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Spin, Spin, Fly Again
Dreamed 2009/8/8 by Wayan
I bike to the park to see Woman's Will (an all-female Shakespeare company) do The Taming of the Shrew. Other versions I've seen have been painfully sexist, but this Kate is a bored and lonely girl who's rather excited to meet a sparring partner who can stand up to her, and who finds Petrucchio's craziness more an infuriating riddle than torture (except she wants food and sleep). Petrucchio makes it clear he's not trying to break her; he openly says you tame a falcon by starving her first so rewards really count. But despite the title, he's really he's not out to tame her either--he's teaching, by mirroring--he clownishly exaggerates how Kate's been terrorizing her sister and parents.
At first Kate's blind to Petruchio's analogy (forgivable, as centuries of critics have been too). She does eventually get the falcon idea, though, and gleefully plays along once she realizes her husband can fly her--help her choose the right battles, legitimize her ferocity, and share the heat if she goes too far. She enjoys being sicced on her sister and the bossy widow...
All in all, an impressive feminist rethinking of a problem play--and it's right there in the dialog, waiting to be brought out. Is it what Shakespeare thought? Strangely enough I think the answer is... yes.
Victorian porch. Duboce Park. Night. Men
stroll. I fear all men, but note "They're all in
couples. Gay. I'm
safe." So I dive into the starry queery night.
Turn on my bare heel, dance, begin to sing.
That vertigo I've had for days (a mystery
infection) first near-fells me, but as I spin...
the sin thins.
As I relearn dance, recall how I once could fly
just by thinking myself light. Try now. And I
hesitant at first, then easy loft, until I pirouette
high above dry field, dappled with dark heads:
No! Stroll in dawn. Sun low, but day returns.
Dark Age gone! Gold the lawn burns, and I
can fly, can fly--
NOTES IN THE MORNING
- Duboce Park: in San Francisco between the Castro and the Lower Haight. Meaning half hippie, half queer? After all, I just saw an all-girl troupe in Jerry Garcia Amphitheater.
- Fear (straight) males: true. Bashed as a kid. I dreaded watching even a female Petrucchio crush Kate the way I was crushed. But s/he didn't. Teaching isn't taming isn't breaking.
- Biking! Loved zooming through the park as much as the play. My first real exercise in days.
- Kate as a falcon in Taming of the Shrew. Suggests I'm finally getting over how I was... broken.
- ACTION 1: Exercise more. My body likes it.
- ACTION 2: Quit fearing straight men? Given the world they built, I'm not sure I can. Or should. But at least Shakespeare's not the pig I was taught. He's good.
- ACTION 3: I need no Petrucchio. Do you? Unhood yourself and fly.
LISTS AND LINKS:
Only In San Francisco -
raptors & falconry
gay men -
I'm Just Not Myself Today! -
species-bent dreams -
falcons again! -
pencil art - another dream inspired by a Woman's Will play:
"You're SO GAY!"
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