Saturday, February 9, 2008


Let’s take a walk through the graveyard. The path is surrounded by sculptures and figures. There is chilling white mist swirling around your feet, a cold snow falling softly as you walk past death all around you. Why is Christine here? What woeful song does she sing as she proceeds through icy darkness to her father’s crypt? What deception lays in wait to entice her once again? Let’s see if we can uncover meaning in the soulful trek she takes, and why the Phantom waits for her in the graveyard.

Christine, orphaned at a young age, was said to have “lost with the death of her father her voice, her soul, and her genius” only to discover it again after the Angel of Music visits her. The Phantom becomes her tutor, her guide, and she finds solace and protection in the Angel of Music in the absence of her father’s care. She trusts the Angel of Music blindly, because she believes her father has sent him to her as he promised. Only now, as she stands before his crypt, she has learned it is no angel, but a man, and he is the Phantom of the Opera.

Christine is at the crossroads of her life. She’s about to marry Raoul. She realizes, with grief, that in order to live, she must learn to bury her past and let go of her dead father. So in a symbolic gesture, she goes to the graveyard and sings a song of goodbye, asking for the strength to move on without him and to release her to her future.

The Phantom, however, sees Christine emerging into maturity and moving farther and farther away from her reliance upon him as her teacher. In an attempt to ensnare her once again, he calls to her. He asks if she has forgotten her Angel. Suddenly reality is blurred again. Is it her father calling? Is it the Angel of Music that he promised? Is it Phantom or friend? The Phantom, with his angelic and enticing voice, attempts to draw her back under his control. He knows her weakness. He plays upon her childlike trust, devotion, and yearning for her father until Raoul arrives to awaken her from the deception.

Christine struggles with the promise her father has made. She believed he had sent the Angel of Music to her, but now knows it was the Phantom all along. Does she struggle at the crypt to let go not only of her father, but also the Phantom to whom she owes so much? He is the one who taught her to sing again, gave her back her voice and inspiration. It is obvious that she is not ready to let go of the one she owes so much, as she pleads for Raoul to spare his life. He is the only Angel of Music she has known.

What can we learn from Christine’s symbolic walk through the graveyard? I believe there are times we too need to take a symbolic walk ourselves in the graveyard of life, to leave things behind that hinder us from reaching a new level of maturity. All of us have experiences, people, broken dreams, hurts, and emotions that we need to let go of and bury. If we don’t lay aside what hinders us, we will never reach a new level in our lives and be able to move on. We will doom ourselves to live in an emotional graveyard of cold monuments and ghosts that forever remind and haunt us of our past.

Do you need to take a walk through the graveyard? If so, take a stroll - bury the past and move on. You’ll be a better person for it.

Your Obedient Servant

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