Monday, July 23, 2012
The Crane Returns a Kindness (鶴の恩返し)
A man pulls an arrow out of an injured crane’s wing.
A woman appears at his house and begins living with him.
They are poor, the woman asks the man to make a loom.
She closes the door, saying, “Don’t look while I am working.”
She produces cloth, the man sells it, they become wealthy.
One day the man peeps in the room.
He sees a crane making cloth with feathers.
She sees him looking, and says, “You have seen my true form, I cannot stay here,” and flies away.
Sometimes, there isn’t time to tell a story slowly. Fidgeting starts. Give yourself one minute and deliver in the present tense. Jump cuts. No transitions. No diversions. Pure plot.
Old stories were often used for instructing.
They were a vehicle for a precept: a rule, command, order.
Or, more subtly, a moral: a message, meaning, point.
Interpretations for The Crane may vary:
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth?
In a modern context, Respect privacy?
“Privacy and security are those things you give up when you show the world what makes you extraordinary.” Margaret Cho.
Or as Marshall McLuhan viewed it: “Publication is a self-invasion of privacy.”