I haven’t posted on here all week, what with feelings of utter existential futility that ensue when decisions feel like they’re out of your hands frankly not being conducive to having any impulse to dribble forth fleeting notions about how verse works and whatnot. I’ve instead spent the week getting a couple of projects going that I hope are a way to address goings-on in a way that’s some combination of useful to the world and what I know how to do anyway. I’ve also done a bit of stress eating as well as tried to get a few decent nights’ sleep, which as a person who just came out of a production of Macbeth in general and in specific an occasional knitter of sleeves myself, I know the good of.
Then I went to the Louisville Free Public Library last night to hear the University of Louisville Phi Beta Kappa lecture by James Shapiro, author of a bunch of very good and eminently readable books on the world surrounding Shakespeare. I’d had tickets to this lecture, entitled “Shakespeare in America”, for a while and it was clearly planned months before, so I was surprised by how immediately (and intentionally) relevant to events of the past week it all was. Despite the bubbles we all find ourselves in, Shakespeare will not allow himself to be one of them and when you try to make this happen, something unexpectedly relevant always pops its head out and squints in the bright light.
So rather than thinking of myself as a nerd wiggling punctuation around, I remembered (at my wife’s urging) that I’m also someone who right now is supposed to be poring over a trio of scripts, one a story of how people try to break out of a cycle of misogyny, one about one leader being supplanted by another in ways that make them both look dubious, and one about the disastrous effects of a small group of people setting themselves up as judge, jury and executioner of a leader even when they firmly believe they’re doing the right thing. I’m also someone who will soon be jumping around in front of people trying to tell a second-hand Shakespearean story of the feelings of utter existential futility that ensue when decisions feel like they’re out of your hands.
So nothing is irrelevant. None of this is a waste of time. And frankly, only about twenty people are reading this thing anyway, so neither am I significantly wasting anyone else’s time (feel free to share this blog, by the way. Thanks).
As stated, I’m mostly a Folio guy, but times like these sometimes make us have to dip into the Quartos, so:
What is a man
If his chiefe good and market of his time
Be but to sleepe and feede[?]
Don’t read the rest of that speech looking for too much more significance; I don’t have any treasonous plans – just a bit of rediscovered resolve.