Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday Quote of the Day by Willy Shakes

"Parting is such sweet sorrow" as told (well, written ... well, allegedly written) by William Shakespeare.

I'm at home now, and I left my Quickwrite paper at work. However, I do remember the gist of what I wrote. Basically, it was about how my beloved stepdad died of lung cancer several years ago. It was an awful way to go, lingering and weakening and in agonizing pain all the time, and ... Well, the last week or so of his life, when he couldn't really walk or do anything but cry and basically wish to be dead, I actually thought of this quote a lot. The idea of losing my stepdad--more a father to me than my biological father is--was devestating ... almost as bad as watching him suffering horrifically and dying a little bit every hour. Knowing that he left, hopefully for a better place, that his pain and torture was over ... yet missing him beyond words every single day since? Yeah, sweet sorrow indeed.

More pragmatically, though, I wrote about the oxymoronic nature of "sweet sorrow" and how parting, saying goodbye, is definitely an apt example of that phrase. If you are saying goodbye to someone that you love, even if it's only for a short time, it's sorrowful. Even if you're saying goodbye under bad terms, there's usually at least the last whiff of something that was "sweet" at some point.

Most of my students got it as well, which made me feel pretty excited as we're going to be tackling Romeo and Juliet in a few days. I did feel like a jerk, though, when I realized that the quote I chose could easily be interpreted as playing to the recent tragedy mentioned in the last blog. That was not my intention, although it was neat in a way since a lot of the kids chose to interpret the quote in terms of that event.

Catharsis comes in strange forms sometimes, and I don't think the quote could have been better timed. Life is strange.