Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Meeting Shakespeare in a Coffee Shop

It seems to me that however vulgar and misquoted Shakespeare and his characters reside in modern life with surprising tenacity. By sitting in a simple café one can meet the incredibly complex and interesting characters that appear in the pages of the plays. The crassness and twisted humor that seeps the plays is repeated in every conversation as is the brilliance of human nature. I hear Shakespeare in conversation so often and this is a remarkable achievement for the man because he has as well as his other accomplishments managed to sum up human nature in the magic of theatre and words. So many movies are so unbelievable and the characters bland, boring and fail to strike a cord with human nature as if we have become so conceited that we regard ourselves as angelic more than faulty as we are. The villains on the screens are only evil and bad but Shakespeare has always had a talent with revealing the human. No character is merely dismissed as evil but rather you can feel sympathy with the egotistic Richard the Third or the Macbeths and we all play Iago, Othello and Hamlet on our own stage. Even stepping down from just meeting characters just sentences are repeated. How many of us have choked out ‘To be or not to be’ in times of trouble and indecision even though the meaning is shown through different words? I personally have given advice from my well worn tomes and although the words are never the same or as great they still carry the meaning.
So sitting in this café listening to the conversations around me as I do ( A fault in a writers make up obviously, we where never told that listening was bad) I heard two teenage boys almost quoting Richard the Third. Admittedly the context was screwed with and the language was hardly as compelling but hidden in their banter about some girl one had obviously charmed was ‘I’ll have her but; but I will not keep her long.’ the same words that slithered from Richard the Third but I doubt the boys were going to kill the girl, they were probably just getting a hit from the power as Richard did. Glancing around me another couple came to light a brother and sister no doubt one urging the other to keep an infatuated boyfriend in line and I could not help but see Laertes and Ophelia. So broadening my search for ‘Shakespearisms’ I thought of my life. Everyday the corridors of school are a buzz with manipulative Iagos, besotted Juliet’s, angry Katherine Minolas and indecisive, emo Hamlets of which I think I belong. One school is a breeding ground for understated Shakespeare performances.
In my life time I have seen what most my age have witnessed and I have witnessed dysfunctional relationships where many of my friends have played an Ophelia or Juliet, a great many passionate banters, a few interchangeable merry makers and thankfully a great many powerful characters especially women such as Beatrice, Portia and even a few Kates. I am no expert on Shakespeare although I occasionally seek some guidance from him but with the introduction I have suddenly the world appears to be Shakespeare’s stage. The Globe takes on a whole new meaning! The one thing I can ask from my life now is when I have to die can I at least have an ending worthy of Shakespeare? To be depressing it would be nice to not only take out the guy trying to kill me but the majority of the court like Hamlet. Sorry I can’t help but be morbid do excuse me but I have already discussed life and Shakespeare has certainly changed my view on death.
So in conclusion Shakespeare inhabits each part of us and I find that truly admirable. The only explanation I can think of is that he did see the world as a stage and took human nature to spin a few good yarns around. So when I do go back to school I am going to stand back a little more and just watch the show. No doubt this year someone might set the thatches of this theory alight but at least it will have been a bloody good show. With the death of the local Shakespeare group I am looking forward to the personal shows being thrown all around me. Well I will shut up because the red curtains have opened and the lights are definitely going down.m

Friday, January 16, 2009

Iced Domesticity

There is something so pleasing in sparse domesticity especially in the art of baking. I am not the house type but on the rare occasion I venture into the strange and alluring world of domestic life I come out feeling quite in control. I do cheat a little preferring to buy packet mix rather than spending hours measuring out fattening ingredients. In fact it’s all just better if I don’t have any idea of what goes into these iced creations because then I don’t have to feel guilty about the pounds I am piling on as I eat them. One of the best things about baking is the memories behind it. As you mix you stir the child inside who emerges joyfully to lick the bowl in exactly the same way you did ten years ago. Who could not feel happy when the inner child appears?I am the kind of person that when applied to a project it must be done and there is a satisfying feeling in the pit of my stomach when my doughy buddies arrogantly grow puffing up their chests like a group of adolescent boys around some of my pretty, more voluptuous friends.

Unfortunately I am not the best of cooks and each cake bares the battle scares of my unpredictable oven maybe that’s why I always think of my creations as male or maybe I just take too much delight in beating ‘up’ the mixture. No matter the amount of pink icing or colored roses these muffins always look like hardened soldiers worn with battle cares. They have faced my unpredictability and the ovens heat to return victorious to be covered with roses and sugared 'words' but then tragically each dies slowly and mysteriously under the steely gaze of hungry eyes leaving only there battered cases. Poor things. You are forced to feel sorry for them.

If any of my friends cared to read this they would be shocked by the lack of feminism. How dreary it would be though if I was forced not to take delight in something? Plus I was baking for myself not for anyone else, so dear person who shall remain nameless please save your breath to cool your porridge! I felt that I had to put that in to avoid confusion or perhaps the label of hypocrite. So in conclusion my dabble in dough has certainly been interesting and certainly a pleasing walk down memory lane as I licked the left over mixture of the spoon, so innocently childish, so wonderful.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Drama

My life is totally and undeniably out of control yet, for a reason unfathomable, others think I am perfectly…stable. I realized several things recently as products of my late night wanderings through the twisted corridors of my mind. One is that I have become someone I am not or rather I don’t want to be. Everything is too intense and rather than doing things my way I flinch into submissive, conservative pathways, ways that are so trodden down with the stampeding feet of mindless cattle. Once again I have to ask myself why I am doing everything I do. My greatest fear in this whole universe is not death or pain but disapproval from anyone even those I despise with my entire being. Its made me a doormat really, to everybody. I went to a party recently and by the end of the night I had listened to everybody’s problems and coached them through the resolutions. I got no thanks, no nothing, but several comments on why I existed to these people. “You are a freak; we want to see what you do next”. An impressive compliment from someone crying on my shoulder I must say! Yet I was happy because they wanted me there even though it was for sport. As long as I was with these famous people, these people I wanted to impress, I was willing to sacrifice my dignity. Eventually I mopped it up off the floor but I think I missed a bit.

So the point of this entry is a bit of good, old moaning but I think behind the dribble I just wanted to say to someone, anyone, I am still inside, still thinking and I am fighting. Before I return to the monotonous corridors of school I have made an important decision. No longer will I do what others wish. I am who I am whether they like it or not. All my heroes never changed who they were; they never sacrificed one inch of their values to find happiness in company so I shouldn’t either. I am geeky, I am weird and I am me. I am also well aware that this will win me few friends. High school, socially, is an instituted poison injected into the veins of all that pass its gates and this action is an unwanted allergic reaction to it. The queen bees will swarm but who knows a library may be my salvation.

I realize this all sounds dramatic but I really want independence and identity. I want to be true to myself for a change rather than floating in between these strange circus mirror reflections of me because it makes me unhappy. This year is a turning point of for the entire year levels ethos hopefully. I wish that when we get back from hibernation that we all are a little more civilized and a little more open to the world but who knows that could just be a fantasy. I am not going to write that fantasy off just yet because I am going to make a difference. I think I have had a lot of practice at the changing thing (Trust me I tried everything!) and now I can handle it well and responsibly rather than my desperate previous attempts and if I change maybe it will help us all change.

So summing up I am not going to be such a doormat, I am not going to care about trying to impress everybody and I am doing this because I want to live life. Life’s not a dress rehearsal but the real thing and all the world is MY stage for the moment so why get distracted by playing the fool when there is a star inside of me?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Childhood Introduction

As I submerged myself in a bath, the water forming a silvery mask around my face, I realized how like childhood it really is. The warm liquid forms a protective covering around me, warmth and comfort seeping from the situation but you can only stay that way for a short time. It starts to suffocate you; all the padding keeping you blissfully unaware of reality prevents you from breathing. Your throat dies to voice its concern so you break gasping for individualism and respect from what you knew. Breathing in the air almost hurts as much as not breathing at all but you put it down to experience. The world baptizes you with the absence of water instead of the other way round and as you blink the water from your eyes suddenly everything is bright and lit and new. The water still clings to you desperate to keep you in its caring hold but suddenly all that you can contemplate in your open mind is the air and the light. Your goals shine almost as if lit by Vegas lights in your minds eye. What can you do but follow them? You rise from the water dripping and wet but you know where you want to go and nothing can stop you. It’s a turning point for childhood really. As you towel away the last remaining dregs of protection you emerge against the world raw and clean.

I decided that this would explain who I am best. If I had to choose where I was right now I would be toweling away the last grips of childhood ‘innocence’. This year will be pivotal for me as so many things will be going on. I may be clean and ready but I think this year mud is going to be thrown, the kind of mud that no amount of water will wash away. For the first time I actually have a relationship and so far its working but it would be uncharacteristically naïve of me to think it will all be happy sailing. School will suddenly be the most important priority and my ambition is so chronic that perfection will become a must. I don’t think I am ready because I know I haven’t managed to dry off completely so to speak. This blog is dedicated to my progress throughout the year, my thoughts, my failures and my success(if any). This year will be a sort of progression on the road to self discovery and some arrogant part of me wants to share it with the public. So if I have even sparked a momentary interest please feel free to follow me on my journey. Perhaps it will be easier if I have company on the road.