77. Cherry Blossom, Dracula and Shakespeare

Yov went out this week. Yov got tired of the cursor, the screen, the sound of the next room and the pressure of one knee crossed over the other. Yov wore trainers and hoofed across town. Yov used the Shard and the chimney of Tate Modern to guide him and he walked and walked, up through Walworth, to Bricklayers Arms, along Tabard Road and down Union Street until Yov came to The Globe Theatre and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Inside, Professor Lorna Hutson, a brilliant academic from St Andrews university gave a brilliant British Academy talk about A Midsummer Night ‘s Dream and the way in which it might artfully and sensitively represent the perspectives of women in an environment dominated by men. It’s difficult for Yov to do justice to all the erudite observations and imaginative connections and historical research woven together by this top scholar under the influence of the Bard’s magic, but it was a Tour de Force.

The weather has again been often idyllic, with long days of sunshine and balmy breezes gently swaying the blossom-bound trees that Yov finds everywhere in the city. For most of the year these trees go relatively unnoticed, made up of bare sticks or wrapped in unremarkable green, only for them to suddenly erupt in soft celebrations of vivid, festive pinks and creamy whites before scattering a billion tiny petals to the winds and at their feet. Yov has often wondered why? But the question never seems worth persisting with for long. Suffice to say that Spring blossoms are just one of the humbling spectacles to be found in this world that remind Yov of the limited efficacy of the habit of asking questions.


Yov is in the strange position of having and not having a ‘job’. there are ‘gluts’ and ‘dearths’ of work, and a series of ‘contracts’ all of which makes any kind of productive routine impossible. Yov always tries to affirm and see the positive side of things however, and accepts that, this way of life – though surely evolved for the benefit of business and employers rather than for Yov – forces Yov to live in the moment, one day at a time, to avoid dwelling in the past or planning for any future, but just existing. While business may ultimately benefit from Yov’s 21st century status as someone with and without a ‘job’ (i.e. business can profit, plan for the future etc. while Yov can not) Yov is nevertheless able to separate business form ‘Life.

In the end, although Yov is often forced to think of the world primarily economically, and this often makes life seem grim or dull, Life is in fact NOT primarily economic. In fact, cherry Blossoms, and their apparent ‘wastefulness’ (a great parade of abundant value that is so short-lived and almost immediately, publicly disposed of) is perhaps a reminder to Yov of this fact. Life is a word we give to experiences that are far beyond Economy and even beyond language.

Among the beautiful and informative, positive experiences Yov enjoyed this week there were also a few dark reminders of past conflicts and painful experiences that rose up out of Yov’s recent history, like Dracula sitting up in a coffin, freaking Yov out. The things we have ‘moved on’ from, people we’ve learned to avoid etc. can of course come back to us in unexpected ways and places. When this happens it reminds Yov that what seems to be outside or elsewhere is often also inside and ‘here’, and that is what makes it hard to completely escape from. Something you thought you had pushed away ‘as a wise person told Yov this week) has sometimes, actually, been pushed deeper inside Yov and hidden in some deep fold where it seemed to have ceased to exist – until …

These are the thoughts Yov is taking into the following week, which looks like it is going to be exceptionally busy and hard. It is good to know how high and how beautiful Life can be, and that it is NOT primarily economic.

It is also good to know (though not at all enjoyable) that dark things, problems, fears and pains may not go away entirely, just because Yov no longer encounters them on a regular basis as Yov once did. Ultimately a Life contains all of our experience, the good and bad, bright and dark, and it is learning to accommodate, carry and acknowledge it ALL, that is most important.

Shakespeare teaches us that too.






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