What you can expect:
The brutal truth of me, without all the sugary coating.
Here I am just me, UNCUT and UNEDITED.
I talk about my family, my divorce, and a lot about MAKEUP.
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

William Shakespeare

I'm going to admit something to you that I don't admit to very many people: I've always thought William Shakespeare was a hack.

Ok, maybe that's a bit harsh. I think the fact that people give Shakespeare God-like properties is absurd. (The fact that he is given so much of the curriculum in school, the way people speak of him like his words are more Holy than that of Jesus Christ Himself, etc.)

That is, until recently. Call it "maturity," or maybe even "selling out," but as I learn more of life, I start to understand what the hype was all about. I still don't think His Almightiness Mr. William Shakespeare is quite as fantastical as he seems, but he definitely understood - and had a desire to share - a lot of real, harsh truths about life.

Remember this post I wrote the other day when I felt like a really terrible mom? Well, my dad did what he usually does and wrote me a sweet e-mail about how he thought it was well-written and that he understands the feeling I was referring to all too well. He attached these two things at the end of his note, which were extremely appropriate for the subject, and I'd like to add them to my comments on the Apple/Tree Phenomenon:

Who Forged These Bonds?

Love brought us to each other and suggested
that happiness comes from shared experience;
and so,
we willingly took those first small steps
that led us to these binding ties.
How soon we discovered
That being yoked together is not the same as going together.

Sadness came,
when first we understood
that marriage alone could not create a Knight in Shining Armor,
and Sleeping  Beauty needed more than kisses.
Now years have passed in exploration of each other’s heart and mind,
and still we’re learning who we are.
Experience taught us to fan the fires of love
when all the kindling was used up.

Bonds of mere attraction,
so precariously frail,
could not have long endured without the harness of commitment.
In the heat of life’s furnace,
We stood together
until our love became tempered and strong.
and now we know,
it’s work as well as love that turns I do into I can,
and will,
regardless of the ease or struggle.

We could not always choose the load we bore,
but patience and practice taught us when to lead,
and when to follow.
Joy came,
as we traveled life in tandem
holding fast the fetters of our marriage,
polishing and perfecting these bonds that are so dear.

Who forged these bonds that hold us?
We did.

Also, William Shakespeare spoke more eloquently to this same subject:

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

I guess you already know Shakespeare didn't write the first one. ;) My dad actually wrote that himself in 1994 about his own experience with marriage. (More about my dad's thoughts on marriage here in The Benefits of Marriage.) If you're like me, though, Sonnet 116 is something you have heard a bunch of times, until it had no meaning anymore.  Read this again:

"Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken..."

Why did we not get it when we were kids?? 

He wasn't just making a pretty metaphor! Tempests, people! Tempests!

Our English teachers and drama teachers never quite got the message across (how could they?) that LOVE and TEMPESTS (violent storms, people!) are the SAME THING. And to truly love, one must not try to change, bend, or shake in the storm! 

I used to always think that meant you shouldn't change in the face of the difficult times. I think now that it means you can't try to change your partner, even when you find things that you think could probably use some changing. The sooner you learn to accept and actively love them as they are, the closer you are to actually loving.

Marriage is to a storm as ... oh, nevermind. I never was much good at those. You get the point. 

Shakespeare, you're alright in my book.


  1. Two songs to consider on this subject:

    Tanya Tucker - Strong Enough to Bend:

    and Suzy Bogguss - She Said, He Heard:

  2. I understand why they attepted to expose us to good Ol' W.S in high school, but I really believe you need a whole hellova lot of life experience to even remotely be able to appreciate him. Great post. :)


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