One of the ways to build a personal reservoir of resilience is to build personal connections with thinking places, make time and go there to refine one’s thinking. Lists, Letters, Libraries as a personalized growth plan were some of the values my parents, family elders imbibed in me. On listening to an incomplete letter to one’s family, by a close friend, who read it aloud and wondered how to end it, I recalled letters to a loved one who has passed away- an exercise I have done over the years, which has deepened my understanding of life, cultures, civilizations and journeys taken by our family.
Thinking Places: Port Credit-Jack Darling and Rattray Marsh: November 2022
Around the midweek, I met a close friend- at Jack Darling parking and we went walking on the Lakefront. One evening before, I had texted him that it is going to be zero degrees and suggested we just meet at a Tims’s coffee place. He texted back that he walks even at Minus 20 degrees. My Canadian-born friend inspired me to take a walk by the Lake and on doing so, I realized that once we get moving, and if it is not raining or windy, then the walk is very invigorating. Jack Darling Memorial is one of my thinking places, as have other parks in the Port Credit area of Mississauga. Lakeshore has had some interesting ways of teaching.
Remembering Yester years: Bradley Museum at 50 (2017)-Canada 150
Toronto parks- Wilket Creek-2014
Gozo Cathedral: A place of worship for millennia (Remembering Malta years-2010-2012)
Walks on ramparts of Gozo Citadel
Museums, parks, waterfronts were some of the thinking places which my parents would take me to, to renew and refresh, deepen perspectives of our contexts
Remembering some yesteryears and some mountain meditations
Remembering the walks in Fall 2022, I remembered the drive to Stratford to see Hamlet.
In the morning, we had briefly gone through the great lectures on Hamlet and revised the tools of Drama of Ideas, Arch of development of characters, Stage craft which Professor Marc O Connor has illustrated through indepth studies of the historical plays, the tragedies and comedies of Shakespeare.
We remembered watching a modern adaptation of Othello at Riverwood in 2017. There was not much stage craft there and the characters made a lot of effort, but the modern day adaptation was forced. The character Iago ,adapted for the play reminded me of what an English teacher once told me, sitting in Khadra area of Tripoli “There is no character as diabolical as Iago in all of Shakespeare”.
Sahil had gone to Stratford in 2016 on the four centuries of Shakespeare and watched Macbeth.
On the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare we had gone through the characters of Prince Hal and Shylock and seen the range of human experiences conveyed through them.
HAMLET AT STRATFORD
The energy of the production was very intense, the lighting, stage craft, and spirited performance of the actors gave a different life to the play.
IDENTITY AND HAMLET
Dr.Connor writes in his guide book
“The first scene of Hamlet is one of the great scenes in world drama, and we won’t even meet Hamlet until the second scene. The very first words of the play—“Who’s there?”—introduce the great question of the play, the great question of Western literature, the question of identity: Who am I? Who are you? The response only deepens the mystery: “Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself.” To the question of identity, the answer is refused, and then the question is posed again, but in a fascinating way: “unfold yourself.””
DISCUSSIONS OVER YESTER-YEARS
We have discussed some characters of Shakespeare, during our walks in Port Credit some like Falstaff and Shylock have broken beyond the confines of the play and talk to us across the centuries.
LESSONS THROUGH HAMLET
Identity through the specific play Hamlet and how a live performance, the energy makes us view our own humanity beyond the routine day-to-day life are some things which stayed with us through that visit to Stratford.
Meditating in an Apple Farm in Southern Tier New York-near Binghamton, I remembered some of museum tours, some plays, the joint energy of these trips.
Around the 22nd birthday of Sahil, we prayed at our home and at the memorial trees of his
grandparents in Erindale and Port Credit.
Then we went to Hambur loop and prayed by the Lake.
Remembered the previous times we have come here and on other Great Lake trails. On Friday, had been to downtown where he is doing his Masters from Toronto Metropolitan University. The mild weather and breeze of Lake Ontario gave a special feel to the Burlington Lakefront park. A sculpture garden has been created, adding to the aesthetics. Prayed at the Naval Memorial. Flags were at half-mast to honour the memory of Queen Elizabeth II (April 21, 1926- September 8, 2022)
LAKE SHORE AND WATERFRONT TRAILS – Reflections on the years gone by