Who would have thought?
My new thing is Shakespeare! You say….”what?”
I said William Shakespeare!
I am having the time of my life studying Shakespeare. I began last summer as a “kick” for one hour a week with a wonderful high school teacher in Amherst, MA.
I had some general knowledge of some of Shakespeare’s plays but never studied them in detail. When he asked which one I wanted to begin with, I chose Othello. That was the one I was more familiar with and I was also fascinated by Othello as a character. I still am. I know people like him. Powerful men who are vulnerable. I have always been fascinated by men like that. Powerful but vulnerable. How come, I wonder, can someone so successful, so powerful, be taken in? It happens all the time; especially here in Washington.
How did Shakespeare know so much about Kings, Queens, Princes, courtiers? It is said that so much of Shakespeare’s personal life is not known but I think we know enough to piece together a lot about what influenced his writings.
To begin with his father was a glover. But if you see pictures of the gloves that he made they tell you a full story. Who were they made for? They are elaborate, delicate, beaded, gold braid decorated, obviously made for royalty. I can imagine him helping his father make them, even delivering them to the special client. I believe this may have given Shakespeare access to a level of society that he might not have seen otherwise.
Who would have thought that one would find some much about today’s world in Shakespeare?! More to come on this topic.
Following is an excerpt from “Irene an Abe: An Unexpected Life,” available at Amazon.
If anyone had ever asked me if I would like spending the rest
of my life in professional sports, I would have thought he or she
was crazy. Professional sports? I was interested in music, art, and
And, yet, here I was spending two and three nights a
week with sports and athletes. I, who had always thought of
professional athletes as “brawn rather than brains,” was getting to
know them. I was learning to respect them in ways I never would
have anticipated. One thing I learned was that you couldn’t reach
that level of professionalism without extraordinary intelligence,
and the mental and physical discipline that was required to master
the game. Physical prowess was not enough. There were many
young boys with incredible physical ability, but it took so much
more to make it into the NBA and to stay for an entire career. Some
physically talented players are selected to play in the NBA, but
their careers may only last three or four years. The players who
spent their entire careers—ten or more years—in the NBA were the
elite competitors. What an honor it was for me to get to know some
of these remarkable young men. I learned a lot from the way they
dealt with adversity, whether it was being traded or getting hurt
and playing night after night, often in pain. I saw many of them
play when they were injured and train ad nauseam in order to get
back on the court.
I saw them return after losing a loved one and play their hearts
out. I saw their young wives bring their little children to games
so they could spend some time as a family. The players during
the season were on the road at least two to three days a week. The
wives and children knew the drill, but it was a difficult routine
for a young family. And that does not include the disappointment
of losing. One of the most difficult aspects of the profession was
getting traded overnight to another city when you have just
purchased your dream house. Professional sports is a very tough
business, personally and professionally.
I grew close to many of them and still see some of them and