Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Opening Theme (Genesis 1-2:3)

I suppose I am a full-fledged member of my media-saturated generation. I read over the first creation story in Genesis and immediately saw it play out in my mind like it was on the big screen. This may be a little cheesy, but here’s my storyboard for filming the creation.

First, watch the teaser trailer for Superman Returns. It’s a fairly christological script in its own right, but listen again and try to zero in on just the music. After a brooding hum, there is a simple theme that grows as it repeats (I count) seven times.

Now imagine you are hovering through a thick mist over a large body of water. It’s completely dark and the fog is so heavy that you can’t tell where it ends and the ocean begins. The first theme begins and you see a soft glow straight overhead beginning to saturate the mist, lighting up around you like headlights on a foggy night. Everything around is now blazing with light, which softly dissipates into the thick dark blue of the sea. The music fades.

A second theme begins, different than the first, and a billowing wind pushes the mist upward, and suddenly you see the huge dome of the sky above and the sea stretching off into the horizon in all directions. The music subsides.

As a unique third theme begins, the waters start roaring and rushing downward, like a giant whirlpool, and suddenly huge rocks rise out of the ocean. Now the sea is to your back and you stare in awe at a vast landscape of giant mountains and craggy cliffs, with the last drips of the water trickling down. The third theme fades.

You hear the first theme again, but louder and richer than before. Looking upward into the clear sky, you see a tiny pin prick of sharp light slowly moving into place, followed by a billion other stars sweeping across from east to west. Then, with a flash, the crisp white outline of the moon appears. Finally, in the east, comes the blinding yellow light of the Sun. The fourth theme fades.

The second theme resumes, but with more depth and power. Looking back over the ocean you see schools of fish of every variety swimming all around, and whales and dolphins crashing about. Now flocks of gulls and ducks and every kind of bird soars overhead, and their singing and squawking echo back across the mountains. The fifth theme fades.

The third theme comes again, booming and deafening, and the landscape is now green with grass and trees and every type of flora, as thick as a jungle. Insects crawl and buzz, and now small animals scurry about the fields. Then herds of buffalo and horses thunder over the hills, and a mountain lion roars at the edge of a cliff. Finally, in the center of it all, a man and woman walk into view, their perfect nude bodies glistening in the sunlight, and all the animals in the sea and the land turn to face them. They are the signature of the artist. The sixth theme fades.

The last piece of music is a majestic combination of all three, and you gaze upon the brilliant sky with its countless stars, the expansive sea with the myriads of fish below and birds above, and the towering landscape teaming with plants and animals, and the man and woman watching it all in wonder. You take it all in and then give up trying to take it all in, just resting in the moment. The sun sets, the animals quiet, and the man and woman lay down to sleep. The music fades.

God is a master artist, and so is the author of Genesis.

Speaking of artists, where do you get your art for each post?

So far, I've used the work of Gustave Dore from his amazing 1865 English Bible. He illustrated practically every story, and the Bible ended up with almost 250 prints. You can buy a book of them for ten bucks on Amazon (Do it - you won't regret it).

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