Sunday, May 23, 2010

give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.

...that's a little John Milton for you!

We visited John Milton's Cottage as a program this week. By the time we got there, we had already been through a long bus ride and had stopped for a few hours at Windsor Castle, so we were all pretty tired, and I'm sure most of the people there didn't really care to be there, but I thought it was fascinating and inspiring. Here's why: Our tour guide pointed out how impressively influential John Milton was, and I don't think we ever give him credit. His philosophies, including his book Areopagitica, was as influential, if not more so, to our Founding Fathers than John Locke. According to our guide, he introduced more words into the English language than Shakespeare himself! He wrote beautiful poetry, including Paradise Lost, one of the greatest epic poems of all time. Isn't it amazing what just one influential man can do? At age forty, he went completely blind, and after that he had to dictate his poetry to his daughters - but this is the amazing part: he would wake up in the morning and have fifty lines of verse in iambic pentameter composed, revised, and perfected all in his head, and he would dictate them to his daughters after he woke up. It astounds me how much good one man can do. On the flip side of that, I spent some time in the Holocaust exhibit at the Imperial War Museum yesterday, and I had to fight back tears the whole time as I contemplated how one person, Hitler, could inspire so much hatred in others... enough hatred to murder millions of Jews. I'm not necessarily trying to draw a parallel between Hitler and John Milton, I'm just meditating on ripple effects, and how both good and bad people make ripples in the water that remain long after they are gone.
Food for thought!
Anyway, onto something else:

I am having a love affair with markets; there is something about a long stretch of road teeming with booths selling everything from teapots to pastries that just touches something in my soul... the moment I arrived on Portobello road and entered into the market, I was a goner! Probably because the first stretch of market was the antique section, full of teapots and jewelery and old prints, and then the next section was food, which as everyone knows is man's best friend (move over, puppies, you are now #2). Portobello market screams one thing to me: Spend lots of money! oh, and I comply.

Baker Street tube stop - not once, but three times :) Go Sherlock Homes!

me, Shaina and Kathryn at Peter Pan. I was seriously impressed with this show; it was the story of Peter Pan with a Scottish twist - complete with Scottish/Celtic music, Scottish accents, etc. And Tinkerbell was a ball of fire! A real ball of fire! It was very impressive, and they had great effects. Oh, and I fell in love with Scottish accents. I thought I loved British accents (and I still do), but Scottish... mmmm. yeah. Good thing I'm going to Scotland tomorrow! :)

1 comment:

Toni Jones said...

I've been to Portobello road, it was so much fun! And yes i spent too much money there, but i just couldn't resist. Keep posting!