Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Pick Up Off The Floor
Y'all know I'm having a MIKA moment. I lurv the little Freddie, as in Mercury, as in Queen, a musical tsunami introduced to me by the French son of my parents' French friends who was visiting from France. It was all very exotic to me then.
[When you Google "Freddie Mercury" an auto fill-in search option is "Freddie Mercury teeth." I get this, and have searched it myself. His too-many-and-too-big teeth are the best.]
David, pronounced Daveeed, the French way, you know who you are. And merci. You listened to Queen on a Walkman (see: dinosaurs roamed the earth) as we drove into Canada in my parents' wood trim station-wagon to get a load of some Shakespeare at Stratford. In other words, my father was a high school English teacher.
We sat in the way back with nary a seatbelt. But with The Tempest to protect us. Thou hast, and more, Miranda.
Childhood is the time of Ariel. Young adulthood, which lasted for me well into my 30s: Caliban. Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises. Ain't that the truth.
Now that middle age is mine (why do women live long past the age of childbearing? Grandmother hypothesis! Nature article. I told you this was a science blog!) I think of Casaubon, the endlessly-researching never-completing tragic antihero of George Eliot's Middlemarch. Is that me? It is me. Sometimes, I dither likewise for the impossible Key to All Mythologies.
As a model for aging and transformation and admitting we can't do it alone, no man is an island, I like Prospero. He's a life-long-learner. He can pivot and disrupt, as is all the rage. Everyone's pivoting. We are all pivoting disruptors. "The body replaces itself with a new set of cells every seven years, and our most important parts are revamped more frequently." (Again with the science blog, Bastos. Good for you!)
And now my charms are all overthrown/ what strength I have's mine own,/ Which is most faint... ... Gentle breath of yours my sails/ Must fill...says Prospero. It is, some have argued, "one of the most fascinating and moving speeches in all of Shakespeare."
One of MIKA's album covers, bubblegum rainbow pop balloon-font Sgt. Pepper-esque cartoons (see above) was designed by his sister, Yasmine Penman, an artist who goes by the name DaWack. Her artwork (above) for Everybody's Gonna Love Today moved me to write this. It's project, like Prospero's, was to please, and I am gonna love today.