July 21, 2012

Stay in The Light

Shall I start with the bookstores in Stratford on Avon which were filled with literature...

and whole bookcases devoted to Shakespeare?

Shall I speak of the Studio Theater where we saw Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance which sat like so much cotton candy in one's mouth? Sugary, and sweet, with not much to chew on when it was over...

or should I write of Shakespeare at the Festival Theater where we saw Henry V on opening night,

played out in all its glory on this thrust stage?

Perhaps I should speak of the classrooms at Victoria University in Toronto, Canada, so resonate of my own collegiate days...

in the building called Old Vic on whose stairs I sit, eager for another Shared Inquiry discussion of Dostoevsky's The Idiot...

or the bench outside the Royal Conservatory of Music?

There are so many things to share from this most spectacular week in Toronto, which I find to be a kinder, gentler city than any I know of in the states. It is a most welcome respite from the violence in Chicago, although Toronto is not without violence itself...

The thing I come away with most is an incredible joy of the way that I was able to discuss literature, and film, with people who appreciate it as I do. No one said, "Dostoevsky who?" No one said, in a most understated way, "Well, that sounds interesting..." It was a wonderful week of discussing Russian literature, introducing new friends to Japanese literature, and sharing it all with my mother who first taught me to read.

As I was leaving, and hugging suite-mates good-bye, Laura said to me, "Stay in the light!" It is a lovely reminder to be in the light, but also to share it. To spread the joy of appreciating one another through the novels we read and the ideas we express. Just like we're able to do with our blogs.

I missed you. 

26 comments:

  1. What a timely post! Thanks for reminding me why I blog :)

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  2. Sounds like a great trip! We have lots of friends who've lived in Canada and they've all loved it.

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  3. I always loved Toronto. Very cosmopolitan and eclectic, but also welcoming. I always felt quite at home any time I’ve ever visited.

    Stratford is so much fun. I love all the little shops and wandering along the banks of the Avon :)

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  4. Glad you had a nice time in Canada, and a literary visit too!

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  5. I am happy you had a fantastic time off! And speaking of Shakespeare, guess who paid a visit to Shakespeare and Co last week? :) I am always amazed when I discover so many coincidences with the people I admire (and here, I mean you) :)

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    1. I admire you, too, Ally. xo

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  6. looks like a wonderful trip ,all the best stu

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  7. Your trip sounds wonderful!I'm glad you had a great time. :-)

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  8. Beautiful photos, and ideas, here! Thank you for this reminder to share our appreciation, joy, and light with each other.

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  9. I am so glad you enjoyed yourself Bellezza! Wonderful pics, thanks for sharing.

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  10. Sounds like a BEAUTIFUL trip at a beautiful place :) And that''s one beautiful woman in those photos too ;)

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    1. A big kiss from this fifty year old for you, sweet Chris!

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  11. It looks like you had a wonderful time!

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  12. I'm glad you've had a memorable experience at the U of T and sharing with us the beautiful photos. It's so precious that you can take the course together with your mother, as she's the one who had taught you how to read, and I trust, instilled the love of literature in you. I look forward to your sharing of Dostoevsky with us, and films you've discussed as well.

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    1. Oh, Arti, I wonder if I'll be able to do The Idiot justice. I ended up feeling he was quite ineffectual when Doatoevsky wanted to portray a truly beautiful soul. I took fascinating notes from our wonderful discussions so perhaps I can synthesize them one day Suffice it to say, this was my least favorite Dostoevsky novel. Although it is thought provoking.

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  13. The photos and the memory of your visit are wonderful. Toronto is a modern city with old and new buildings and with annual literary events.
    It has been a a while since we visited Toronto.

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  14. Sounds wonderful! Loved the pics! So glad you had such a great time - sounds very memorable! And I love that - Stay in the light.

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  15. So many bloggers turning out to be in Chicago!

    I was in Toronto in May, and I mean, there's a kind of "Chicago of Canada" vibe, but I guess it's less violent? Of course, right after I left the mall shooting happened.

    I do totally prefer our transit system to theirs. ;) Stratford looks awesome, though.

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  16. Glad you had a great & a great literary time.

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  17. What a lovely get-away and how fun to go with your mother. I've never been to Toronto and I'd like to some day, but first on my list is Quebec City and Ottawa (the latter of which is my birthplace).

    How was the weather? Judging by your long sleeves, it appears to be a bit cooler than what we've had in the Midwest. (Yes, I'm complaining about the heat AGAIN.)

    I missed you, too.

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    1. I didn't know you were born in Canada! How cool is that?! I'm totally taken with that lovely country where people are actually polite enough to let cyclists ride down their busy streets without fearing for their lives. I even heard Please and Thank you every day. It's like a little miracle!

      It wasn't that cool so don't be misled. The long sleeves were only from the last night there when it got into the high 70's (and I was running low on clean tee shirts). Still, perhaps Hell itself is cooler and wetter than Illinois this summer. Now are you ready to be a winter girl? ;)

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    2. Please and Thank You? Really? I need to find a job in Canada! ;)

      Yes, I may just be ready to be a winter girl, although how would I ride my bike? I'm happiest in the spring and fall when I can go for long rides in the country. Today I rode 20 in town (on the trails) and I've been tired all day. Too hot!

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  18. That stage! Oh my gosh, it's breathtaking.

    And that sounds like an absolutely inspiring and inspired trip.

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  19. This is so so so lovely! Thank you for a wonderful, sweet, joyful post.

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  20. I just returned from three days in Stratford seeing theatre: Much Ado About Nothing; A Word or Two (Christopher Plummer's one man show about the importance of language); and Pirates of Penzance, which I adored! Small world indeed. And all those bookstores (none of which I visited this year)!

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  21. Oh my goodness, you were in Toronto! We were just in Stratford a few weeks ago, too. I wish I had read this post before. I missed you!! But I'm happy to know you had a wonderful time. It IS a gentler city than most big cities. But in fact I think it shares a lot of similarities with Chicago. I love your city, too!

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