Slice of Life 2019: Day 26
“Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel” Romeo says in Act III of Romeo and Juliet.
This is an important statement for us writers. To truly do a subject justice, you have to feel it, be it. Just as a pizza delivery man gets his hot pies delivered timely to folks living in his neighborhood, so my best writing is when I’m speaking of stories and experiences close to my heart.
The necklace in the photo above I wear close to my heart and it reminds me of my artistic niece. One summer, she gathered up a collection of stamps from different time periods and countries. She scattered them around a big rectangular table along with some vintage maps and papers.
“Select your favorite stamp and I’ll mount it inside a pewter and glass pendant,” she instructed.
Part good luck and part literary genius, I thought it would be fun to have an image of the Bard to wear on Shakespeare days! I have a little of Ms. Frizzle deep inside. I keep Saturn earrings and some Flannery O’Connor reading glasses around too for short story days. So, after hunting around the pile, I picked out a 5 cent US. stamp bearing the image of William Shakespeare and asked her to work her magic.
A few weeks later, when it was delivered, I opened the package, and said, “I love it!” I’ve been wearing it on special days ever since.
Today, was a special day and I wore my dandy pendant-charm to see Romeo and Juliet at the Shakespeare Tavern with my ninth graders. Oh! That with it feel I get when I think ahead! But, nobody noticed the pendant there under my scarf and thick green sweater: “That in gold clasps locks in the golden story…” says Lady Capulet. In this case, in pewter clasps completely overlooked. But, no bother. Watching the tragedy once again with a goodly handful of 9th graders was its own reward.
I enjoyed watching their faces to see if they understood the puns and plot. Mostly they did. Shakespeare knew his audience and wrote with a passion surpassing time in relevance and influence. These modern teens still feel something when they see the anguish of a young woman being forced to comply with an overbearing parent or the desperation of a young man who has made a fatal mistake. This is the type of storytelling we strive for.