Twin Peaks Your Life!
With the third season of Twin Peaks coming to an end for me (yes, still one episode to go – I/we like to go slow), more and more of the gaps are filled, the plot gradually makes sense. But it still seems like an unfinished puzzle with the jigsaws on the corners inviting people to add/supplement whatever they think or feel could fit there.
For many weeks now, I’ve been walking through the world with „Lynchian glasses”, seeing Twin Peaks on every corner. It started on a trip to a Bavarian lake which is surrounded by wonderful nature with strange tree formations and caves – „Jackrabbits Palace” might likely be found there. Sometime around noon, we came to a power station that was built in the 30s: giant pipes leading down the mountains, a main hall that had a bit of a 30`s White Lodge-touch.
Above us, a few tall power poles were buzzing and humming so loud that the tension seemed almost touchable. I imagined it being a giant collecting point for spirits. On top of it all, as we continued our trip, we saw some planes of the German armed forces which dropped down some recruits with parachutes for military training. My fiancee and I just looked at each other and smiled – wasn`t this just perfect?
During the next few days, I continued having these Twin Peaks „visions”: suddenly, the wooden floor in my office started to look a lot like the one in the Black Lodge. It is not black and white, of course, but the pattern is about the same. It looks like you just had to push some button and it would be reactivated. After all, wasn`t this just what I had always wanted – a reality with a double bottom?
And I remembered some other incident which I cannot explain to this day: once, when I moved a rolling file cabinet from my desk, I discovered a pencil hanging at the side of said desk. Now I couldn`t remember having taped it there, nor was there any sign of adhesives which could have made it clung to the side. The only explanation I could come up with was that something – maybe the desk lamp – had heated the plastic knobs on the side of the pencil, making them sticky and clinging to the desk. But even that seemed unprobable as the knobs weren`t that big
Editing a manuscript afterwards, I had to think of Dougie Jones and the scene where he scribbles over the insurance contracts, drawing ladders and small figures. Right at that moment, I was drawing curls under some lines, and I stopped in mid-sentence. What, for God`s sake, was I doing there, day in, day out? Did it all have some sort of higher purpose? Maybe it was not so wrong to apply the „Dougie glasses” from time to time, freeing things from their everyday context (Phenomenology, anyone?)
The same week, I visited a university seminar about the „Process of Writing”. The professor said something about the transition from the actional/gestural to the graphic medium which marks the transition from the primitive times to our civilized world. Hellooooo! Doesn`t this also mark the distinction between the Lodges and the real world in Twin Peaks? Think of how the members of the Lodges often use gestures rather than words, how Lil in Fire Walk With Me does a dance for the FBI agents, which contains decoded information. This would confirm the theory that the Lodges are prehistoric spirit places with their inhabitants representing ancient archetypes which communicate with human beings primarily via mysterious gestures. (More about the various gestures here).
Searching for things which might have inspired Twin Peaks, we can indeed go far back in time. To the Egyptians, for example. As I went to an exhibition about the Egyptians in summer, clues were practically hanging on every wall in the „religion” section. Take only one of the creation myths (of the Egyptians), wherein the crocodile god Sobek is said to have laid eggs on the bank of a river. In one of the sacred texts, it says: „While he rejuvenated his body […] They came forth with malice.” Sounds like Sobek created the ancient form of the Woodsmen. Interestingly, Sobek is also called the „Lord of the Waters” („This is the water, and this is the well…”). He was said to bring fertility as well as violent death – like the mother alien in Twin Peaks.
Another Twin Peaks element which is closely linked to the Egyptian mythology: the sycamore tree. On an Egyptian tourist site, it says: „The Sycamore tree was of special significance in Egyptian religion. It was the only native tree of useful size and sturdiness in Egypt, and perhaps very significantly, most often grew along the edge of the desert, which would have also placed it near or in the necropolises.” The sycamore as an entry mark to the realm of the dead? Very fitting indeed. The tree is also associated with the goddess Hathor, the custodian of the dead and of women. This reminds me immediately of Laura Palmer, which some say might have transformed into some sort of revengeful death angel in season 3.
Last but not least, I even found some traces of Chinese philosophy in Twin Peaks. Not long ago, I learnt that the Chinese sign for the negative „yin” principle in Daoism can also mean „negative” in the sense of negative electricity. On Wikipedia, it says: „阴: In Chinese philosophy, the feminine or negative principle […] of the two opposing cosmic forces into which creative energy divides and whose fusion in physical matter brings the phenomenal world into being.” Maybe this explains why only half of the original Cooper came out of the electric socket? Maybe that`s because he had to stick the fork in the socket – to regain his +-/positive neutrons, to become whole again? Well, anyway, I`m glad he did.