Friday, September 19, 2008

SERENDIPITY comes in the form of Shakespeare

"Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere."
A Midsummer Night's Dream

Looking up at the sky through the circular hole cut in the top of Shakespeare's Globe theater I thought to myself, " this is what people feel when they speak of serendipity."
Without intending to I dedicated today to the greatest of just sort of fell into my lap. 

After wandering through Borough Market, taking pictures of the giant cheese wheels, sampling marinated olives from wooden barrels and flirting with bakers who arranged pastries that looked fit for a Queen, who, because they're too proper to say so simply offered me free samples to show their returned affection for me (or so I like to believe), I tried Turkish Delight...which is indeed, delightful and some potato concoction smothered in sea salt, sweet pickles and cheese?? Then, I felt it was only necessary to say "thank you" for such heavenly gifts by going into the nearby church and lighting a prayer candle. 

Though I'm not religious in the Biblical, Christian, Catholic...whatever, sense, I am extremely spiritual and a Woman of great faith and hold a belief in a higher power...churches in Europe simply pay homage to that type of faith, whatever it is you believe in. They're magnificent. The details, the history, the stained glass....every part of these churches point to the fact that there is something GREAT channeling through us to create such beauty. 

I kneeled, I prayed....then when I arrived at Shakespeare's Globe Theater I had only intended to tour the theater, but arrived in perfect time for a show!  The only thing....the show was completely sold out...for the next couple weeks. Then! As if Puck himself had placed her before me, a woman at the counter handed me her extra ticket, refusing to let me pay her. 

The play? A Midsummer Night's Dream, my favorite of all of Shakespeare's brilliant plays and one that I "just so happened" to have been in as Hermia when I was in school. Ah yes, serendipity. 

As I stood there watching people share their talents, talent that was given to USE...I thought of what an honor it must be for them, to do a Shakespeare play where Shakespeare first debuted his works; where he spent hours in rehearsals, where he cut scenes and made actors repeat their lines, where he wowed his audiences, made Dukes and Duchesses, royalty and commoners laugh and cry...where he brought together people of all ranks to share one thing that had no title, no ranking, no simply just was; art.  

This was the place where actors first spoke such famous words that we've all come to know. Where Helena said, "Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind" and Jacques revealed a truth, " All the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players." Where Olivia so brilliantly said in A Twelfth Night, "Love sought is good, but given unsought is better." This is where William Shakespeare created these words, these revelations and where the actors spoke them for the first time.....and I was there. Listening to some of those famous words, watching as he did. 

The first few days in London have been a bit homesick at times, funny seeing as I don't technically have a home), there have been lonely moments and exhausting ones...and this is only week one. I've learned to say brown toast instead of wheat, skinny instead of non-fat. Which, I like much better by the way. American's saying "non-fat" is almost subconciously saying that we think we are fat, that's why we need "none." Ordering a "skinny latte" rolls off the tongue so much better, while subconsciously saying to yourself, I drink "skinny" things. 

Though my words pale in comparison to that of Shakespeare, I have discovered one thing that is imperative to the smooth running of the rest of my trip...and for my sanity: 

Takes the edge off. 

ALSO UPDATE: I ditched the hostel.  Luckily, my Momma has a friend who was more than happy to let me stay in her lovely home in St. Johns Wood...where I am currently blogging from and sending emails to other"friends" or "friends of friends" in the rest of the countries I'm staying in so that I don't have to whip out my CC (credit card.....CC sounds like a much nicer friend than saying the whole world) in order to book a hotel instead. Whatever, I'm not a budget travel kind of girl. 

So tonight I go to bed with a new kind of inspiration....I surrounded myself with brilliance today, with famous quotes and paintings by Pollock, Warhol, Picasso and Matisse and the art made me feel, at home.  

Great art always reminds me that there is something, "up there", within us, "around us", or above us that has a master plan for each of us and is always masterfully taking care that we are where we need to be. 

What serendipitous moments have you had?????


nicole antoinette said...

That's where I used to live! In St. John's Wood!

addy said...

How freakin cool about the play! And I feel the exact same way about churches in Europe.

Dolce said...

Do you want to trade places? I swear St. Louis is really cool.

Okay...not really.

You seem like you're having an amazing time! I'm so excited for you!

TKTC said...

lOVE...Serendipity should be the theme of your trip and man alive...i do LOVE an adventure!

Katelin said...

okay that is so awesome about the extra ticket. seriously fate is on your side in london, i'm so jealous :)

Nic said...

Bewitching. I love love love London. Sounds like you're getting the most out of it! Have high tea for me! And a Boddington's! :)

Viviane said...

I was in London for a week last summer for a Shakespeare excursion with the English department. We saw three plays at the Globe, isn't it amazing??? I loved the experience, the atmosphere, everything! It makes Shakespeare so much more tangible... We also toured the Globe and went to see the site where the original Globe used to be etc. It was a great week!

Anonymous said...

that is my favorite shakespeare comedy too!

and i had those feelings when at pere lachaise in paris. it's the most incredible place i've ever been.

OenoLogical said...

It's official, a glass of wine does take the edge off, but the view of St. Paul's cathedral and the city from outside the Globe on a sunny day certainly can't hurt either. Is tea as effective as wine, that's the question?

Ben said...

"At least" being the important couple of words in that sentence I think.

You may have realised already that we do quite like a good drink here. It just makes me cringe to think how much a pint costs in most London bars.

Are you getting out and enjoying some night life while in the capital? It's not like there is a shortage of places to go.

Anonymous said...

Wow...just wow.

I tought I knew what serendipity was, until you just blew it right out of my mind.

P.S. Glad you got out of the hostel.

Jade said...

I have had a serendipitous moment recently.

I had been planning a big move to a new city with a good friend of mine. TWO weeks before we were scheduled to move she bailed. I was shocked and left with nothing, but planned to power through.

To preface the next moment, I have to tell you that earlier in the summer I began applying for a program through the AIC that would take me to London for a year and during my move planning I had put off the application and wasn't sure I was even going to do it anymore.

THEN, a day or so after my friend canceled a girl, who I do NOT know, emailed me asking how my application was coming for London and that she was applying too. I told her I hadn't finished it and had slightly forgot about it. She sent me many messages encouraging me and telling to just go for it.

I really think I am suppose to go to London and see the world! It feels magical.

It's almost done. I'm mailing it in a week. I'll let you know how it comes out!

JUST ME said...

St. John's Wood? Are you living in a little cottage covered in vines?

LJ said...

WOWOWOWW! I'm so Jealous of you right now! I hope you have a blast!

Anonymous said...

sounds like your having a great time! So jealous!

Anonymous said...

Staying with friends is much better than hostels. I hope you can find some more to hook up with in the other locations! :)

Anonymous said...

Love this - totally gave me chills. Shakespeare is the Shit. Bless that woman for giving you a ticket! Amazing.

Lauren Elizabeth said...

I was Helena in high school!! It sounds like your having the BEST time!

Anonymous said...

I am oh so glad you are enjoying yourself! I get goosebumps reading about your travels! :)

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

dolce- I actually DO want to visit St. Louis lol ;)

Miss V said...

I live for those serendipitous moments :) It's the universe's way of letting you know it's listening and is congratulating you for paying attention. Keep it up!

Ling said...

i was at the globe theatre summer 2008 too! and watched a midsummers night dream. it was delightful!