Hot Blood

 

“I pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire:
The day is hot, the Capulets abroad,
And, if we meet, we shall not ‘scape a brawl;
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.”

-Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Scene I

Shakespeare certainly knew what he was taking about when he wrote these  lines. Although I’m a young twenty-something living in the midwest and not a youthful gentleman from Renaissance Verona, I know how it feels to have my mad blood stirring.

Today was 93 with a heat index of 104 and humidity that was off the charts. All I could do was languish around feeling sweaty, sticky, and irritable.  I would’ve spent any amount of money for comfort or committed any level of crime for relief. If I had been strolling or lounging around the steps of an Italian piazza, wearing tights no less, and had seen anyone who even vaguely annoyed me, I guarantee I would’ve drawn my sword and BRAWLED. Although I admire Benvolio’s good intentions, I’m with Mercutio on this one.

On a side note, this painting is wondrously called To the Death: A Sword and Dagger Fight With One Hand Beats Cold Death Aside, and With the Other Sends it Back.

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Castles in the Air

“There is a lovelier country even than that…”

Laurie’s Castle in the Air

“After I’d seen as much of the world as I want to, I’d like to settle in Germany, and have just as much music as I choose. I’m to be a famous musician myself, and all creation is to rush to hear me; and I’m never to be bothered about money or business, but just enjoy myself, and live for what I like. ”

Meg’s Castle in the Air

“I should like a lovely house, full of all sorts of luxurious things – nice food, pretty clothes, handsome furniture, pleasant people, and heaps of money. I am to be mistress of it, and manage as I like, with plenty of servants, so I never need to work a bit. How I should enjoy it! for I wouldn’t be idle, but do good and make everyone love me dearly.”

Jo’s Castle in the Air

“I’d have a stable full of Arabian steeds, rooms piled with books, and I’d write out of a magic inkstand, so that my works should be famous as Laurie’s music. I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle – something heroic or wonderful, that I won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all some day. I think I shall write books, and get rich and famous: that would suit me, so that is my favourite dream.”

Beth’s Castle in the Air

“Mine is to stay home safe with Father and Mother, and take care of the family…since I had my little piano, I am perfectly satisfied. I only wish we may all keep well and be together; nothing else.”

Amy’s Castle in the Air

“I have ever so many wishes; but the pet one is to be an artist, and go to Rome, and do fine pictures, and be the best artist in the whole world.”

My Castle In the Air

I would have an old British mansion somewhere in the wild countryside, complete with hidden passageways, a secret garden, and a ballroom. There would also be a library with an excellent book collection. I would have endless amounts of time to read and write, and kindred spirits to discuss both with. I would also have a horse, and moors and heaths and forests to explore daily. I would write one really good novel that could stand the Test of Time.

Or…

I would have an ordinary house in the suburbs in the midwest, and cabin on the lake for the summer time. I would be able to read and write and watch movies, publish film reviews for a renowned paper, and occasionally work on film sets of projects I cared about. I would adapt all of my favorite young adult fiction books into quality movies. I would get really good at water skiing and snowboarding, tennis and piano. I would be able to take classes regularly with excellent teachers in all forms of dance. And I would be able to choreograph pieces for talented dancers.

But neither of these Castles in the Air would mean anything at all without the people I love to fill them will. So no matter where or what my castle is, they must be there too.

Malaise and Ennui

Today I was in a funk. It was probably my own fault, but knowing that only made it worse. I found solace in discovering that there are at least two words that perfectly articulate the way I was feeling – malaise and ennui. The mere fact that these words exist to so specifically describe my sentiments means that I can’t be the only one to have felt them. I take much comfort in this thought. People have been waking up “in a funk” for centuries!

Malaise: a feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness; an “out of sorts” feeling

Ennui: a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom

And now, some pictures of malaise and ennui embodied…it may feel awful, but it sure looks lovely.

Ennui can be felt outdoors…

or indoors…

in black and white…

in white dresses…

in ugly dresses…

in no dresses…

and by dark-haired, long-legged people.

I think it is especially selfish of that last girl to feel anything even remotely resembling malaise or ennui…if I had such adorable hair, I would never feel out of sorts.

But that is the thing about ennui and malaise: they are non-discriminatory predators and prey upon us all as equals, the well-coiffed and shoddy-haired alike.

I think I have written myself out of ennui.

Beautiful soundtrack…

Books: The Loveliest Things

I always say that the single best way to improve yourself (with drastically successful results) is to read and read voraciously. It makes you smarter in a number of ways, not to mention expands your imagination, augments your compassion, and widens your perspective. I can’t think of many better ways to spend an afternoon (or a day/night/week/month) than reading a book. I personally bring a book everywhere I go (I even brought one to prom in my clutch, and, lo and behold, needed it, because prom was such a bore) and often sleep with books, especially ones I regard fondly after having finished them.

Never stop reading and never let anyone tell you that you should!

The First of the Featured Heroines: Antigone

It was not Zeus who published this decree,
Nor have the Powers who rule among the dead
Imposed such laws as this upon mankind;
Nor could I think that a decree of yours –
A man – could override the laws of Heaven
Unwritten and Unchanging. Not of today
Or yesterday is their authority;
They are eternal; no man saw their birth.
Was I to stand before the gods’ tribunal
For disobeying them, because I feared
A man?”