Our Shakespearean Year
by Jane Tawel
Our Shakespearean Year “of our discontent” drags on as we have “much to do about nothing” and it looks as if “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow will creep on at this petty pace, to the last syllable of recorded time”; mostly “signifying nothing”. “We have seen better days”. But on the plus side, we have learned that “we know what we are, but know not what we may be”; and while “the course of true love never did run smooth”, we humans are still “what stuff as dreams are made of”. Let’s remember even if we would never choose this, “some people have greatness thrust upon them”. As we approach a spring in which we wish things were normal again, let’s “Beware the Ides of March” and remember that “nature does require her time of preservation”. “To be or not to be” is a matter of staying safe, staying sane and staying diligent. If you think this “lady doth protest too much”, I apologize for my “lack of brevity”. Yet there are “more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in my philosophy”. But “friends, Chosen, countrymen, lend me your ears” but once more: “let us love each other more than words can wield the matter, dearer than eyesight, space and liberty”. “Love sought is good, but given unsought is better”. So keep masking, keep tasking, but remember if you are alive you have a “treasury of ever-lasting joy”. And to each of you “here, I hope, begins our ever-lasting joy” as “there is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so”. “The miserable have no other medicine but hope” and now vaccines; so get yours as soon as you can. And when you despair turn outward, yes, “God shall be our hope, our stay, and our lantern to our feet”. Now I must go, ah friends, “parting is such sweet sorrow but I shall say good-bye, til it be morrow; my necessaries are embarked! Adieu!” When this is all over there are a few I must admit I am glad we will “be better strangers”, and my friends may not recognize me as I have become “as fat as butter”. But though the past year has often seemed “as tedious as a twice told tale”, remember that “love looks not with the eyes but with the mind”. So “from the records of our memories, we will wipe away all trivial records”, and keep “remembering such things as are most precious to us”. And frankly sequestering has reminded me that, “our lives, exempt from public haunt, find tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything”. “Thou seest, we are not all alone unhappy!” “I love long life better than my husband loves figs!” Oh folks, “the time of life is short, to spend that shortness basely were too long!” So “to thine own self be true” and just do something good for yourself today, because “nothing will come of nothing”. My “parting is such sweet sorrow” for me but but I know you are thinking, “for this relief much thanks!” But I thank you for your “flattery in friendship” since “I count myself in nothing else so happy, as in a soul remembering my good friends”! Be assured that “self-love, my friend, is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting”. So grab on to your best purpose today and believe, “it is not in our stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves”. “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none. And Please — if you only remember one thing that Shakespeare said, remember this: “Thy life’s a miracle”!
(apologies to the Bard — Jane)©2021