Sunday, September 03, 2006

A Day Trip

This must be a sign of my brain cells finally starting to wither but half way through yesterday morning I was just composing a post for this blog when it occurred to me that Hodmandod Senior and I were supposed to be going on a 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.


Blogger Lee said...

Your brain cells can't possibly be withering when you post as beautifully as this.

Sun Sep 03, 05:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine that you were there too. Did you enjoy the performance? I certainly did!

Sun Sep 03, 07:39:00 pm  
Anonymous Jan said...

I'm echoing Lee's comments. Your sentiments brilliantly put.

Sun Sep 03, 09:53:00 pm  
Anonymous skint writer said...

what a great post - piccies and all - and the thing about the connection with Shakespeare - that's what writing is all about - that's what we all aspire to

Mon Sep 04, 12:11:00 am  
Blogger Susan said...

Lovely post, Clare! Your vignettes are always so enjoyable.

Mon Sep 04, 01:56:00 am  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

How delicious...

Down with the internet! (Yes, I am online, but Mr. E did say that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.)

Up with shaking a spear with the wordsmiths and living life more abundantly!

Mon Sep 04, 03:29:00 am  
Blogger twitches said...

"in great works of fiction we are preserved, and all of us in some way, made immortal."

Amen to that.

Mon Sep 04, 04:46:00 pm  
Anonymous Minx said...

All that and Captain Picard as well!

Mon Sep 04, 10:58:00 pm  
Anonymous crimeficreader said...

Mmm, Patrick Stewart - even with laryngitis! A sound and vision to behold! That would have madem y day out, don't know about you Clare!

Mon Sep 04, 11:18:00 pm  
Anonymous crimeficreader said...

Pls excuse the typo there!

Mon Sep 04, 11:19:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

Minx and CFR: Yes, I have to admit Picard was the main attraction (I also have to admit that Mr Spock would also have been a big attraction in earlier days. Yes, the sad fact of my STAR TREK addiction is coming out now).

BUT Patrick Stewart is a mighty fine actor too - and having been lured there for the most unworthy reasons I did enjoy the Shakespeare bit too. In fact it was pretty wonderfully amazing and the best thing I have seen for a very long time. Hence the happiness moment. So thank you all for reading - very much. It is so good to be able to tell someone.

Tue Sep 05, 12:04:00 am  

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