|Yours Truly as the Poet, Ashley Ahlquist as the Princess, Dale Ahlquist as Himself, Catherine Trojak as Maria, Julian Ahlquist as the King on the set of EWTN's version of The Surprise, 2007.|
A reader would like to know the source of my frequent reference to "the four lost notes".
From The Surprise by G. K. Chesterton ...
POET: Let me explain. I have reached a crisis. I have reached what we, in a world somewhat different from your own simple round of duties, describe as the creative crisis. It may be described as the crisis at which you want to create something and can't. In most distinguished artists it lasts for a lifetime. It is then called the artistic temperament. But something tells me tonight that I am very near to turning the corner. There are four notes that I can almost hear, but cannot yet name or number, that lift the last line of the song suddenly into heaven. Or at least they will, when I know what they are.... (Strums on his guitar.)
PRINCESS: (interrupting him with a finger on his lips) My friend, listen to me for a moment. I know something of men; perhaps I know something even of literary men. You have honoured me in speaking of me as an inspiration. But the flame is from you and not from me. Poets live for the poem and not for the muse. You will grow older and perhaps leave off serenading people you have never seen; but you will not leave off thinking; and I am quite sure you will not leave off talking. In the long reaches of time it is another quest that will remain with you; and you will come to care more for the four lost notes of your song than you care for me. And somewhere else, perhaps, somewhere beyond the end of the world, you will find them. You will see a tower of a strange shape and hear a wiser woman sound those chords upon a solitary harp; and she will open her door and say: "I have waited long for my serenade". You have not found it yet. You have only found in passing a way in which you could save us all. You have been my best friend; and I do not even know your name.
POET: My name is Oliver Olivarez.
PRINCESS: My name is Christina. Good-bye, Oliver.
POET: Good-bye, Christina.
(They take hands once and part; and the POET remains alone, as the PRINCESS exits.)
POET: And so we go back to the old road. How familiar all the muddy paths look and how strange the castle; as if I had never been inside it. Was it a dream and is it indeed fading?
(The four notes sound from inside the castle and the windows are suddenly illuminated from within. The PRINCESS is standing in the doorway in the light.)
PRINCESS: I have waited long for my serenade.
POET (staggers): O God! The Surprise!