restarting stein and shakespeare

I said yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed with all the books I’m trying read. So of course I logged off and pulled out The Making of Americans by Gertrude Stein and started reading it for the umpteenth time.

It wasn’t just because it was her birthday yesterday. I have been thinking of getting back to this book for a while. I continue to grapple with the insane history of America. I know that I have a fierce connection to being American that comes to me largely through my own life and the arts and learning about the terrible things that are part of our heritage. So Stein is a logical choice. She lived in Paris by like so many expats intensified her own relationship to her country. I have been curious where she takes this story. Maybe this time I’ll stick with the book longer.

Eileen had a Zoom breakfast with her group of women who all sang in the alto section of the Grace choir when I was the director. They have continued to seek each other out for conversation even though they are not all part of the choir now. For that matter, Eileen reports that the choir has not been rehearsing. I try not to pay attention to what is happening at Grace so I don’t really know what the deal is. But I think this kind of connection is excellent and I told Eileen today I am jealous of this kind of connection since I haven’t been able to establish much of this while living in Holland Michigan.

It’s not all me. I have reached out many times trying to establish friendships or connections and have been rebuffed or fizzled out time and time again. This does not include Rhonda, Jordan, or my piano trio people. But I am amused to mull over attempts that I have made that have come to naught. I do wonder if this is connected to my own strong demands on people I have relationships with. Or is it another case of not quite looking and acting the part and once again being under estimated or even misunderstood? I am lucky to have someone as strong as Eileen to be a companion. I know it’s not always easy for her.

I exercised while Eileen was on the Zoom call. We had breakfast before the call. Today is also when we try to connect with Sarah in England so we did that as well. It was a lot of time for Eileen to be in front screens talking with people but I think she enjoys it all.

I am trying to finish Timon of Athens by Shakespeare so I can move on to Coriolanus. I noticed recently that T. S. Eliot wrote a poem entitled Coriolan (his spelling) and wanted to read the play before checking out his poem which I have already read at least once but don’t recall. Also his essay, “Hamlet and his problems” beckons. Apparently he declares Coriolanus superior to Hamlet. Who knows.

Enough for today. Off to read and have a martini.

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