We didn’t make it to Paris so we are going to be eating salad instead. I adore this image which a client – who comes for professional development gave me permission to display – and has just sent to me as a metaphor for the conversations we have continued to have together for rather a long time. I also love Shakespeare’s metaphor about emotions being like a salad but I am not referring to Cleopatra’s ‘salad days’, I’m sure there was something more subtle about emotional combinations somewhere in A and C. I’ll have to keep on thinking and finding. If I’m really stuck I can check out with Greg Hicks who has currently opened in the RSC season, which has transferred to the The Round House, in advance of going to New York, where he will be playing in ‘Lear’. His is a great and thoughtful Lear, it may not have the age of the other current Lear but it does have great complexity and trickery. All traces of the mannerist Greg have been pared away, and who speaks better Shakespeare? He is also the Soothsayer in Antony, and I had quite forgot, until I saw an excellent review in the papers today, that he has just opened in ‘The Winter’s Tale’ as Leontes. What a fistful, if not a salad bowl of emotions to juggle there. Surely, Leontes’ flayed and phantom immersions into those green eyed monsters of jealousy must have prodded at Proust in his immortal autopsy of what is possibly the most primal, when additionally linked not only with bodies but with territories, animal emotion.
The queues outside of St. Pancras Station looked as though they were for the ‘last train’. Undiluted chaos. At first I thought the people were queuing to see an exhibit at the British Library, at least two blocks away from the station, until I noticed that they were all carrying suitcases.
I know this won’t be popular but at the moment I’m finding Dorothea, who hasn’t yet departed for Rome, irritating and my sympathies are with Celia’s intuitive intelligence. I have also been castigated by ‘Prof’ for finding Norpois boring, and not understanding what Proust was doing. But, even though I knew that he was mimicking a salon style of parrot gratuity, and even though I think I knew that to some degree there was a conscious mimesis of Proust’s own syntax, taking place, I failed to ‘laugh out aloud’. Still, on the next reading I promise that I shall try to read more acutely.
I am also struck, watching my grandchildren’s turbulent and exquisitely painful experiences of ‘first love’ along with the liberties of adolescence, by what a terrifying business this encyclopedia of love is. What tremors, what annihilations, what sobbings of self do any other experience, except the challenge of death, throw into the insomnium of night. Or, is it all no more than ‘romance’: ” My lords if you would hear a high tale of love and death…’?
My daughter tells me that I am naive; that it is because she understood all these scarred, or do I mean sacred, woundings of adolescent love, self-harming, body piercing and possession that she originally determined as a therapist, also to work with adolescence. Yes, love speaks with a warlike language, and all along the way, it twists, if not strangulates from desire to death, with passion. The God of Love is a blind archer, a magician of projections, who only ever shoots fatal arrows, and his rites de passage seems to agony between one besieging and another.
Now that I cannot people watch in Paris, I don’t have any excuse not to meet the challenge of the contorted thoughts, digressions and arrogance of Denis de Rougement’s,’Love in the Western World’, whenever Dorothea exasperates me, and once I’ve found that Shakespearian metaphor of emotion…I’ve checked with the Concordance and it doesn’t exist. Must be another bard. I do like this:
‘Indeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the salad, or rather, the herb of grace.’ Clown
Dan and Rose June 2010