1 Confined to the house as I am with pleurisy (what a bummer!) I am loving listening to BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon play which each afternoon this week is a marvellous interpretation of Hamlet, one of my favourite of Shakespeare’s plays. Today’s episode reached the oh so moving speech when Queen Gertrude tells Laertes that his sister, Ophelia has drown’d.
“There is a willow grows aslant a brook
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do “dead men’s fingers” call them.
There, on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke,
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And mermaid-like a while they bore her up,
Which time she chanted snatches of old lauds
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element. But long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
Those beautiful, sad words brought Milais’ painting into my head.
Ophelia by John Everett Millais
2 A blogging friend, Lou, introduced me to The Presents of Presence when she re-blogged a post. The following words really spoke to me so I, in turn, give them to you here:
Make the Ordinary Come Alive
Do not ask your children,
To strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.
From ‘The Parent’s Tao Te Ching” by William Martin
3 Last night two of my knitting friends brought me some beautiful Pheasant’s Eye Narcissi. Not only do they look amazing, they smell just lovely. Thank you N and T.
Pheasant’s Eye Narcissi