By Giacomo Leopardi
Translated by Kenneth Rexroth
This lonely hill has always
Been dear to me, and this thicket
Which shuts out most of the final
Horizon from view. I sit here,
And gaze, and imagine
The interminable spaces
That stretch away, beyond my mind,
Their uncanny silences,
Their profound calms; and my heart
Is almost overwhelmed with dread.
And when the wind drones in the
Branches, I compare its sound
With that infinite silence;
And I think of eternity,
And the dead past, and the living
Present, and the sound of it;
And my thought drowns in immensity;
And shipwreck is sweet in such a sea.
The last night of Adam's show (and the cast party) was this Saturday, and he needed to arrive early for the pre-show festivities, so we had a very low-key day beforehand. I finished up holiday cards and reorganized DVDs and jewelry to make room for Chanukah and birthday gifts (not a chore I ever mind). We had a couple of bowl games on TV, but apart from the goofy Idaho potato hats, I paid little attention. We also watched the Beavers movie, one of the aforementioned Chanukah presents -- the IMAX film about Canadian rodents, not whatever your dirty mind is thinking!
In the evening we watched a recording of the Australian stage production of Love Never Dies, the Phantom of the Opera sequel. I'd heard the music and liked it, and the production is terrific, but I still have big problems with the story, largely based on the way things have to be set up to try to make us forget how many people the Phantom killed in the original story and to give us some plausible reason Christine wouldn't run away screaming when she found out he was manipulating her again.
There's no logical explanation of why Raoul became so pathetic -- the whole business about how he doesn't get her music makes no sense because we're told in Phantom that Christine's father taught them both -- and it seems weird that he wonders why she loves him yet never wonders whether their child might not be his. I roll my eyes a bit when she tells the Phantom she looked into his soul and saw him pure and whole (again, murders, what murders?) but the moment he threatens her child, she should be on the boat back to Europe instead of letting him manipulate her like she's still a teenager. And there's no excuse for what's been done to Meg to try to make someone other than the Phantom the villain.
Some more photos from Lewis Ginter Botanic Garden's Dominion Gardenfest of Lights...the sea monster, the peacock, the penguins...