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    RonPrice  78, Male, Canada - 60 entries
Jan 2012
4:30 AM AEST


Perhaps I was attracted to the autobiographical aspect, the epic story, of a larger-than-life adventurer, T.E. Lawrence's(1888-1935) Arabian adventure in Lawrence of Arabia. �Perhaps it was the impressive cinematography. �By the time I came to write this prose-poem I had been working on my own autobiography for 23 years and I had seen the film Lawrence of Arabia twice in the 47 years since the start of its production history began back in October 1959, the month I joined the Bah�’� Faith.� The film, Lawrence of Arabia, was first released three months after my travelling-pioneering venture began in Canada in September 1962 for the Canadian Baha’i community.�

Lawrence's life and personality were enigmatic and complex, solitary and adventurous. He was, I am told, sexually problematic and excessively arrogant.� These are qualities I have myself exhibited, but after some reflection and reading, I don’t think I exhibited these qualities with anything like the same intensity. Still, these qualities are features of life that characterize millions in various degrees, and people often become more conscious of them, they become what you might call more articulate, when a person goes to write his or her autobiography.�

Peter O’Toole(1932- ) who played Lawrence had his problems in life: alcohol, marriage, health, extreme eccentricity, a brilliance of sorts, a useful exemplar for the field of abnormal psychology. It seems they were useful qualities for his role in Lawrence, a man of brilliance and eccentricity as well, a man who said he was “a retired Christian.”

Lawrence's task, among others, was to unite the Arabian Bedouins against their Turkish oppressors. �My task was one of trying to bring unity to a people as well, although in the years 1959 to 1962 I had no idea of the scale, the nature and the complexity of the exercise, an exercise I was involved with in some two dozen towns where I lived in my days. My task did not operate on anything like the scale that Lawrence’s did. My world was a micro-world: small towns and cities, schools and places of work, families and small groups.

I don't want to summarize the story of Lawrence or the movie here, suffice it to say, the cinematography was breathtaking.� Some argue that this was the main reason for seeing the film.� Lawrence seemed to possess the paradoxical qualities of a man blinded by his ego, desirous of fame and yet at the same time self-effacing.� The film works with themes of fate and war, Arab tribal disunity and national politics.� Lawrence exists as a dark, blank shadow, a complex, jelly-like personality in a brightly lit desert. He is a man incomprehensible even to those who knew him best: intelligent, charismatic and slightly mad.� In the end he could not bring unity to the Arab tribes, could not even begin to create an Arab state. Unity was elusive for Lawrence and for the Arabs for many reasons as it is elusive for us.�� The pioneers of our generation can but construct a portion of it, a stage along the way to the unity of humankind in the many generations to come.-Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, 28 December, 2006.

I had no idea back then that
I would be a bit mad, too, as
I journied across the deserts,
the Arctic-ice and the great
tracts of land playing my part
in trying to unite the peoples
of the Earth who did not seem
to want to unite at least through
the mechanism which I advised
and suggested again and again
for over fifty years, say, back to
'56 as we were just starting to go
to the moon and into rock-'n-roll.

The cinematography, the mise-
en-scene of my days, could be
magnificent in the hands of a
David Lean, a poetic imagery
with super-panavision 70 mm
scope. You could even capture
the hills and valleys of my life
with a spectacular epic story, a
much larger-than-life idealistic
adventure & reduce my several
decades to, say, 150 minutes!!!*

I had my eccentricity but it was
nothing like Peter O’Toole’s &
I married someone who helped
to keep my eccentricities within
bounds of social propriety—and
thus function in society….in the
classroom and in a community
with its heterogeneity. But fame
and wealth would never be mine.

Ron Price
28 December 2006 to
16 January 2012--Draft #2

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