The Tempest

Shakespear’s “The Tempest” present by University of Toledo

Saturday night, my beloved and I had a lovely evening out watching the last play written by  Shakespear, The Tempest. It was a visually evocative presentation performed on a round moving stage with a magic circle and glowing chalk letters from the Enochian alphabet drawn by the character Prospero.

The Enochian alphabet, still believed to be a magical alphabet, was created by advisor and astrologer for Queen Elizabeth, John Dee. In the story, the protagonist Prospero uses it to bend the elements and spirits to his will, to cause a tempest of a storm forcing a large ship and it’s occupants onto his island to play into his scheme.

At the time this was written in England, John Dee had been dead for a few years and his mystical writing and journals were being shared along with knowledge of this mysterious alphabet, colonialization of far away islands was revealing its challenges, and a master of another art was preparing to leave his life’s work.

The universal themes of love, justice, and forgiveness carrying the arc of this story through to the end where Prospero resigns from his magical arts, just as Shakespear himself who retired shortly after writing this last play.

Prospero:
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

The Tempest Act 4, scene 1

It is a good story for stirring contemplation on the efforts we undertake and how they add meaning or serve vain fancies. Upon this viewing, this play reminded me of passion and devotion, Prospero’s devotion to his daughter, Shakespear’s to his Art, John Dee’s to his mysticism, and even Queen Elizabeth’s to her vision for England.

I’m very devoted to the moment I am in, which could have me taking up many different roles: mother, partner, sister, friend, confidant, gardener…. and yes also a creative. Ahh… clearly I need to cultivate my creative time with a bit more passion and devotion too.

I value the hunger for the expression more than the quantitative and limited concepts of productivity.  This is good because, with a life of multiple chronic illnesses, I am forced to be flexible and gentle with such things. I have been doing work and preparation for a larger project and proceeding steadily. I have not had enough time to maintain my IT or Social Media roles, and that is ok. I can’t share it all online anyway.

The video above is a promo by the University of Toledo for this production. Below is an animated version of the play, which I also find enjoyable.

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The Planets

On the 2nd, I had the lovely pleasure of seeing a wonderful performance of Gustav Holst’s The Planets by The Toledo Symphony Orchestra. My favorites are still Mercury and Neptune. The atmosphere of the Peristyle is both elegant and gives you a great view of the stage and fellow art lovers alike. It was wonderful to run into so many good friends during intermission!

It’s easy to forget how inspiring and enriching it is to see and hear other artists, and of course be in the company of those who love and support the arts. Below is a great recording of Mercury by Holst, my favorite by far. It is complex, layered, rich in texture.

If you find it interesting, you can also listen to the presentation below that explains more about this piece and can enhance one’s musicality. I have no musical background, so I find such things very informing.

Well, as I am striving to retain and reinforce my focail Gaeilge, Irish words, I decided to review them too. It’s not the easiest language to learn by any means, but I it is deeply meaningful to me.

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A Brighid’s Day Poem

Snowdrop

Outside the earth is coated in ice and snow. Inside my orchids are blooming and it bides me through till the snowdrops and grape hyacinths will begin to stretch out of their winter slumber. I planted the snowdrops just this fall, and now that it is Imbolc I am very very anxious to see them, but winter lingers a bit longer here than in the isles.

Yet, despite the wait to come, I feel very blessed by the waves of inspiration that have come to me through the week. I am reorganizing a lot of space to fine tune it to my tastes. Some artists are not so sensitive to the environment, but I am not one of those. I forgot how much fun this kind of work can be. I have to make my standby studio more workable while my main studio is being completed.

MAY ALL BE THRICE BLESSED

Brighid ,
Lady of the Flame,
Stoke our internal fires:
may will be the fire of the heart,
may vision be the fire of the mind,
may passion be the fire of the flesh,
may all be thrice blessed.

Brighid,
Lady of the Forge,
Shape our internal form:
may strength be the form of the heart,
may wisdom be the form of the mind,
may vigor be the form of the flesh,
May all be thrice blessed.

Brighid,
Lady of the healing waters,
Renew our internal well,
may love be the well of the heart,
may peace be the well of the mind,
may health be the well of the flesh,
May all be thrice blessed.

 

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