ve never believed this theory.
There’s another theory that all stories are an expression of one story. That there is one theme so great and overwhelming that all the stories in the world cannot properly express it. I have a bit more sympathy towards this idea.
And in my literary wanders I’ve wondered – what is the theme of the original story? Is it love? Is it redemption? Is it glory? Is it pain? My opinion changes from day today, as my perspective shifts. It seems like the story must be something that encompasses all of that, and yet we don’t have a word or even an emotion for any such thing. So what is it? What is at the heart of mankind, so dear to them that they keep telling and retelling it over and over again, never fully grasping what it is that they’re longing for?
I have a new theory now, and it’s been around long enough that I feel confident in expounding about it to the universe. What if the story isn’t about what we’re longing for, but the longing itself? The theologians say that the story of creation is about Man being reconciled with God, so what if the story is about homesickness?
Look at it this way. God created Man. Man fell and was shooed out of Eden. When I talked about entropy I touched a little on what that meant. Basically mankind was exiled. Sent away from the world he knew and from the one being he was basically created to worship.
Look at all the greatest characters. The Doctor. Odo. Garrick. Neil. Everyone is looking for a person, or a place. Everyone is driven by loneliness, sadness, and homesickness. And we sympathize all too well. How many of us are truly content with the people we’re with, where we’re at? Isn’t’ there always something more? A little nagging feeling in the back of your heart, something that cries out for a feeling we can’t quite put into words? Something that sings in the wind in autumn, or that’s written in the cloudless blue sky on a summer day. That moment of heartbreak when everything seems just perfect.
It seems that the closer we get to heaven the more acutely we miss it.
If we are all at heart terribly lonely and homesick then doesn’t it make sense that our stories will all reflect that? In every story ever written I think we will find that to be a theme. It fits it all. Love, hope, fear… it’s all an expression of being an alien in a peculiar and frightening world. We learn to cope, we learn to get along, but underneath it all we’re just crying – crying to go home where things are beautiful, peaceful and make sense. We want to all speak the same language again. We want someone to understand us – who we are, and what we want.
We want to go home.