To be, or not to be? want to escape the word “good”.

I searched for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. Hamlet, 2.ii.

and came across this. Most people are neither bad apples nor good eggs, but soft fruit that can easily turn from ripe to rotten. Mmm.

and this: he’s not indulging in ethical relativism as much as wishing for blissful ignorance. He’s also implicitly damning the naïveté of the king’s new yes-men.

Reading Hamlet may be worth my time. I have nothing new to say about it: Claudius has to kill Hamlet, and once Hamlet knows the truth, Claudius has to bring such plans forward. Hamlet can trust no-one. From being crown-prince, the future King, that is quite a come-down. Or, Claudius has turned Hamlet’s nice, ordered world, where if he follows the traditions he gets to be King, into a bear-pit.

I am stuck in the last stanza of Bagpipe Music

It’s no go, my honey-love, it’s no go, my poppet
Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit.
The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall forever
But if you break the bloody glass, you won’t hold up the weather.

What do I mean by “good”, anyway? It is what this feels like from inside. I imagine that I have that nice, ordered world, where I merely need to follow the rules and everything will be OK. That feels safer. But, there are no rules, and there is no safety. I run repeatedly into that false belief about the world, which supports my false beliefs about myself- that being the Rational Man in a Suit is the way to get ahead, and that I can be that Rational person.

Hamlet’s saying is true on two levels. I work on being positive, seeing things as a blessing or at least as a surmountable obstacle, seeking all the good I may see in a situation, rather than being negative, seeing only snares and thorns. And- the spin doctor may lie, presenting a bad mistake as the Only Way Forward.

I want to see the world as it is, and myself as I am, and to do what is in my interests. And I keep coming up against the false beliefs. I want to see that I am worthy of love and worthy of being looked after, so that I may look after myself. One of my most felicitous image-searches: Sarah played Hamlet in 1899.

8 thoughts on “To be, or not to be?

  1. The last line is the most treasured by me. What a noble pursuit and one, “that I am worthy of love and worthy of being looked after, so I may look after myself” that I share whole heartedly. Blessings yet again to you Clare for fighting the ‘good’ fight, in the name of seeking truth.


  2. Yes, there are no rules and there is no safety but I think it is better to focus on the positive whenever possible. And that amazing Art Nouveau poster of Sarah Bernhardt – Wow! I’d love to have an original of that!


    • It is gorgeous. Here are some Mucha prints- the way it says “contact gallery for prices” suggests to me it could be beyond my range. I may be wrong. Reproductions are available for $10-$70, and may be almost as beautiful, almost as delightful to live with.


    • What am I behind? It is as if I were taken far from home, and I am returning there. I am sufficient and I am not at my full potential. If I want to be other than I am, how I really am will always be perceived as Lack- so I seek to value who I really am. That is what I am behind, that is what I may do.


    • That is beautiful, and I am grateful.

      Her intense belief in her Wrongness fits with me, and her suicide story: I too had a strange coincidence which stopped me doing it. And- “transition”- even the words we have channel our experience in a particular way. I don’t fit the gender binary, perhaps no-one does.

      And the acceptance and love of her family, all she has achieved and the way she is standing up for the good of others- that all warms me. The belief in the Wrongness is false.

      Thank you.


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