Offstage

If ladies are not meant to take to the stage, thespian inclinations can be fostered in the private study of delivery, poise, the "beats" of Method (exposing the emotions hidden behind the curtain of words), a sensitivity to expression and movement through space. Perhaps the greatest challenge is associated with Method - so well described in The Satyricon, in a passage relevant today:
Detractors of the times, who bear the Cynic's scrip, are known
To often sell the truth, and keep their faces!
So Justice is at public auction bought,
The knight gives judgement as Gold says he ought. 

Sometimes, when I look at people's faces, I see that they have mastered the art of "white and red face" opera makeup: eyes raised, to look authoritative.
I have been thinking a lot about faces, and economy. Keeping up appearances requires so much energy that something is lost. It isn't economical. Also, with the fort sealed up, no goods can come in but must be the result of hard labour (no stumbling upon apple trees by the roadside).
This past week, a few unexpected conversations - the kind that catch one unawares - left me perplexed at how stubborn some people become through the years - that brittleness with words where anger erupts at any thought that is not theirs, and if it is similar to their own, is not uttered by them, first.
In response, one is inclined to be happier with less; though there is a tension between what one could achieve through practical experience, maybe even knowledge, and what is finally worth the trouble. To not cross the Rubicon. But I see people wearing huge masks fighting over the world - even if I apparently view the world the Asian way, taking in the entire field, instead of individual details. O, the bigger picture...
I was once astonished watching some bees flit around tiny flowers, as I connected what I saw to what I'd learned in environmental science, that there is enough in the world. The entire field of vision includes pulsing jellyfish; technicolour algae; leopard seals like lithe poodles - until they open their serpent mouth; sharks that bite their own tail (real-life ouroboros); and schools of sardines, swallowed in one gulp by whales... And just like in The Satyricon, one remembers that:
The father, son, the rich man, all are here,
But soon the page is turned upon the comic actor's art,
The masque is dropped, the make-ups disappear!  



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