Friday, November 20, 2009

The bard and the wooden spoon.


I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
Quite overcanopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with elgantine.
A Midsummer’s Night Dream


I took the boys to see a Shakespeare show at the Holyoke Public Library the other night. You should have been there! It was incredible. One guy stands up there doing different monologues and sonnets but with these great, amusing little explanations about them. I did not expect my boys to hang out for long but, to my surprise (and swollen parental pride) they did.

At one point the actor paused and asked Nick how old he was. Nick blushed, being the only kid there.

"Uh.. 12?" He replied nervously.

"PERFECT!" The man boomed, making us all jump and chuckle. "Because that is exactly how old Romeo was in this next scene!"

He went on to explain how the balcony scene, where Romeo only sees Juliet, is not really a love scene at all. Romeo does not love Juliet then, he is simply admiring her in a fantastical, hormonal, adolescent way. He is enthralled with her eleven year old beauty and see's her as not a person at all but a piece of fine art, to be cherished and looked upon. Really.. the scene is funny, because Romeo is a bit of a goof in it.

ROMEO [Coming forward.]:
But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid, since she is envious.
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off.
It is my lady! O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks, yet she says nothing.
What of that? Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold; 'tis not to me she speaks.
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!



It was the best introduction to Shakespeare my children could have gotten.

Afterwards they went up to the man and spoke to him briefly. They got some recommendations for which plays they might like and discussed the speeches they liked best. I was disgustingly proud of my boys that night.

Onto the wooden spoon. Before the show began I was speaking with some "Friends" and I remarked, yet again, how I think we need dishes and cups that can be washed. The amount of waste we create at our events with paper plates and plastic single use cups is, to me, excessive and unacceptable. They did not disagree, people rarely do. It would also save us money and who isn’t in favor of that?

I mentioned some of the things I do. I have a set of dishes at work. Plate, bowl, cup, 2 coffee mugs, a set of chopsticks, fork, knife and spoon as well as a cloth napkin. In my purse I often keep a set of utensils made of bamboo for take out occasions. As always, someone was impressed and wished they too could be so dedicated.

And there it is. The great farce.

I am not so dedicated! I still buy Dunkin' Donuts coffee in polystyrene cups and I still buy store bread in plastic bags. Sometimes I forget my bags and use plastic, sometimes I forget my fork and use the disposable one. I am, by no means, environmentally perfect. I am simply working towards a goal. Every now and again I will add something to my list of things I do to save the world and now and again I will forget to do them here and there.

I oppose big box stores but I went down to Ikea last month.

I 'eat locally' but I buy strawberries in February.

I buy used clothing but have a shiny new cell phone.

I started using chemical free, organic make up but.. it comes shipped from Sweden.

For me being environmentally friendly is all about compromises. Sometimes I make them, sometimes the world does.

I can be a hypocrite but only in the eyes of others. People assume since I talk about being green I must be 110 percent green. But I am much more of a pretty sage color with flecks of gold.

I am perfectly imperfect.

I hope no one ever feels like they must be Deep Dark 100 Percent Greenie Green in order to make a difference. Every little tiny change does make a difference and don’t you let anyone ever tell you different.

3 comments:

Sandy said...

Great post about Shakespeare! I'm so glad you went to that Library event and shared it with your sons. I'm sorry it was on the same night as the OneBookHolyoke Celebration, which was also a wonderful event, with gospel music, inspirational speakers, and ice cream. Lots of high school students were there. And, competing with both events was the first meeting of the Holyoke Charter Commission. Holyoke was a happening place on Nov 18th!

Speaking of being a happening place, did you know that the Shakepeare's Globe Theater of London is coming to HOLYOKE Dec 3-5? I hope you'll attend this upcoming MIFA event: Love's Labour Lost! http://www.shakespeares-globe.org/theatre/annualtheatreseason/loveslabourslost/

That Library Girl said...

I think it's wonderful that there is so much going on in Holyoke right now that we have to pick and choose what to do. When I was growing up here it was not like that at all. It's so exciting!

I heard about the Globe several months ago and I am still overwhelmed that they are coming here. I mean.. to Holyoke! The tickets are spendy though so I am not sure if I will be going. I really wanted to bring the boys but I might have to just go alone. Which will make it more enjoyable for me anyway. :o)

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