08 September 2008

A Love-Hate Relationship

What more can be said of the play "Sunset Song" that I saw last night than, "It was brilliant"? In case you haven't been keeping track, Sunset Song is the first book in a trilogy by a Scottish author that I was encouraged to read. It took me several months, but I finally got through it. It really is a masterpiece, and seeing it on stage (a masterpiece in its own right) made me remember how much I enjoyed the book. It also reminded me I really want to finish the other two books.

Aside from listening to thick Aberdonian accents drenched with archaic Doric for over 2 hours trying to discern exactly what was being said, there was not much I didn't enjoy about the play. I am so glad I had read the book or I really would have been lost! The music, the movements, the short dances, the dialogue, the scores of music -- all of it pointed to the song of life, the rhythm, the cycles we all go through as we live our lives. One of my favorite parts of it all is the theme that runs throughout the book about loving the land, and yet hating the land. It all makes sense since the book is set in a rural town in early 1900 Scotland. Farming was the way of life. It was both a joy to farm the land and a hardship.

I think I like it because I can relate. Many days I absolutely love Scotland. It will be hard to leave some day. It's gorgeous and fresh and full of life--I can't get enough of the countryside.
Other days I absolutely despise this place (today may count!). The grey, dreary, dark, windy, cold, rainy (known here as dreich) weather blankets the land I love....and sometimes, it seems, my entire being with it.Yet in the end the love seems to always triumph the hate. In the light and beauty the dreich seems to fade away. The book and play ended with a sunset over a stone circle (which plays a significant part in the novel), so I will leave you with an apt photo so you too can imagine your own song at sunset.

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