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Monday, March 15, 2004

"Who is it in the press that calls on me? … Beware the ides of March." — Julius Caesar and the Soothsayer in William Shakespear's "Julius Caesar."

The soothsayer's warning sounds so foreboding. And yet, the ides of March was a common expression simply signifying March 15. There were many ides as I've found.

Ever since eighth-grade English literature class with Mr. Stanton (when I first realized how hilarious Shakespeare was), I've not been able to pass this date without an acknowledgement to the Bard. It's always good to go back and reread Shakespeare for sheer appreciation of his command of language and dialogue.
If you're pressed for time and can't pick up Shakespeare's plays or poetry, l would recommend renting Kenneth Branagh's, "Much Ado About Nothing." The beautiful Italian countryside and spectacular cinematography will make you forget the snowy forecast and the witty dialogue between Benedict and Beatrice is the stuff of magic.

Another of my favorite Brit movies at this time of year is "Enchanted April." I watch it faithfully every March to boost my spirits and get me to spring. Who among us doesn't appreciate the dreary feelings brought on by the never-ending London rain? Indeed, who can resist the lure of an Italian villa near the seaside?

Ah, wanderlust! I have it in great abundance, but unfortunately lack the means to indulge my fancy. (I also have a great love for English words, such as fancy, vexing, etc.) I've been many places in my mind. When super sleuth Nancy Drew was in Kenya investigating the "The Spider Sapphire Mystery," (vintage!) I was right along side her. I'm sure I can feel the sun on my skin while walking a beautiful lane in Tuscany. And I can smell the bread baking at a Paris boulangerie and the fields of lavender in Provence.

And in my mind I can speak fluent French. In reality, I can't speak a word of it. Spanish was my chosen second language. At one time, I spoke it well. But like many things, it requires practice. My late grandfather spoke fluent French beautifully. I always fancied myself his favorite granddaughter, but the one thing I could not do (and my younger sister could) was converse with him in French. It was a beautiful thing to observe. I had to have my sister teach my how to pronounce Champs Elysees. (Shawn Zeelee Zay) Oh, to have the opportunity to practice….

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