God be wi’ ye.

I’m not a believer but I like the idea of wishing the presence of a god with others. It’s not so much a blessing as a wish for company. If God is with you, he’s with you for all of it. It’s like having a friend, perhaps, or a dog.

Given the moodiness of the Judeo-Christian God, it’s also a bit like having a volatile Santa Claus ever at your elbow – always determining whether you are naughty or nice. So it can be either a friend or a monitor, depending on your perception of God.

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And of all Christian souls, I pray God.

What an interesting moment to develop a sense of exceptionalism! Or perhaps she’s not claiming exceptional prayer – perhaps she’s not saying I’m the praying one – the one really praying to God – maybe she’s claiming a community – a sense of belonging to all Christian souls.

It doesn’t QUITE feel like that – it feels like a special request almost. But…there is a way that grief opens up new channels in a person. When I have been in mourning, I have felt unique even though I know myself not to be the least bit unique in losing someone. But death narrows focus, makes us feel as if it were a thing that never happened to anyone else before. That’s one of its magic powers, this creation of a feeling of exceptionalism.

God ha’ mercy on his soul!

Yeah, I’m gonna guess Polonius is gonna need that mercy.
1) He died without any kind of reckoning that generally these situations require
2) He died spying
3) As a high official close to one (or more) kings, it is not unlikely that he was party to a whole lot of dirty dealings. He could, for example, have just sent Hamlet to his (presumed) death in England. He could have been involved in the regicide of the first king. He’s definitely involved in a whole lot of spying

What else he did, we can’t know – but I’m guessing our man Polonius was never an angel.

He is gone, he is gone, And we cast away moan:

I would like to punctuate this a little more. I feel like “we, cast away, moan“ – might go a long way toward making this make sense. Without it, it feels like the moans are being cast away, which feels a little bit dismissive of some moans in response to someone’s death. If we are cast away, because someone’s departed on the ship of death, it makes a whole lot more sense that we would moan, as we watch that ship with our loved one on it, disappear over the horizon.

His beard was as white as snow, All flaxen was his poll:

I wonder what would happen if the story Snow White was about a man whose beard was white as snow, rather than a young nubile woman whose skin was white as snow. I mean – Snow White, as we know it, is problematic for a whole lot of reasons – and I’m not generally a fan of taking women’s stories away from them…however – In this case…

What if this man with his snow white beard was called Snow White and he was the fairest in the land? What if all the princesses and maybe even the princes came from far and wide to admire him? What if his jealous step-father sent him into the woods to be murdered by a huntswoman? What if he were rescued by a group of lady dwarves who brought him in to cook and clean for him? What if he fell asleep from one bite of a poisoned apple and the dwarves put him in a glass coffin, just to admire him? And then he was kissed awake by a handsome prince or gorgeous princess? I don’t know. I’m curious what a world would be like if this was a story we told instead of the other one.

He never will come again.

Written in the past.
It will be clear when very quickly.
*
We’re not even a week into the Orange Man’s presidency and it is not only just as bad as we expected but possibly worse in that we didn’t expect it to happen THIS quickly. We’re already at STEP 2 of the establishment of fascism. We sailed through two steps in five days.

I saw a video wherein some guy spoke of the comparison of two kings speech from Hamlet – the “look on this picture” one. He replaced “husband” with leader and showed pictures of Obama and Trump. And the loss gets more and more poignant. He will never return. Not as our president. He will return as a private citizen but he never will come again as our leader. It’s hard to swallow.

Go to thy death-bed:

I glossed over this line for ages. Dead, Death-bed – makes sense.
But now – with a little bit of consideration, I’m questioning it.
Who is she talking about?
HE is dead. HE will not come again…all third person.
Whose death bed is she talking about? THY deathbed. Second.
Who is the thou?
Based on what happens next, I’d wager the thou is herself…but it’s weird to sing thou to yourself.
Who is she looking at when she suggests they retire to their death bed? Her brother? The king? The Queen? It’s much more complex than I had previously understood.

Close reading, y’all. It asks as many, if not more, questions as it answers. Who is she suggesting should now die?

No, no, he is dead;

It is a curious thing that whenever I run into a line like this, I can’t help running over a list of my dead. I think – ah, who are the “hes that are dead? And the first one that comes to mind is a friend, with whom I was not particularly close – only briefly intimate and sometimes contentious. But he is first, every time. Perhaps because he was the first to be lost. He is first in the line of dead. Next, is another intimate friend/lover and complicated relationship.

But it is perhaps because they died so young, and from violence, that their deaths, even almost two decades later, still resonate strongly with me.

And too – there are the more recent – the musician and actors we lost collectively recently. And my own dear Grandfather too – more recent than not – and yet longer ago than my dear Grandmother.

I do not know I have a loss list in my head until I encounter a line like this and try to read it.

This is a list of lost men.
And it is longer than the list of lost women…though that has started to grow in these last couple of years.

And will he not come again?

I write this on the orange man’s inauguration day. Which means Obama is no longer the president. I find it hard to reconcile the loss, given the replacement.
I think – couldn’t he come back and fix things again once the child rapist has broken them? And could he not wait til then and just come back anyway?
It is a heartbreaker to lose him.

And because I am slow at posting these things – it is now quite a bit down the road into the horrors of this presidency. Every day there is a new madness. It is still a heartbreaker nearly every day.

And will he not come again?

The year seemed to murder pop stars like a mafia bullet spree. It mowed one down and then another and then another. One by one, the heroes of our youth shuffled off this mortal coil and it seemed unfathomable that we continued to live in a world without David Bowie, without Prince, without George Michael.

We think – no. It must be a joke. And I suddenly understand why the idea bubbled up of Elvis Presley being seen around the world – not dead – alive and in secret. It’s like, people couldn’t imagine a world without Elvis in it – so they imagined him alive – but underground – under cover – in disguise. That’s a world we could live in, a world where our pop heroes COULD come again – even if they were under wraps. We dream that it’s a hoax and that Prince will stage a surprise resurrection concert in a secret underground cave. That world would a better one to live in. That’s the one I’ll imagine.