Friday, 12 September 2014

Deep Sequencing: Space Lighthouses and Dramatic Turths

Or a look at how fiction captures truth in Saga Volume 3
by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples; Image Comics

There is this idea of dramatic truth. The idea is that through fiction, which at its core is effectively entertaining lies, we can learn some true, transcendental thing about ourselves or the world. Regardless of whether this is accomplished through emulation or metaphor, fiction has the potential to exemplify aspects of our reality that we can see and feel and learn from. Even though the fiction in question might be completely, absurdly unrealistic, it can still be closer to some idealistic truth than a statement based on reality. In some ways the entertaining lies of our stories might be the best way to learn about ourselves, our relationships, or our world.

There is a scene in Saga Volume 3 that rings true to me in such a complete way that I want to share it with you.

Of course, this moment is built of considerable *SPOILERS* so proceed with that understanding.

I think I've mentioned it on the site a few times, but I've recently gotten married to the best person. Aside from calling her the best person, I have trouble articulating exactly what it is that makes her so special, why she is the person out of everyone I've met that I feel compelled to create a life with. I mean she is smart and hilarious and good looking and fun to be around and responsible in a way that I worry I will never be and patient in a way that I know that I am completely incapable of. She is an unbelievable dork and unpretentious in a way that is super attractive and which is constantly a mystery to me. But this really doesn't capture it: my spouse is so much more than a bunch of favourable check marks on a list, and really fails to catch that special spark that explains why I love her the way I do.

I just don't have the language to articulate it.

Saga, for the uninitiated, is about a pair of young lovers from opposite sides of an interplanetary war falling in love and starting a family. Alana is flightless, winged person from the planet Landfall while Mark is a magic horned person from the moon Wreath, which according to the politics of the galaxy is really not okay. As a result the pair are fugitives fleeing from monstrous forces sent by either side of the conflict: a robot royal prince, an amoral bounty hunter, and a jilted ex-fiancee. In Saga Vol. 3 our heroes Alana and Marko find a kind of home in the lighthouse of a famous writer, which is where the forces pursuing them eventually catch up to them. 

Chaos ensues! 

Bad things happen! 

And our pair of lovers and their infant daughter are cornered on the balcony of the lighthouse with no means of escape!

So Marko shoves his Alana and his daughter off the lighthouse balcony to their apparent demise!

And instead of falling to her death, Alana, who we had been told was flightless, manages to fly on her tiny wings saving herself, her daughter, and rescuing her husband Marko from his villainous Ex. 

It's a pretty badass, fist pumping moment! 

But it's what comes next that absolutely speaks to me:

When Alana lands and asks Marko how he knew she'd somehow manage to fly after he maybe threw her and their daughter to their deaths, he simply says that it's obvious that his wife can do anything.

And that perfectly encapsulates how I feel about my own wife; that is the magic, dramatic truth about what makes her so special, why I love her so much.

If I were to push her off the balcony of a space lighthouse with a hypothetical infant in her arms, she would find a way to fly. Because she is completely fucking unstoppable.

Saga is a great comic and I love my wife.


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