Thursday, April 18, 2019

Three Beautiful Things 04/17/19: Car Shopping, *Looking for Richard*, Simple Meal in a Bowl

1. While drinking coffee, responding to the many kind condolences friends sent me in the wake of losing Maggie, and deciding what to do today, Stu messaged me with an invitation to join him and Ed to shop for cars in CdA. Ed called me to confirm that I wanted to go. I drove out to his place, he drove us to CdA, and we met Stu at CdA Honda. Ed talked with a sales guy, got a feel for what's available and what the cars cost. We went to Sweeto Burrito for lunch and then to Parker Toyota where Ed talked with a sales guy, got a feel for what's available, and what cars cost. He did exactly what he set out to do: stop in at one or two places and do some preliminary looking around.

2. Back home, I plunged back into the world of Shakespeare's history plays and watched Al Pacino's documentary film, Looking for Richard (1996), in which he dives into Richard III in a variety of ways. Pacino interviews people on the street, a wide variety of actors, and a few scholars about the power of Shakespeare as a poet, dramatist, and intellectual; he assembles a cast and films them in round table readings and discussions of the play; he films the acting out of about a dozen or so scenes from the play. Pacino is looking for those political and philosophical aspects of this old story that are always contemporary; he is looking for how actors can speak and perform Shakespeare's poetry and tell the story of this play in ways that are immediately accessible to contemporary audiences.

This movie appeared in Eugene in the fall of 1996 at the same time Baz Luhrmann's Verona Beach, gangland movie Romeo + Juliet came out. I was teaching the Wednesday night Shakespeare class at LCC at that time. The works of Shakespeare occupied my entire being, my mind, my heart, and my soul. I'm almost positive I saw Romeo + Juliet and Looking for Richard on consecutive evenings. I went by myself. Both movies staggered me. I loved their energy. Both movies felt daring to me, full of emotion, full of love for Shakespeare's artistry, driven by the desire to enflame Richard III and Romeo and Juliet with passions that were both enduring and that were of the 1990s.

I've had this experience a few times in my life where I went to movies by myself on consecutive days or saw multiple movies on the same day on the big screen and was so stimulated I could barely sleep once I got home. I had that experience in the fall of 1996 watching Looking for Richard and Romeo + Juliet.

That was nearly twenty-three years ago. My passions have cooled. I'm no longer submerged with other teachers, close friends, local actors and directors, and students in the deep waters of Shakespeare's works. My experiences with Shakespeare now occur in my t.v. room, streaming Shakespeare productions.

I feel faint stirrings of the invigoration I felt when younger, but I think those feelings arose largely out of being in the company of others who were studying, teaching, or performing Shakespeare. I loved watching Looking for Richard again.  I'm enjoying myself right now writing about it, remembering when Shakespeare occupied my life. But whether it's worship or Shakespeare or loving sports or remembering back to working at the Zinc Plant or talking about bygone days in Kellogg, there's nothing like having people around to share experiences with. I miss being in the company of fellow lovers of Shakespeare. It's that simple.

3.  That breakfast burrito I ate for lunch at Sweeto Burrito filled me up for most of the day. But, this evening, I got hungry again. I had leftover tofu cubed and drained from when I fixed green curry on Tuesday. I also had plenty of leftover rice. I have frozen shrimp on hand. I made myself a simple bowl of rice, tofu, and shrimp. I seasoned it with soy sauce and was very satisfied with how tasty and simple this little meal was.

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