Once more into the fray…
Into the last good fight I’ll ever know…
Live and die on this day…
Live and die on this day…
The phrase, “Into the fray,” has meant to me – getting back into the game after a time of rest or waiting. The above poem may have been derived from Shakespeare’s, “King Henry V.” in Henry’s speech to his troops before battle. That speech was spoken to encourage his army to try once more to break the barriers before them. A kind of never give up speech.
After a long bout with my kidney over November and December, I’m back in the proverbial saddle again. I always seem to muddle through some health issue, an important event (Christmas in this case) or a life and death situation when I am not involved in a lot of work. I believe God knows that I wouldn’t be able to stand up under any other conditions. However with the end of the holidays I am back into the fray.
Only a week ago, we started rehearsals for “The Crucible,” by Arthur Miller. It is a timely play depicting mass hysteria, mob rule, strict religious teachings, land grabbing, political power and many things that continue in our world today. The play is being performed by students from grades 6-12. I’m stage managing this show under a very knowledgeable director who gives min-history lessons along the way. I’m learning a lot. I think the actors are as well.
I also began teaching my weekly “Golden Starz Creative Aging Acting Class,” for students 55 and up. We are combining acting technique with creative writing and my students are learning how to create their own interesting characters in the form of a monologue which they’ll perform before an audience at the end of the sessions.
My creative juices are percolating again. It’s good to get back to doing the things we love to do. Aging doesn’t have to restrict us. We have the ability to keep on trying no matter how old we are. One of my students is over 80 and still very involved in the community and loves to learn. She’s currently learning to speak Russian from her seven year old granddaughter. Another who has just recently retired is taking art classes from my husband. She’s traveling everywhere she can before she isn’t physically able to do. She’s also joining me on the board of directors at the theatre I’m involved in. Some are there for the social part of it, but they’re all learning something about themselves and stepping outside of their comfort zones.
The fray doesn’t have to be a call to death. Getting involved is more life giving than we thing it is. When we pour ourselves outside of ourselves we are making a difference within our communities, our families, our social circles and our own lives. Never give up.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger. . . .
Henry The Fifth Act 3, scene 1, 1–6