Today the London Theater shared with us Timon of Athens. The first act opens with Timon at the top of his game. Flush with cash, or credit at least, he is famous in all of Athens and cultivates an inner circle of friends by hosting lavish banquets and showering them with gifts. During an introduction to the play, we are offered a back story telling us Timon is born into wealth and, as a result, has never learned to love. Instead, his interpersonal relationships are directed and graded as commercial transactions–what will I get in exchange? Believable, but it wrongly suggests Timon and his like are the only ones so afflicted–that money is the poison. The second act shows money is just an X-ray giving us a view inside where we find the poisons in each us from birth, irrespective of wealth–selfishness and greed.
At the end of the first act of the play, Timon has given away his last dime. Now in need, he finds his circle has no lifelines for their old friend. The second act opens with Timon on the street pushing a shopping cart. The director described this act as an extended exposition on misery. That’s right, but there is more going on. As Timon is thrust into the world of the 99%, he sees they are no better than the snakes he invited to his table (or himself). Timon is fatally wounded and alone, but he is awake and finally living.
A deeply cynical piece, it is nothing close to what I needed. Does anyone need that, ever? Not now certainly. Maybe that’s why the play is William Shakespeare’s least performed work. Still, it was well acted and worth our time. Having seen two other really transformative works of late, I suppose I am suffering a bit from elevated expectations, ’tis all. No matter, The Magistrate is next and a Victorian farce should be just what the doctor ordered. I am not pretending to have knowingly seen a Victorian farce or even know what that means, but it sounds fun.
At the moment and for the next week or so, the weather rewards pedalers saving errands for the afternoon. Twenty five in the morning. Forty five in the afternoon. Ever the contrarian (or just silly), I have managed to pedal early more often than late. I need to relearn how to dress. Cover everything with something. Cover nothing with too much. Slow down, too.
As always, Lacey is my shining light. She knows where my head is without asking, works hard to make it right, but also knows that pulling me to the surface too quickly is both impossible and ill-advised. She waits for me to talk and then listens more than speaks. She sings happy songs. Matches my pace when we walk Frida. I’d be lost without her.
Oolong has also been a steadfast friend. I am trying to eat and drink a little less, and a pot of tea is a perfect gift to give myself when I need a break from working. So much working! Learning and growing. It is all a little much, really, but I suspect when I get a chance to reflect I will be happy to have made the effort. Nice to have food, shelter and heat.
Very happy to report that my dad sounds great. A little weak, but his recovery is on schedule. Also had a nice chat with Adam. When I saw him walking his dog, I knew his trip hadn’t done him in physically. Quite the opposite. Speaking with him reassured me that the same was true for his mind. Still the same person, but wiser still and in possession of a few more stories.
I should get to the stove. I hope you are well. Speak to you soon.