Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood. One of the books that stuck with me through the year. The first one from the series that I got to read, as well. Portions of the structure of the story stuck with me, moments of reverie, haunting images of ghosts and spirits, kept alive by memory, and the basic structure of the narrative, inner and outer frameworks, all working like clockwork. Good story — based upon Shakespeare’s Tempest. Error: that was a 2016 read.
Lear at Winedale. Part of the University of Texas summer series, there’s “Shakespeare in the barn,” and King Lear was the one that stuck with me. Stellar performances.
Rock Shop Residency: in Austin. Another great year with a few stand out events. One buddy — warning: sexism ahead — so this one buddy noted that the rock shop in Austin was dominated by a pervasive sense of estrogen. His word choice, not mine. In part, this is due to the nature of the retail, in part, all my “crush-able” friends seem to work there, and in part, there’s this Scorpio-Virgo energy that runs through the place. I was crowned Sparkle Faerie, owing to my sartorial choices as much as anything, and the moniker stuck. Funny, to me, in an ironic and slightly sad way, my normal attire in Austin is still considered odd elsewhere. Keep Austin Weird, and at the rock shop.
Chop Bard. A couple of years ago, it was some Oxford/Cambridge professor’s class lectures on Shakespeare, spit out as a podcast, helped immeasurably with my two fields of current research, astrology and Shakespeare. This last year, I stumbled into the podcast called Chop Bard, and it makes the commute to and from Austin way more bearable, but it also adds greater depth to various plays. Besides, as I’ve noted before, scholarship in one area, like Shakespeare, can be replicated and applied in other areas, like astrology and horoscopes. Hand-in-hand they gladly go.
Entering a seventh decade, the question was posited, what would I do different, advice to a younger me? Getting intolerably irritated at certain individuals, and then harboring that anger and the concomitant angst. Got to let that go, brother. Sister, whatever. Let it go.
Adding to that? Dedicate a certain amount of every day to very specific practices: meditation and (Shakespeare) scholarship. Meditation is simple: sit quietly, twice a day, eyes closed, mind open. Shakespeare scholarship is wonderful because I can dabble as much or as little as I like. No set curricula, and no set rules.
One of my neighbors has become a close friend. We are — to say the very least — at totally opposite ends of the spectrum, from attire to political affiliation. As I’ve aged, and especially poignant in the last year, the value of friendship over and beyond politics and other cultural trappings — more clear now.