A Day Trip
It was a place of bridges and swans,
small canals with accessories built by the not-so-honest members of a community in Wormwood Scrubs (as described on the plaque here)
A place where the sixteenth century birthplace of one of the greatest writers in the world stands uncomfortably alongside more modern structures
while just down the road it is possible to have a fine lunch in a fifteenth century pub (which could well have been the place where the greatest writer drank and thought of his words)
before finally reaching your destination.
Then, pausing for a while to buy a few items in the shop and order interval drinks, you climb up to the balcony to take your seat.
And even though the main man was valiantly fighting laryngitis (which sometimes made you strain for the words)
there was a moment in the middle of a speech by Cleopatra (Harriet Walters) when you thought you had found happiness - and it is not at all what you thought it would be. It was not a victory or a triumph but this: the anguish, the pain, the wonderment of living spoken out loud and clear, precisely and beautifully.
How Shakespeare thought in the sixteenth century is how I think now - and how everyone that comes after me will think too. And it was thinking of this link, and feeling part of it, that made me realise that in great works of fiction we are preserved, and all of us in some way, made immortal.