Tuesday, March 1, 2011

To Dream of Love

Love is an overused word. We love our children, love our dogs, love to laugh, and love peanut butter. Having a lover can be beautiful and pure or terrible and wrong. A girl who always loves her little brother may not always like him. We hurt the ones we love. We live for love. We die for love. 

Love is a broad and slippery concept. Romantic love alone is as complex as any field of human endeavor and has inspired more expression of form and feeling than any other subject in history. But who can define it?

If love is pure reason we find it cold; if pure emotion we call it foolhardy. Love is magic, we admit, but it doesn’t pay the bills, we warn smitten young people. Indeed, the river of advice for would-be romantics flows endless despite the fact that no sane person claims to have love figured out.

The questions are as timeless as they are vexing: What is it to be in love? How do you find the right one to marry? Can you keep love living through years of life’s changes and strain? We try to lead our young people through the maze, but ultimately they must find their own way. We can only love them.

New Covenant School maintains a theater element as part of its rhetoric program because there is no better way to have vicarious experience—to learn wisdom in a deep way, by embodying the words and actions of others and then reflecting on them for years to come, comparing them to one’s own life experience and slowly unfolding the lessons in full. Hearing wisdom in a lecture once or twice can’t compare with making it part of you forever. 

New Covenant School is excited to present A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. Perhaps Shakespeare’s most loved comedy, Dream examines the foibles of love with wit, wry humor, and ingenious irony. Is love a question of conquest? Obedience? Impulse? Magic? To use Shakespeare’s words, does a good marriage come from love or reason, from fancy or constancy? Or are we mortals all bound to make fools of ourselves in the pursuit of true love?

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