Sunday, June 22, 2014

I think I'm back

The last month or so would rank as one of my least favourite periods of time ever.  Joan's death is of course the worst part by far, but adding to the stress was a big work project with a tight deadline.  I was doing most of my work at night, staying up late and functioning on about five hours of sleep a night. My superiors at work encouraged me not to worry about it and take whatever time I needed, but I so badly wanted to finish it and move on.  I'm not sure if that was the right decision; I have some regrets about not being as present for my family as I should have been. I finally finished the project and sent it to the printers this past Wednesday.  The relief wasn't immediate - it was more like a train gradually picking up steam.  By Friday, I was feeling pretty good and it only got better from there.  We had a completely unstructured weekend; now at the end of it, I feel like a new person.  I finally got around to dealing with papers and summer clothes and laundry and yard work and planting flowers.  I re-acquainted myself with the children - I let Chloe drive me to Selkirk (it's not quite like it sounds), I read a book to Neve and tucked her in at night, and I fulfilled Spencer's wish of going to Shakespeare in the Ruins.  The children's happiness at having their mother back was slightly dampened by the fact I made them spend every possible second outside in the beautiful weather. We played a competitive game of soccer tonight, which was super fun except when Neve kept crying because she thought I didn't love her and when my toenail ripped from corner to corner.  But even then, I still loved every minute of it.  It was so nice being outside - Dale and I went for an evening walk for the first time in ages. I'm looking forward to lots more where that came from.

There is still an air of sadness, especially for my brother and his family, and also as the loss of our much loved sister-in-law and auntie sinks in. But I feel like a bit of the fog is lifting and I can breathe a little more deeply than I could a week ago.  And that's a good thing.


Stephen said...

I've been thinking of you and missing your posts. I'm glad you had such a great weekend. I love when you can have a relaxed, unscheduled and yet productive weekend.

Did you like Shakespeare in the Ruins? We thought it quite well done. Here's my review from my journal which includes a great Steve moment:

Steve and I attended Shakespeare in the Ruins’ production of “The Comedy of Errors” with the Silvestris this afternoon. Nobody does mistaken identity and comedy like Shakespeare. And SIR uses the monastery ruins and natural scenery so well to suit it’s purposes. The costumes and trimmed down props are fantastic and the promenade style is a fun use of the grounds. The cast do a wonderful job, ad libbing with weather changes, etc. as needed. Today it started to spit a bit of rain right as Adriana said,

“For know, my love, as easy mayest thou fall

A drop of water in the breaking gulf…”.
That got quite a laugh from the audience. Ha! Thankfully we were able to get through the last scene with only a little bit of rain followed by some hasty bows coupled with thunder and lightening.

It is a farcical slapstick comedy of errors, yet, true to Shakespeare form, it speaks on other levels too. How we make assumptions or let our emotions cloud our judgements. How we long for resolution and, in the case of his comedies, happy endings. How one word can have 3 layers of meaning. It’s interesting to me how timeless Shakespeare’s plays are — the same problems with relationships, the same stress of outward appearances, the same ambitions, the same social commentary, the same base (meaning both low brow, and the foundation of future theatre) jokes.

Steve got pulled up from the front row of the audience in Act 4, Scene III by the Courtesan when she relates that she thinks Antipholus has gone mad. It was quite funny when she looked at me knowingly and said,

“Be like his wife acquainted with his fits,”
I laughed the whole time because I know that’s one of Steve’s worst night mares. He did quite well in front of the crowd and received compliments from other audience members afterwards. He was not wooden but was smart enough not to try acting along with her and just allow her to play her role. I can actually recall him saying to me at Celebrations Dinner Theatre (many years ago) how he would NEVER volunteer to get on the stage and how it is one of his fears that he will one day be seconded from the audience onto the stage. What’s funny, is how we’ve changed over time and become more comfortable in our own skins. His response was, “It wasn’t that bad. I was just really afraid she was going to try to get me to dance with her because I can’t dance at all. Thankfully she didn’t.”

Shakespeare in high school is so hard. There are too many layers to think about, too many references to things unknown to you, and it sounds terrible read by teenagers who have no idea how to read poetry never mind 16th century English poetry. To read Shakespeare is to miss much of what he offers. It truly should be seen on the stage, or if you prefer among the ruins of a monastery.


Rose said...

Ellen, I am so sorry about the loss of your sister-in-law. Must be particularly hard after losing your best friend last year. So sorry.

Daniel said...

I'm so glad you're done with the project to end all projects!! Enjoy your freedom! (and I'm glad Chloe didn't have to leave you in Selkirk)

I don't know what to say about Joan. Still seems unreal that she's gone.