Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Abroad thoughts from home
After my travels I am settling down again, what with having to write something at speed for today's Italian class. Of course, it was full of mistakes, but we all learned a lot and had plenty to discuss - just hope I can remember not to make those mistakes again. But I do get confused about which tenses to use. Is it age and decrepitude creeping up on me? Perhaps!
Before I start I will have a mini rant. Why not?
Verdi's Otello was on the radio, and I was listening to it on my way home from choir practice. It reminded me of the things I dislike intensely about the character of Otello. Sorry, Othello, in Shakespeare. In days of yore when I studied Shakespeare, the theory of the great but flawed man was in vogue. I could never see that these men were so great.
Nobody ever believes the word of a woman. All it takes is some malign man to whisper a few critical words about a women, to impugn her virtue, her chastity and good character, and that man is instantly believed by the woman's husband or betrothed. She is denounced and disgraced. Everyone believes she is guilty, on evidence you would not swat a fly for. When the situation is set right, it only comes about because another man has contradicted the original calumny. Look at Much Ado about Nothing!
Now of course Desdemona is a bit stupid, she lost the handkerchief and did not raise a hue and a cry - although what good would it have done? and has not the common sense to shut up about Cassio, but really, she ought not to be strangled by her husband on this account. Othello, this grown man, this hero, rolls around the floor feeling sorry for himself, but he never a) asks Desdemona, or b) casts any sort of critical eye about any evidence of the alleged offence, and c) is totally ready to believe the worst about her, and what's more, insults and humiliates her in public. Then he bravely creeps up on her as she lies asleep, and kills her and won't even allow her to say her prayers. Goodness, she ran away with him despite her father's opposition - and you have to acknowledge her father really had a point about this bloke - and then Iago suggests that if she is the sort of women who was prepared to disobey her father and run off with Othello, well, of course she is likely to be an adulteress. A lose lose situation. But somehow we are all supposed to feel really sorry for this jealous murderer and to empathise about how much he suffered. I just hope that when he stabbed himself it really hurt, and that if there is a hell, he found his place in the right circle.
My trip to Melbourne and my time with my family was lovely , as ever, yet somehow bitter-sweet, and I wound up in tears the day I left, wishing that somehow I had managed my life better and not moved away from family. And what's more, it really was (nearly) all my own work. When I see how other members of the family can all drop in on each other constantly, and are so much a part of each other's lives, I wish I were a part of all that. As it gets more difficult to have a few days away, I miss it more and more. My sister was able to help her youngest daughter, who had to have her infected sinuses cleared out in an emergency operation, and to drop into the hospital, and then take her some soup when she came home. I have to plan such things, they don't just happen as a regular and frequent occurrence, and I can't do them very often. It is not as though my life is totally dismal: it is in many ways full of things I enjoy, and I have made new friends. But they do not replace the old friends, and I do not want to lose them.
Never mind, I am just having a little whinge.
The return home also means I have to contend with the rest of the visit of the WSD and family. They are back from their week elsewhere but have not yet been in contact yet, and I am hoping to dodge them. I tell myself to just take it day by day. Tomorow is another busy day, and on Friday I am planning to see a film with a friend. I might even take myself off to see the Harry Potter film. At this stage I have no plans to cook a big family meal for everyone. The cupboard will remain rather bare. Let them eat takeaways, preferably elsewhere.
As I have to get up early in the morning, tidy up, finish reading the Dante for tomorrow's class, get organised for the lecture, and then get home in time to see to the cleaners, I should stop thinking with my fingers, and go and rest my weary body on the nice new bed.