We have two cars: the Prius is our primary vehicle, but when the weather gets icky as it has of late, we dust off the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which I lovingly refer to as the off-tank. Prior to the last few days, the Jeep had probably been driven a dozen times in the last several months. It's a great vehicle, but considering it costs about $50 to fill up for a week of driving, verses $30 for two weeks with the Prius, it's easy to see why it doesn't get driven much. It's fabulous in the snow, and for hauling large stuff home, and every once in a while we each need a car, so we keep it around.
This weekend, as the weather turned awful and the roads got icy, the Jeep got to shine (well, not really shine, so much as get covered in dirt and grime and road salt) and we got around without incident. Friday night we headed out to Sakura. Saturday the Jeep took us to Zona Rosa and to a friend's house for serious rocking out to Guitar Hero. Last night, we bundled up against the cold and made a trek to the bookstore for coffee and browsing.
While at the bookstore, I glanced over the first few pages of the new Bill Bryson contribution to the Eminent Lives book series, Shakespeare: The World as Stage. I like Bryson's writing style - it's at once friendly, approachable, intelligent, witty and informative. I'm a bigger fan of his referential material, such as A Short History of Nearly Everything and The Mother Tongue, than I am of his travelogues or biographical writing, but even those are decent reads. The few pages I read of the Shakespeare volume whetted my appetite for more, so I hope to see a book-shaped package under the Christmas tree in the coming weeks (hint, hint).
No mention of Shakespeare is complete without some actual Shakespeare lines, so here's one of his sonnets that's perfect for this time of year (although, I probably should have posted it a few weeks ago, when the leaves were still yellow). This sonnet is a meditation on death and love, and the importance of love in spite of, or even because of death. As with all of Shakespeare's sonnets, this one has that magic quality of speaking volumes in relatively few words.
Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold
Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth steal away,
Death's second self, which seals up all in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.