With one big breath, the wind
swept away all the leaves of autumn
The gnarled roots, visible with red ants crawling.
We were running, chasing each other
after one of us almost drowned in the river
We were testing each other
forgetting heard parental warning:
currents can be swift,
depth can be hard to judge
We thought we are bold
and know more than our age
We were eyeing on toying with the red ants.

That was the day
when “everything smells of hyacinth”
innocence started to fade
We started to learn calligraphy.

Be not afraid


My reflections and what I learned

Forgiveness can conquer evil and answers to a “noble reason.” Prospero, deprived of Dukedom and he and his daughter, Miranda, were driven out of Milan, “hoisted” unto the sea, “hurried us aboard a bark…not rigg’d, nor tackle, sail, or mast, “ to die in the sea. They suffered humiliation, dishonor and hard life and almost death. Prospero possessed the virtue to forgave his brothers for their betrayal. Prospero gave them his tender affections,“the rarer action is in virtue than in vengeance.” .

A child should not be a burden. Miranda “saved” him and her, “Thou didst smile, infused with a fortitude from heaven.” That smile gave Prospero the strength or divine will for survival and lived a life in the island attending to all their difficulties and necessities.

Gratitude. Prospero expressed his gratitude to Gonzalo for his goodness, his “charity”. Gratitude to divine “Providence” for saving them at sea and bringing them to the island. He expressed to Ariel and even to Caliban for his help in the house, “make our fire fetch our wood, serves in offices that profit us.”. Gratitude to Miranda. Prosper also has the magnanimity to admit his failings that led to his being overthrown as Duke of Milan.

Freedom is a gift. In the end there should be no slaves no matter how much they owe you.” Thous shalt be free,” prosper told Ariel. And to Caliban, “my pardon.”

I learned about transformation of the different people, “characters.” Caliban was transformed, “I’ll be wise hereafter and seek for Grace.” And Prospero, a tyrant, became kind and forgiving. In all the plays from Romeo and Juliet to the Tempest, transformation is one of the themes.

Be not afraid:

“Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked,
I cried to dream again. “

I learned that spirits, muses, “noises” are real and could visit me anytime. They stir, nudge, needle creativity, bring insights, inspiration, sparks of imagination.

I learned that the art of story telling has to be experienced and has “to please”, “to enchant” as if blessed by the “Spirits.” In the end the writer asks forgiveness from his readers if he fails in his craft to please, to enchant. “Let your indulgence set me free.”

note: The Tempest is the last play in my eCourse, Shakespeare in the Community, through the University of Wisconsin, Madison.