Monday, June 29, 2009

Why Shakespeare's Violets?

I've had a few people ask me why I named my blog "Shakespeare's Violets."

It started when I went to Huntington Gardens years ago and walked through the Shakespeare Garden, where one group of flowers displayed was Shakespeare's Violets. I always loved the way those words rolled off my tongue...Shakespeare's Violets.

My daughters remind me of little violets, with their bright faces staring up at me. :)

Later, I decided to post some things online anonymously and ended up using the name Shakespeare's Violets.

I remember reading Shakespeare in my 9th grade English class and telling my teacher, Ms. Nelson, that I didn't understand a word he was saying. Instead of becoming frustrated with me, Ms. Nelson suggested that I see a live performance, and I ended up on a field trip of high school students on a bus headed for Los Angeles. We went to see a college production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. They had modernized the costumes but kept the original language. That's all I remember about the actual play- that and a very cute boy on the bus that I had a huge crush on who didn't know I existed. However, I do know I came back with an absolute love of Shakespeare's language. Bless Ms. Nelson for not giving up on me!

From Ophelia, chanting "...Rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love, remember; then there's pansies, that's for thoughts..." to the bank of flowers where Titania sleeps, Shakespeare's writing shows that he knew a thing or two about flowers. This knowledge shows he was close to nature, as any artist should be. "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." He not only noticed the details in the world outside, but was an expert on human nature as well.

"False face must hide what the false heart must know."

"Poor and content is rich, and rich enough."

"Suit the action to the word, and the word to the action."

"Lord, what fools these mortals be."

...and one of my favorites, "We are such stuff as dreams are made on/and our little life is rounded with a sleep."


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

More Mermaids in the Tub (also known as "More Tub Talk with Emma and Grace")

Emma: How bout my mermaid's name is Aquamarine and yours is Lulu? ...and how bout we're driving to school? And I have a pet catfish?

Grace: How bout I'm a teacher right now? (In teacher voice...) "NO CATFISH AT SCHOOL!" ....How bout I slammed the door on your catfish?

Emma: Oh no! Oh no! My catfish! He's bleeding! Catfish!!!!

Grace: How bout I'm a mermaid, and the teacher didn't want a bunch of people following me around, so she made me sit right there....(in singing voice)- I want to be a nor-mal girl. A nor-mal girl.

Emma: How bout we got a new teacher named Miss Seaweed?

Grace: Yeah. And Miss Seaweed is kinda like me but with normal hair.

Emma: How bout she says, "Class!"

Grace: Yes, Miss Seaweed? (How bout she said we have to pair up with a partner at recess? And you said, "You look really familiar but I don't know you...")

Emma: You look really familiar but I don't know you...

Grace: Every mermaid has at least five powers. How many powers do you have?

Emma: I have every power a mermaid could have...

Grace: What's your secret power? You HAVE to have a secret power.

Emma: I don't have a secret power.

Grace: You've never gone to the secret power store?

Emma: No

Grace: Well, I can't be your friend if you won't tell me what your secret powers are.

Emma: I don't have one. I promise.

Grace: Please tell me.

Emma: I don't have one.

Grace: Excuse me? Miss Seaweed? Does that girl have a secret power?

Emma: Miss Seaweed says that you have to be nice to me even if I have no secret power.

Grace: powers will vanish away if I don't know anybody's secret power. They'll VANISH! Can you change into a person? Is that your power?

Emma: I don't change into a person.


Emma: (blows bubbles under water)

Grace: Is it to wake the animals up? That's a secret power.

Emma: No.

Grace: How 'bout they just locked me away and trapped my powers away? (pretending to cry)

Emma: And how 'bout the mean girl Sea Slug was principal?

Grace: Then a bunch of girls tried to get my powers.

Emma: And then they all turned nice and didn't take your powers.

Grace: How 'bout the mean girls stole my power but they're not nice?

Emma: But that's my secret power. I turn people nice.

Grace: Ahhhhhhh!!!!

Emma: Are you OK?

Grace: My powers! Use your secret power to help me get my powers back!

Emma: (splashing)

Grace: Emma! How 'bout there are three kinds of mermaids. A black stone mermaid. A pink clock mermaid...and a sparkle diamond mermaid. Actually there are four. Also there is the light star mermaid.

Emma: And that is the highest level you can be. How 'bout you don't have that level. How 'bout I have the highest level power because I have a special tail.

Grace: How bout I told you about my power. And you were the tenth person I told. And we were only nine years old...and the power was nobody could know what kind of mermaid we were? How 'bout you guess what kind of power I have.

Emma: And then it was finally over.