This weekend marks the end of the first week back at work after two weeks off sick and one week holiday. I enjoyed being back at work although I'm still feeling in the getting better phase of post covid ill health. Two weeks ago I took the following pictures. They're not perfect and I've deliberately not edited them just as when taking them I decided to 'take and see' ie keep tapping the shutter 'button' on my smart phone camera as the changing display in the sky evolved. What I wanted to capture was DC's delight and wonder at the display. When I see him like this I know why I love him so much. There are many other times I know why I love him so much too of course!
Saturday, 20 November 2021
Tuesday, 2 November 2021
DC and I recently saw the play Indecent at The Menier Chocolate Factory. It's a play about the controversial play God of Vengeance. There's a lot going on in this play about a play and I found it very moving. I've neither read nor seen God of Vengeance and I know nothing about Yiddish culture. Further, Indecent takes us on a journey from the first readings and shows of God of Vengeance in 1907 through to the author, Sholem Asch leaving America in 1953 (he was subject to accusations of 'un-American activities') and shows both something of the Obscenity trial of the Broadway version of God of Vengeance and takes care to remind us of the Holocaust. Indeed, the play opens with a reference to those sent to their deaths (although the reference wasn't clear to me until it returns towards the end of the play in an action reminding us of those deaths) during the Holocaust. God of Vengeance takes on the hypocrisy of societies and is brave enough to say that Jews are no different to those of other religions in that they too have those who will profit from selling religion, are hypocrites etc. it depicts a man running a brothel trying to bring up his daughter piously and it shows that daughter in lesbian love. So it's not too surprising that the judge and jury in the Obscenity trial and subsequent arbiters of moral values have been outraged - all too often 'family values' are anything but. Indecent is a play held together by the character Lemml - a tailor and stage manager for productions of God of Vengeance. Right from the start we see that he sees the play as moral and he is deeply touched by the humanity and meaning in it. As I've said, there's a lot going on in Indecent and I was moved by it. And that's what I want to write about. Lemml is so moved by the play that he sees its importance and wants others to see what he's seen. This too I think is what we see in Indecent. We see that beyond the storeys we all tell ourselves, that societies tell themselves, that make and steal ourselves, beyond and yet not separate from ourselves we share a humanity and it is precious, vulnerable and powerful. Through all the complexities of Indecent a spirituality came over for me and at one point when Lemml is illuminating this humanity, this spirituality he looks out and for a time I was eye to eye with him seeing each other. I notice that I'm being careful in this post - there are so many pitfalls here - misinterpretation of both plays, failing to understand some aspect of Yiddish or wider Jewish culture and not taking sufficient time to consider the persecution and the holocaust. And I've done a little reading up about Sholem Asch and as I understand it he seemed to be pointing to a common ground for us all whatever our backgrounds. Somehow, for me this came across in Indecent - that what is important is that we see and care for each other. And for me at least what was illuminated was that aspect of ourselves known by many names and perhaps well described as 'our true self'... 'the self who knows'... In that eye to eye contact with Lemml where each sees the other and is seen seeing... Where like paper not refusing ink no matter the marks made... Where the particulars of our dramas recede and our humanity holds all in compassion... Here need we add explanations, attempts at capturing in words the spirituality of humanity?