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  • caldun09

'As You Like it' and 'Hide and seek'

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

I remember studying “ As you like it” by William Shakespeare, the bard of Avon , in secondary school. we had to learn large chunks of it by rote so that we could quote it freely and be able to regurgitate it for our exams if that section came up.

The only bit I can faintly remember is the soliloquy by Jacques on the seven stages of man.

“All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players

They have heir exits and their entrances,

and one man in his time plays many parts

His acts being seven ages"

First the infant mewling and puking in his nurses arms,

Then the whining schoolboy with his satchel and smiling morning face creeping like snail unwillingly to school etc till we finish up in old age ,sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

I have played a lot of those roles during my life. In my first day at school I was definitely the whining schoolboy kicking sister Immaculata because she told me lies. I was bawling my eyes out and wanted my mammy. She told me my mammy was gone to Woolworths to buy me something nice. I told her that Woolworths was not open. I also told her that she was telling lies.To add injury to insult i proceeded to kick her across the ankles.THere was no stopping me now and I was escorted out to my big sister's class to await the return of my mother.

I met Sr Immaculata my father’s funeral many years later.She still remembered the incident. I suppose you would remember being attacked by a four-year-old.

During the Corona virus lockdown, we have all played many parts in playing games with grandchildren ,like hide and seek shouting numbers 1 to 10 in ascending order and then , ready or not stay in your place or you’ll be caught. And then the serious stuff starts.

Is s/he behind the door, behind the curtain, under the table, until the moment of discovery and the delight in children’s’ faces when they are found.

I remember reading, many years ago, about these action-based role reversal games and how important they were for childrens' development. Young children love to hide and seek. They love the sense of adventure in hiding, the momentary feeling of being lonely and then the joy of being found. The hide and seek and you run, and I’ll chase you are great bonding games and there is such joy in being caught and found ,of being alive in a group and being cared for and loved and wanted.

These role reversal games are very worthwhile for everyone, chasing games, hide and seek, peek a boo and everyone enjoys the role reversal and it’s a great training exercise for life.

My television viewing has also changed over the Corona Virus period. Young children are visiting more often. You could be watching Sky news or Maura and Daithi. There might even be a very interesting recipe being cooked by local personality `Wayde Murphy’, of Gorey and Adare 1826 fame when suddenly there is a wail, and someone wants to watch Paw Patrol. I have watched more episodes of Rider and the 5 pups over the past few months than I have Newsnight. I can actually sit down now and be interested in Paw Patrol Anyway, who would dare say to a three-year-old that they couldn’t watch their favourite programme while the oldies watched boring veggies being peeled and sautéed. Peaceful living demands instant changing of TV programme.

Am I moving into stage 6 of Shakespeare’s Stages of man ?. I hope not.

Lest you should be bored there is always Fireman Sam, that great ~Welsh Fireman who has rescued so many from numerous tricky situations.

These are mighty intergenerational TV programmes .

As we advance in years and practise more role reversal and get more dependent on others, we all need more private space, more time to hide and read, to walk ,meditate and keep ourselves on track mentally and physically.

We all need to hide and seek ourselves and seek peace and tranquillity in our lives

I hope we all found some extra personal time for ourselves during Corona lockdown time and that we are more energised, more affirmed people post cocooning.

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