Saturday, August 7, 2010

Week in Seven Words #27

I'm happy to see her in a sustained good mood, when she seems lighter on her feet and is prone to laughter.

Our sensory perceptions are limited by our brains and bodies; there are colors and frequencies for instance that we can't sense unaided, and everything we do sense is filtered through our unique composition of cells - it's the only physical reality we know. The man lecturing at the front of the room used to rely on a hearing aid, but after becoming completely deaf he began using a cochlear implant - a small computer that's now a part of his body; he speaks of how his brain adjusted to it, and of what it's like to experience auditory perception through such a device.

Popsicles melting together on a paper plate - lime, strawberry, wild berry - a psychedelic puddle.

It's not that I fail to notice that the road splits in two - I notice it, vaguely - it's just that I walk down the wrong fork; actually it's less walking and more a determined barreling stride, because I'm already running late, and I don't want to keep my friend waiting. I don't notice anything amiss until I'm at a quiet residential street (cue crickets chirping), just past an enormous domed church, and my friend calls my cellphone and describes landmarks I don't see.

They're so fine and bright and moist, those green grapes; we pretend to pluck them out of the painting and pop them in our mouths.

Stones and columns from other continents and eras, reassembled in dark dramatic rooms. People stroll past and study the pillars, statues, and slabs of stone; they pose with a self-conscious smile in front of carvings with wild blank eyes, or they unfold their cell phones and snap up the heavy granite in quick pictures.

All of the actors in this production of A Midsummer Night's Dream have a sense of playfulness and fun. Some of them have a sense of the words too, the cadence, letting the poetry roll off their tongue as they clatter around the stage; those who don't have a feel for the words tend to swallow them or scream them and rely mostly on slapstick fights and comic faces to pull them through. The best blend of well-spoken lines, comic timing, and physical humor is in the rendition of Pyramus and Thisbe at the end - with Bottom giving Pyramus one of the goriest deaths ever, after which the actress playing Thisbe tiptoes up to his self-mutilated, gutted, decapitated, flayed, disemboweled corpse (because in his great anguish he couldn't just stab himself) and whispers, "Asleep, my love?"