Blavatsky 

In Blavatsky a woman in her fifties enters as we hear a cuckoo clock make its sound thirteen times.  She says she has carried the clock all over the world and it’s never worked right.  She says she has always been able to feel the unseen world around her and hear voices.  She tells us that the day she was baptized her sister set the priest on fire.  When the dead whispered in her head she talked back and made friends.  Her family thought she was possessed by the Devil, but she says she has a volcano in her brain and a glacier at the foot of the mountain.  She says she has known since childhood that everything is alive and that invisible people talk to her.  When her father tried to force her to go to a ball, she stuck her bare foot in a pan of boiling water.  And when he told her no man would ever want her, she hypnotized Blavatsky into marrying her.  When she was 54 years old she announced to the world that she was a virgin, although she’d had two husbands and had given birth.  She describes her trips around the world, lying about places she’d never been.  Life, she says, is a story.  Let others figure out what the truth was when you’re dead.  She says she misses Russia, wherever she is, and realized when she returned that she could live a life full of excitement and wonders if she had the courage to use the magic lantern of her imagination.  She got pregnant—by her husband, or Count Meyendorff, or an opera singer—and gave birth in a forest to a hunchback who later died.  She tells us that a cargo ship she was on blew up and she washed up in Cairo with her cuckoo clock and began to conduct séances.  She says that to believe other peoples’ lies is the source of religion and government.  To believe our own lies is the source of human love.  Reality is somehow connected to our power to imagine and create.  She invites us to begin the séance.  The cuckoo clock cuckoos three times and she looks at her watch and says, “It’s one o’clock.  Close enough.”  It cuckoos twice more as the light fades out on her.

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