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Baby Elisabeth & Lady Macbeth

September 27th, 2003 · No Comments

Raspberries fresh from the garden are a wonderful treat to eat for dessert. Unless you are Baby Elisabeth. Instead of eating her food, sometimes she likes to explore it’s texture and touch. Last night I watched her smash the ripe berries in her hand. She watched herself too, looking at her fingers becoming stained with red.

Somehow, the way she was watching her hand, reminded me of another person with a red hand, Lady Macbeth. Perhaps it is the book I’ve been reading about Shakespeare (plan to blog more about that later…), or the issue of responsibility that I’ve been working through recently….
..Anyway, I had the fortune of playing Lady Macbeth in high school English class (I also played Julius Caesar in his assassination scene, in our 7th grade Shakespeare, got to groan and fall over backwards!). Each set of two students had to perform a scene for the class, and somehow, my partner and I ended up doing Act II scene ii when Lady Macbeth and MacBeth get their hands bloody. I still have my book from high school on the shelf above this desk. The famous line “Out damned spot, out I say” comes later, but this scene has its own lines by the Lady:

My hands are of your color, but I shame
To wear a heart so white…
A little water clears us of this deed
How easy is it then!

Washing off Baby Elisabeth’s deed was indeed cleared with a little water, but ah, not so deeper issues, such as those of Lady Macbeth’s….an interesting thought about what can and can not be washed away with water….

Ah – it’s getting late, as the way I just spilled raspberry tea all over the desk reminds me (yet another white to red image – oh, my pile of papers – if only more water could wash it all away…or as Macbeth might say – to badly paraphrase the end of this scene – “my tea would rather the multiple papers incarnadine, making the white ones red…”!)….
….ah yes, time for sleep
as Macbeth says in this same scene:

Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast….

Time to go to feast and sleep…..

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