Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Upon all the living and the dead...

I mentioned yesterday that Steven and I went to this show on Saturday night. I had an extremely strong reaction to it. The play was wonderfully done, and the music was absolutely heartbreaking. I cried my eyes out. I am not sure why I reacted so strongly (it may be due to PMS made evident by my breakfast choice of a bowl of M&M's with milk this morning.)

This play completely reminded me of my family. It made me nostalgic. I was remembering back to when I was a kid. I used to go to my grandparents' house in Wilmette for Christmas. My entire family would be there; aunts, uncles, cousins. It was like a scene out of Joyce's story, minus the singing and the dancing. Our celebrations were limited to the eating and the drinking parts.

If I felt such an incredible longing for my family who are just a short flight, instant phone call or e-mail away, what are my kids going to feel about Ethiopia ? About the family they left behind? About their homeland? About their relatives?

I know, I know, it is a bit of a stretch emotionally, but I mentioned that I am a little hormonal. These thoughts were overwhelming to me. I thought about how lucky I am to have such a large, loving family so close to me. I thought about people we have lost in my family like my mom's parents, my dad's mom, my aunt Diane. I thought about Ireland and our trip there.

This is a picture of me in our family cemetery in Ireland. We almost gave up on finding it, but after hours of searching, and a steer in the right direction by a peat farmer named Shamus (cliche right- but I swear that was his name) we finally came upon it. Thank you Steven for reminding me that if we didn't press on, and if we had turned back, I would have regretted it forever. I certainly would have.

Steven makes fun of me when I say that I am Irish. I know that I was born in America, but my ancestors were Irish and I love Ireland and her poets.

From, "The Dead"...

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

If you are in Los Angeles, I highly recommend seeing this production. Even if you aren't Irish, you will still find it moving. I wasn't the only one crying in the audience.

I should have saved this post for St.Patrick's Day huh.

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