An Act Too Often Neglected

By Terry Weber

If you read my blog from two weeks ago, you know I am currently appearing as the Aviator in the Clarence Brown Theatre’s production of The Little Prince. It has been a fascinating spiritual journey for me.  There is so much in this allegory on which to reflect.  For one, the concept of “taming” – an act too often neglected, according to the Fox in the story.

The Fox doesn’t quite define taming in the typical way; i.e., “to reduce from a wild to a domestic state.” Rather, the Fox’s definition somehow goes deeper: “to establish ties.”  Without the act of taming, the Little Prince is to the Fox “just like a hundred thousand other little boys,” and to him, she is “nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes.” The Fox wants the Little Prince to tame her, because “then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world.”

When the Little Prince shares that there are a great many things he needs to understand, the Fox exclaims, “You only understand the things you tame. Men have no time to understand anything, so they have no friends.”

Each performance, I’m struck by this. Do I really have friends, others with whom I have established ties? Have I allowed myself to be tamed? Have I been willing to tame others? Have I had the courage to establish real ties, the ties that bind?  As the Fox says, “One runs the risk of weeping, when one allows himself to be tamed.”

Then, because I see the Little Prince as a kind of Christ-figure, one who brings a kind of salvation to the Aviator by re-awakening the power of his imagination, I ask myself whether I’ve been willing to risk being tamed on the spiritual level.  Have I established a tie – the tie that binds – with the Holy Spirit?