Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Poor Future Children

Look what I found! How could I not buy it! It is a baby Shakespeare book of Romeo & Juliet that teaches numbers! My poor poor future children. If they don't end up with literary-inspired names, they will be learning how to count with Shakespearean tradgedy.

I kind of want to name future daughter Giulietta after Juliet, or Natalia after the protagonist in The Tiger's Wife, or Paloma after the girl in The Elegance of a Hedgehog. I have also always liked the name Guenevere after the King Aurthur stories, or Gwendolyn after Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.

It's probably going to be a good idea that at some point in my life before I have a child there will be a man in my life who will have a say in the matter! In the meantime, I'm learning to count.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Two Photos

The Kolob Canyon Review, literary arts journal at Southern Utah University is going to publish two of my photographs! I'm so excited. They are publishing a photo I took in Morocco and one I took in a casino in Reno this summer. The photographs will appear in the Spring 2012 edition! Yay!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Own it Helena – You’re the New It Girl

Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) is one of my all-time favorite characters in Shakespeare; often over-looked, at least in her mind.

The not-quite-as-classically-attractive Helena is best friends with the All-American (in this case All-Grecian) beauty, Hermia. She has a paramour, Demetrius, who is interested in her beauty until he meets her best friend Hermia, and crushing, decides to transfer his affection to her. Problem: Hermia has her own true-love Lysander, who consequently, might be a better catch.

How does Helena respond? Whine, whine, whine.

Oh, Hermia
! Why am I not as pretty as you? Why aren’t myne eyne as beautiful as thyne sphyrey eyne?

Oh, Demetrius! Pay attention to me! Treat me poorly while I chase you, just don’t leave me please! Treat me as you treat your dog, just treat me!

Hermia to Helena

Demetrius to Helen

A couple of love-potions and fairy tricks later: Demetrius and Lysander are both in love with Helena --praising her beauty and virtues. And she is beautiful and virtuous; she just doesn’t recognize it comparing herself to Hermia.

How does Helena react to this new found love and attention from two “worthy” bachelors? She swears. “Oh Spite, Oh Hell!”

Helena is not used to the attention, she can’t handle the attention, she doesn’t want the attention; the lime-light isn’t comfortable resting on her or her on it.

My conclusion: Helena is so typically female. I can laugh with Helena, but I find I can’t chide her. What I really want to say to her is OWN IT. Own who you are. You tell us yourself in the play: “Throughout Athens I am thought as beautiful as she [Hermia],” but add the caveat: “but what of this if Demetrius thinks not so?” Don’t lose your confidence because one man doesn’t think you are as beautiful as you truly are.

My suspicion is if you had acted as confident as you have every right to be, and not whined in jealousy and begged attention from a man who may not deserve you anyway, you would happily be enjoying your best-friend-ship with Hermia, had Demetrius still tailing after you in amour, or better still, found a man much more worthy of you, by virtue of the fact he sees you for what you truly are: wonderful.

But this is a Shakespearean comedy, right? So you whine, complain, beg, become the “IT” woman you have always wanted to be, have no idea how to act when you receive the attention you have always wanted, and then end up marrying that man you think you want, (Demetrius) who only marries you because he still under the influence of the love potion.

Greatest good for greatest number, right? I disagree. While I love Shakespeare’s comedy, I would have re-written the ending; Helena, beautiful and confident, moving on past Demetrius, who would have been given the anti-love potion, so she could have been provided the opportunity to realize she deserved real love, ultimately from someone else.

Sounds like I want to turn this comedy into a feminist drama, right? Well, I’m looking out for Demetrius too. He shouldn’t love forever against his will with the love potion, he should get the opportunity to wake up too, and find a woman he truly loves, and for the right reasons as well, provided he can find them.