We must all go in the shadow sometimes. The glare of the daylight is too brilliant; our eyes become injured, and unable to discern the delicate shades of colour, or appreciate neutral tints. There are lessons that can only be learned in the shadows. Seeds flourish and break through the soil in the shadows.
"In the shadow of His hand has He hidden me, and made me a polished shaft; in His quiver He has hidden me." Isaiah 49:2
I've taken some time away from 'Letters From Home', partly because of general busyness, but also because I needed some thinking time. I've had decisions to make, thoughts to ponder upon, possible changes ahead to consider.
Today, DH and I have had a day off work and went to Stratford upon Avon. I love literature, drama and the theatre, and I love walking the streets of Stratford, the home of William Shakespeare. It was a lovely sunny day, and we explored the recently opened refurbished RSC theatre, which took our breath away.
The main facade of the theatre remains, but inside it has been totally transformed. There were images and quotes from Shakespeare projected onto the walls of the reception area.
The main stage is a very fluid space. There is rigging for 15 metres above the stage, and a pit below the stage which is 7 metres deep, to allow for all kinds of amazing effects. It is a thrust stage, rather like a catwalk. The entire revamp has cost £112million.
There was a room with an exhibition called Squidsoup Why? where you can type a message into a computer and the words appear on a screen with other messages and swirl and twirl before your eyes.
The piece asks audiences to consider the ongoing influence and presence that Shakespeare has in the world today and to submit their thoughts. Messages then instantly become part of a 3D virtual sculpture made entirely of text based submissions, resulting in a running commentary, a series of instant snapshots of what people feel about the place, the event, their experience. As the sculpture moves of its own volition, the text can be re-read by audiences in any order.
We then went out into the sunshine and explored a little. Here is a statue of Lady Macbeth.
And this is a picture of Ellen Terry, a Coventry-born actress who famously played Lady Macbeth.
She was from a great acting dynasty, and her great nephew was Sir John Gielgud.
This is Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare was baptised, and where he is buried. It dates from 1210, and is built on the site of an old Saxon monastery. It is Stratford's oldest building, and one of England's most visited parish churches.
And here is the River Avon, which flows through Stratford. Can you see the quirky art gallery in the background, which is housed in a narrowboat? We love going there and imagining we are off on a voyage!
"He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His Name's sake." From Psalm 23.