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Monday, September 24, 2012

The Grail Knight as Inspiration

WTF? You're going to throw my cup in a crevasse, wreck my home, and then just leave me here? Really?
They were showing the Indiana Jones movies on cable, as they do, and I always like to see if I can turn to that channel only while they're in the cave of the holy grail so I can see the Grail Knight. I just adore that guy. The first time I saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the prospect of being able to talk to someone from the fourteenth century, to span that unspannable chasm of 600 years, thrilled me beyond belief. I wondered why we had bothered with all the chase scenes -- why wasn't the whole film all about the mind-blowing conversations a twentieth-century person could have with this guy? Surely that must be the true holy grail.

That's just one reason I ended up studying the Middle Ages: to send people from today back in time, to put a bridge across the fourth dimension, so we could experience how things had happened, what things looked, tasted, and smelled like, and what people felt about it all. It took quite a bit more popular culture and college courses before I realized this destiny, and much, much more school before I began to grasp what would be necessary to strive toward that goal. If you're interested, I'll tell you about it.

This last time I watched that portion of the movie, and the Grail Knight was waving goodbye to Indy and his dad before they rode off into the sunset, my sympathy stayed with the knight and I imagined what he must be thinking. It's along the lines of, "What a bunch of jerks. They come here, convert a guy into a pile of ash, steal the holy grail, utterly destroy the place by trying to take the grail outside the boundary, throw the grail down a deep dark hole, and then just leave me here to clean it all up!" Is he supposed to keep living there in that mess? Do his grail guardian duties extend to having to go into the hole and to retrieve it? Or is it so far beyond the boundary that he can't reach for it without dying? So many questions.

You're just going to leave me here without asking any questions about the fourteenth century? I oughtta box your ears!