That stupid song from Annie.
It’s been going around and around inside my head since my writers group decided on the theme. I liked the idea of ‘Tomorrow’ when we talked about it last month. Initial thoughts of spaceships and super-cool technology flashed past my eyes when I first heard it, because, hey, I write Science Fiction!
And then the banal music began its march of sparkly colours through my mind and covered the images with mud. Aargh!
So, instead of five hundred words of scintillating prose that tell a world breaking story of future adventure and hope for the future, you get to hear me rant through the fixed smiles and bared teeth of that song from ‘Annie.’
As I write, all I can hear with my mind’s ear is ‘Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you’re only a day away…” All I see, is a small, redheaded child wandering around on stage with a fluffy doggy, eyes fixed on her dreams (or at least her pseudo-dreams), pulling emotion from the theatre going crowd with her voice, so that they drip tears into their handkerchiefs.
And then my mind is drawn away from the magic of theatre, with its ability to place ideas and hopes in front of audiences sitting happily in their well-fed chairs, while feeling more emotion for fiction than they do reading the morning news.
The morning news. That harsh reality that tells not of Tomorrow, but of Yesterday and Today. That tells of the hopes and dreams and sorrows of many. That should move us to think, to help and to hope with our fellow humans, yet so often passes us by. That news, that speaks of real people, whose lives and despairs should move us to tears, but so often doesn’t. That news that tells us of so many whose ‘Tomorrows’ have been cut from the future, or whose ‘Tomorrows’ will be unending days of fear and persecution.
‘Tomorrow.’ Only a day away, yet so, so far away for so many. Yet, despite it’s banality, ‘The Annie Song’ has a context of hope. And that’s why it moves the audience, why it elicits real emotion.
“How can we turn the morning news to a context of hope?” You might ask.
“Get off your bottom,” I might reply. Choose to stand up and make a difference. Read the news, see the people, remember they’re real. Much more real than the fictional characters who’ve already moved us to tears. Let the power of their stories move us more deeply than the unreal, and work to make sure they have ‘Tomorrow.’