By Robert Pack
Dreaming time has reversed, I watch drowned snow
Appear to lift up from the lake;
Reshaping magnified, each risen flake
Looms in the air, deliberate and slow,
Allowing me to let your picture form and wake
Astonished that you have returned to go
To watch me watch drowned snow lift from the lake.
Dreaming time has reversed—and you,
Your red cheeks radiant against the wind,
Are gliding toward me on the ice into
A frame of glided twilight—I
Again awaken from your being gone to find
Your gloved hands covering your lips' good-bye
So you can watch me watch uplifted snow
As if your absence now concluded long ago.
After a fitful night during which three cats took turns pinning me to the mattress so they could keep warm, I woke up craving Indian food, so I called Paul and told him that he was taking me to Minerva for a belated birthday lunch. Oddly, he did not protest very much. *g* So I had fabulous chicken tikka and tandoori and curry and dal and paneer and naan and gulab jamun, if I spelled that right -- those sweet honey balls. Then I came home and folded laundry and watched Stage Beauty, which dementordelta loaned me and which I really liked until the very end when it became annoyingly heteronormative and essentialistic about sex and gender -- some of that could be excused as the era in which it is set, but it was so clever and savvy at the start about how women and gay men negotiated their roles in Restoration society that the ending was a disappointment.
It's a great cast -- Rupert Everett as the heterosexual but foppish Charles II, who does a scene in a dress with his mistress in men's clothing; Richard Griffiths as a sleazy, nasty aristocrat; Fenella Woolgar, who played Doctor Who's Agatha Christie -- and there were lines that made me howl, like the king complaining that the priests say men playing women leads to sodomy and they would know, they're priests. At first I really liked Mrs. Hughes' hating Desdemona's passive, swoony death scene -- I don't think she's fair to blame Kynaston for the way it gets played, I think it's one of the more problematic moments in Shakespeare in terms of gender dynamics -- but then Kynaston doesn't so much invent Method acting as insist that she has to be a real woman for him to be a real man with a genuinely disturbing undercurrent of violence and misogyny, ending with him apparently being cured of the homosexuality forced upon him as a pretty youth...ick.
Since it was the coldest day of the winter thus far, I also spent a lot of time shooing cats off vents, retrieving laptop power adapters from under their bellies, and extracting Daisy from this new favorite spot:
In the evening we watched the last two episodes of the first season of Merlin, which might make me sadder if I did not expect to be rewatching them very soon, perhaps several times. *g* "To Kill the King" is so Harry Potter in spots that we kept snickering: not only does it have a sorcerer's stone and Gaius reading the Restricted Section book about it, but it also has a gratuitous parental death, and Uther plays the role of Voldemort ("He'll get a fair trial and he'll be found guilty because that's what he is") before he abruptly takes on the role of Dumbledore instead...well, there's always been too little difference between those two. I forgave everything because Morgana kicks ass! And Katie McGrath gives a better performance than in several previous episodes. I wish Gwen had been a bit angrier -- not wanting Uther dead, but not being so servile and respectful of Arthur when he arrives to tell her she can keep the house. But hey -- bring on the Morgana/Uther, they're a better couple than Morgana/Arthur for so many reasons!
"Le Morte D'Arthur" is much more Star Wars with some Mists of Avalon and a bit of Lord of the Rings thrown in: Poor Uther suddenly in Denethor mode! The Old Religion explained by the dragon as the essence of life on Earth -- the Force! At least the dragon is not talking in circles for once; he tells Merlin very directly to go to the Isle of the Blessed, and to save Arthur no matter the cost, though I don't blame Merlin a bit for being so pissed off when he finds out the dragon knows precisely what Nimue is up to. I wish they'd write her less femme fatale, more righteously angry priestess, because Goddess knows she has cause, and I love her ruined castle power base; I am confident that she will be back from that shower of sparks. But hey, Merlin is ready to die for Arthur, and that makes me happy no matter what's going on with the women.
I got the most wonderful package from ribby, containing not only cookies but one of her husband's banana slug soap dishes! *bounces*