It is the morning after the election and I woke up feeling numb. I probably only slept about four hours as nightmares of angry Trump mobs kept jolting me up all night. I’m in disbelief that half of my country is clearly racist, ageist, uncultured, unable to research fact from fiction, and that hate apparently is winning over love. That is what 45’s strong numbers seem to exhibit. I’m devastated and broken hearted. And my kooky imagination keeps hearing lines from Shakespeare.
You know, the interesting thing about being a former actress and a teacher for 36 years, is that lines from countless plays and novels swim around my head and contuously rise to the forefront of my brain on just the right occasion. I have recited so many lines over the years from plays I performed, or novels I either read or taught, that at the drop of a hat a quote will pop into my consciousness.
Some say actors are odd creatures who are too sensitive and slightly peculiar. Well, think about it. What kind of uniqueness does it take to absorb words and portray them with such passion that you have the incite and ability to jump into a character’s soul and bring her or him to life? Not everyone can do that.
And what kind of sensitivity does it take for a teacher to turn words into a life lesson? To make students think? In my opinion it’s the same gift that brings an audience to tears, to laughter, or to understanding. It’s imparting knowledge and enlightenment.
So, this particular morning when every news station in America has Biden and Trump running neck and neck, and my hopes of a President who actually follows the science that can end this pandemic and bring back our good standing on the world stage, seem to be flying out the window…I’m being bombarded with Shakespearean phrases that I can’t get out of my head!
What keeps rolling around my brain in a never ending loop are Shakespeare’s words that I recited long ago when I played the role of Juliet. I just can’t shake the words! Over and over I hear myself saying the lines. I feel my tears from 40 years ago. I hear the rustle of my gown as I knelt upon the floor, and the pain and desperation my character felt when she said…
“Shut the door! And when thou hast done so,
Come weep with me, past hope, past cure, past help.”