March 31st, 2017 → 5:49 am

“A kind [hug] he hath.  A woman would run through fire and water for such a kind [hug].”  – The Merry Wives of Windsor

My son gives the best hugs in all of St. Louis.  I’m certain of it.

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

The Handicap’s Lament, Part III

March 27th, 2017 → 6:01 am

“O opportunity, thy guilt is great!” – Lucrece

Having a handicap involves quite a number of paradoxes.  You are happy for the health you have, though not exactly grateful for the infirmities you bear.  You are prepared to keep your troubles to yourself and not bother other people, but then when you truly need help no one is around.  You are motivated to stay strong and not dissolve into emotion, but then, the inner heartache festers without light and attention.  You are quite honest when you say you are proud of your handicap and that it made you the strong, empathic person that you are, but then late at night when no one is looking, you sometimes wonder what your life would have been like without the experience.

I suppose life in general is full of paradoxes, but those for the handicapped stand out, I believe, in a more pronounced way.  The contradictions are sharper, but then, so is your existence.  Whether this is good or bad is yet another paradox.

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

Philosophical Writings

March 23rd, 2017 → 5:38 am

“Adversity’s sweet milk, philosophy.” – Romeo and Juliet

There was an author in the 1990s that I just loved, Alain de Botton.  Somehow, I lost track of his work and simply assumed he’d stopped writing.  I discovered this week that in fact, he is still writing, on religion, on love, on aesthetics, and somehow I had just missed it.  I look forward to ordering some of his latest books; I only hope they are as good as The Consolations of Philosophy and How Proust Can Change Your Life.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

The Handicap’s Lament, Part II

March 19th, 2017 → 5:47 am

“Would you have me
False to my nature?  Rather say I play
The [wo]man I am.”  – Coriolanus

Over my life I’ve had people question my injuries.  Friends who tell me to just get going!  Family members who tell me things could be worse.  Co-workers who clearly think I’m faking things.  It’s frustrating.  And disappointing.  But it does make one wonder, are there levels of handicapped’ness?  Where some people are more justified than others?  At base this is ridiculous, of course.  It’s like asking if there are levels of racism.  Or levels of being raped.  People who make such judgments clearly don’t get it at all.  But what is worse is that I find myself playing to such ableism at times.  Accentuating my limp so I don’t get accused of using a disabled placard falsely.  Why do I even care?  I need to have the strength to play the woman I am.  And idiots can just take it or leave it.

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

Pi Day

March 14th, 2017 → 9:22 am

“Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine,
And thrice again, to make up nine.
Peace!  The charm’s wound up.”  – Macbeth

There aren’t many quotes in Shakespeare involving numbers, certainly none involving Pi.  But in my investigations I did learn that three and nine were considered magic numbers in Shakespeare’s day, where superstitions were common.  Here the famous three witches of Macbeth are using 3 and 9 in their spell casting.  Happy 3.14159… day!

Filed under: Blog & Other

The Handicap’s Lament

March 9th, 2017 → 5:35 am

“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” – Hamlet

My six year old son loves it when I take an afternoon off to join him for lunch at school.  I generally bring Jimmy John’s sandwiches, blue Gatorade, and Kit Kat candy bars for dessert, and every time I go I get the biggest hug from him afterwards.  Usually he asks me that very night when I can come again.  Recently, because of an injury, I hadn’t joined him at the school for nearly four months.  So I asked him last week, would you like me to visit you at school for lunch soon?  His immediate response:  “Will you bring the crutches too?”

The disabled person in me was crushed.  The mother in me understood.  The human rights activist in me wanted to protest and explain.  I paused for a minute before simply asking my son if he didn’t want me to go.  “No,” he said, “I want you to come.”

So, I did.  I hobbled into his school, carrying our contraband take-out lunch in a napkin-lined backpack, and acted like nothing was amiss.  In the end, my son did too.  I even got my enormous hug after we ate and before he ran outside for recess.  I don’t know if my son was embarrassed by me, but I’m pretty sure he has the strength of character not to care too much.  What I know for certain: he loves me, and I love him more than he will ever know.

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

School Kills Shakespeare

March 5th, 2017 → 5:37 am

“…the whining school-boy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.”  – As You Like It

Shakespeare is apparently more popular in the rest of the world, than he is in the UK, a recent study finds.  Apparently that is because the way Shakespeare is taught in the UK (and many other English speaking nations) kills it for most people.  How sad!  Though I do kind of understand.  I didn’t love Shakespeare when I was first exposed to his works in middle school.  My love only came much later.  At the same time, I have always assumed that early exposure planted the seed; that I might not have grown to love Shakespeare now, had I not been force-fed him earlier.  Who knows.  Either way, I am glad the bug finally bit, and I feel kinda bad for others who never grew to appreciate the taste of the fruit.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Henry V

March 1st, 2017 → 1:23 pm

“Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long.” – Henry VI, Part I

I found this antique pocket edition of Henry V the other day.  Is it not adorable?  It’s a bit tattered and worn, but I like it even more for the use.  It means someone read it, and possibly even regularly thumbed through it, and didn’t just keep it around for looks.  Finding it made my day.  Plus, who doesn’t like Henry V, once he’s done being Hal?

Henry V      Henry V Side

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art