Saturday, September 22, 2007

23rd September
It's half past midnight on Sunday morning, and I am mortal tired.
Yet I know I cannot sleep.
My heart is too full for that.
My heart, and my mind.
I've just watched A WINTER'S TALE at the Lyceum. I really didn't know the play at all, it is one of those that gets labelled a 'problem'.
Mainly, I suppose, because iut absolutely does not fit the contemptible standards of what is called 'verisimilitude' - but which is, I suspect, nothing but a sad lie.
1610, they say, was when the play was performed. Shakespeare was 46.
11 years younger than I am now.There is this amazing moment when Leontes hears the oracle, which reveals to him that his suspicions of Hermione have been utterly without foundation.
His son dies. His wife dies.
He comes to understand that he has ruined his life.
...And it's as if we have been seeing a whole play: OTHELLO, maybe, revisited... but we also know we are only half way through.
There is more, much more to be said and done and lived through in the imagination.
And we go to Bohemia...
At the very end, Leontes is brought to a secluided house, where, he is told, is a life like statue of his dead wife, Hermione.
It turns out that she had not died; that she has lived secluded for sixteen years in the hope of seeing her lost daughter, Perdita.
And as leontes stands and marvels at how lifelike the statue is, the statue comes to life...
Before she fell ill, Susie made a visit to Bologna, I forget exactly why, but it had to do with her work for Engender. She loved it, and she met some feminists there who came to visit her in her last illness.
She was very tired and fell asleep; before they left, they left a beautiful bracelet on her pillow.
She loved that bracelet, and wore it often.
Sometime I wear it, too, and I wore it tonight.
I'm not sure why, except the last play she saw was at the Lyceum and she loved the theatre.
I wanted to take something of her with me tonight...
And the monet the statue came to life, and leontes was reunited with his wife he thought dead...
I have so often dreamt of this moment.
Not literally so, but the moment when I understand that our seperation is all the result of some absurd misunderstanding, and of course Susie is still alive, and of course wecan be reunited...
These dreams are very beautiful, and very heart breaking too.
To see them enacted on the stage, with such clarity and love.. I wept and I wept.
But somehow I was glad to weep.
And perhaps this is not a dream.. perhaps Shakespeare at the very end of his creative life understood a truth here that he needed to communicate.

And I know, in a still unformed way, that there is something here I need to communicate too.

It was good to bump into Mark Thomson's PA and for her to say "I have a contract on my desk for you".


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