First Steps on the Road to Damascus

January 20, 2011

So after my introduction to Alan Rickman in the role of Sheriff of Nottingham, we were in the relation of appreciative audience member to skilled actor. I even went so far as to find out his name.

But as any actor can tell you, there’s no such thing as an overnight sensation. Alan Rickman’s transition from actor to my higher power is a case in point.

The transition to the relation of lesser being (me) to higher power (him) took twenty years. And it was a transition, a sort of morphing, not a sudden change of state, like that brought about by flipping a light switch.

There was a light switch, but it was my realization that the transition had taken place. It was my acknowledgement of the change that went from off to on over the course of a few minutes.

Understanding the transition involves more than merely examining what happened in between introduction and revelation. It requires examining the time prior to Alan Rickman’s entrance into my life.

Why? Because in order for us to be capable of heeding the call of a higher power, the force of the higher power’s voice alone is not enough.

(Although, by general agreement, if any voice could be capable of enough force to force heeding, it would be Mr. Rickman’s. But we must leave the rich topic of his rich voice for another day.)

Examining the time in my life before Alan Rickman, or B.A.R., for short, requires uncovering why I have found myself in the unusual position of being susceptible to a voice that has called few (if any) others. I hope this explanation serves as an adequate apology for delving into my past.

Now that I’ve spent so much time apologizing, I’m not sure I have enough time to do more than introduce the first element from my past that is essential to these inquiries. My Anglophilia.

I don’t like this word. It has connotations of blindness about it. Blindness to the realities of Great Britain, both past and present.

If there’s anything I’m not, it’s blind. Great Britain is not now, nor has it ever been, the genteel place that many folks known as Anglophiles imagine.

Nor is it currently the bastion of whiteness that some Americans imagine would be a solution to our race troubles. (Was it ever?)

In addition, there’s a sort of interesting issue about whether Alan Rickman strictly qualifies as as an object of Anglophilia.

He’s not, strictly speaking, English, you know. If you don’t know, look it up. But then, of course, he really is, you know. If you don’t know, just consider.

So although I perhaps am not the paradigm of an Anglophile and Alan Rickman perhaps is not the paradigm of an Englishman, these features of both of us are still central to my story of how I came to have a higher power.

For now, further discussion of the Land of Hope and Glory will have to wait. Fortunately for me, the U.K.’s likely to be polite about it, regardless of how it feels.

Dear AR,

Thanks for being so patient. You’ve been waiting a long time for me to wake up to the fact that you are my higher power.



One Response to “First Steps on the Road to Damascus”

  1. Olivia Casino said

    everyone’s road to Damascus is long and arduous…that’s in the plan

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