The doors are broke.

The play I’m working on now features a character who is afraid of doors. This is a late breaking development in the character, in the play and solved many dramaturgical problems when it made its way into the piece. It was as if the answer was always there, waiting underneath the ground, waiting to be dug up. It was the final puzzle piece that led to a satisfying ending. It showed up when one of our actors asked “Is she afraid of doors?” And the lights went on. Yes. Yes she is. That’s it. I didn’t think this had anything to do with me. It just seemed like a neat literary solution.

Then I had a session with my Rubenfeld Synergist and it came out that I felt I had two very heavy oak doors protecting a group of delicate dancers – Isadora Duncan style dancers. And I realized that I’d put Duncan herself, as well as a group of delicate dancers/priestesses into a play – probably a year before. I would have sworn up and down that Duncan had nothing to do with me – that that play wasn’t personal. Except of course it was.

And the doors…the doors. The doors in the Duncan play connected to the doors that Zerlina was afraid of in The Door Was Open.

Strange artistic overlap? Motifs? Was I subconsciously working on a theme? Then last night, I was typing up some writing I did about 6 months ago on a novel – a completely separate project in a completely different medium and I noticed myself typing, “She reacted to the door as if it were a demon.”

And damn, if I hadn’t written entirely different character who was afraid of doors. For entirely different reasons of course, in vastly different circumstances – but…if you’d asked me before all of this “Is a fear of doors a thing?”

I’d have said No. No one is afraid of doors. That’s silly. People are afraid of snakes, rats, elevators, planes, etc. But doors? Not a thing. And I certainly am not afraid of doors so these plays are not about me.

Unless we look at them metaphorically and then it might be possible that yes, indeed, some part of me MUST be afraid of doors.

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O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs!

Why is she highlighting the nationality of the dogs?
I mean what if I said, “Hey you lying American dogs?”
Oh. I get it now.
It’s not a way to call them Danish, to remind them of their nationality – it’s more that Danish is a connecting word – it’s a way to call them false dogs with better rhythm. The nationality is almost like the unstressed part of iambic pentameter – except with words. You can’t hit False, Danish and Dogs equally. One needs a softer stress. And that is clearly Danish. If you want to really spit fire, you have to hit “Dogs” and “False” is second. “Danish” is the breath almost.

How cheerfully on the false trail they cry!

So many questions about where Gertrude’s loyalties here. I mean – is she truly upset about the rabble supporting Laertes against her murderer husband? Does she forget for a moment? Think that her husband is entirely innocent? Is she trying to deflect suspicion from herself? Demonstrate loyalty to a man she’s not so sure about?
Is there a part of her that wonders where this rabble was when her son ought to have been king? Her son, beloved by the people, who ought to have been king? There’s a world of complexity here.
I’m pretty sure when I played this part, I had no sense of any of that. I just operated on instinct – and probably the ACTUAL love I felt for the guy playing Claudius. I just slipped into defending a man I loved. Simple. If I were to do it again, I’d have a lot more options to explore.

Caps, hands and tongues, applaud it to the clouds:

It’s amazing how often “the people” means “the men.”
I mean – democracy was born in a world where, amazingly, “The people” could govern themselves. But they weren’t the people. They were the men. For women – there wasn’t a significant difference in being ruled by a monarchy or democracy. In some cases, at least with a monarchy, you might stand a chance of getting a woman in charge sometime.
That’s why this sentence strikes me as interesting. Because caps could potentially include both genders. It’s more likely to be the caps of men…but hands and tongues could belong to anyone.

And, as the world were now but to begin, Antiquity forgot, custom not known, The ratifers and props of every word, They cry ‘choose we: Laertes shall be king:’

It would be interesting if, having forgotten absolutely all history or tradition, if the world began anew, to have the first people choose their king. We think of the impulse of democracy, of choosing our leaders as being so evolved, so at the top of the development chain – but what if it were instead our birthright – our first thought. What if we were born assuming we could choose our leaders. I mean – it’s a good idea to have people choose their own leaders but maybe not if it’s the rabble. If it’s the shouting mob who slide their loyalty to the first smooth talker that says what they want to hear…that’s maybe not democracy but the loudest, most aggressive, bulliest voices making their choice.

The rabble call him lord;

We’re in the midst of this crazy election right now. There are so many times where it feels like there are hordes of people who are not individuals but a seething sort of mass – an emotional irrational sometimes violent crowd. Before this year, I’m not sure I really thought of groups of people as rabble. But now…well. With images of people attacked at rallies because they had brown skin or booed for simply existing…well, rabble seems very appropriate.

*And side note: I wrote this two years ago. And um…the rabble has only gotten worse in the lag time from typing it up to posting it. Oh oh the rabble, folks, the rabble.

The ocean, overpeering of his list, Eats not the flats with more impetuous haste Than young Laertes, in a riotous head, O’erbears your officers.

What is the ocean’s list? Is it an actual list? Like the Ocean’s To Do list?
1) roll over the shore
2) make waves
3) be deep
4) provide home for creatures large and small
5) work with boats as they sail over top
6) try not to drown anyone unnecessarily
7) remind those who are foolhardy who is the boss
8) salinate

And the overpeering would then be doing something more than what was on the list? Like, the ocean covering lowlands when it was definitely not supposed to. But maybe the ocean’s list is its turning – the way a boat lists to one side.
Or the other list in this play, list, list, oh listing…like the ocean didn’t listen and just went ahead and devoured those flats when it wasn’t supposed to.

Save yourself, my lord.

Okaaaay. How exactly? It’s like – the door would appear to be the only way in and that’s the way the trouble is. How is the King to save himself? Use this drama queen as a shield? Or his actual queen?
Bring the crazy maiden back in and release her on the troubling hordes?
Some advice is not particularly helpful.
Arm yourself might be useful here.
Run away through the secret entrance.
Jump out the window.
And then what’s funny about this speech is that he says “save yourself” and then proceeds to tell a long story about what’s happening. Does he explain because Claudius doesn’t do what he expected when told to save himself?

What is the matter?

This coffeeshop has a series of bookshelves and on it are books. But almost none of them are books I’d want to read. I’m a fairly omnivorous reader but these books are very particular brands of self help – like: Babies with Down Syndrome: A new Parent’s Guide and Gold Rush: How to collect, invest and profit with Gold coins. It also features lots of dreamy pastel covers for what I assume is something called Angel Fiction (one is called The Eternal Rose) contrast those with the books with a dark bold font that screams macho pulp fiction. Probably several people will be shot and at least one of the main character men will have a torrid affair with a prostitute. There is also a copy Dictionary of Aquarium Terms and The Poet’s Market from 4 years ago. It feels like this is where books go to die – or just become decoration. I guess it’s good that they have somewhere to go! All this matter will not have mattered in vain.