In my Shakespeare Seminar class on Tuesday, we discussed Macbeth, and the conversation inevitably wound around to the Weird Sisters. How could it not? I mean, come on, they’re weird. We talked about them as possible agents of evil, possible projections of Macbeth’s Calvinistic reprobate soul, and as simply ladies who can perform magic. During our discussion, my professor asked which of us, if any, believed in the supernatural. She was shocked that we were so ready to dismiss the last idea that the witches might just be witches, that they might actually have been there on the heath, doing magic, brewing potions, and conjuring ghosts. She said that she often likes to imagine her former students sitting in class with us, filling the spaces and the air with their presences. She even told us a story of her encounter with ghosts in the very building in which we have class.
Apparently, just after Seton Hall opened its doors to women, she began teaching here. Her first night on campus, she got stuck an elevator between floors and had to be hoisted out of the shaft by emergency personnel. According to my professor, the ghosts were trying to keep women off the campus. Guess I better watch my back.
Anyway, she concluded her story with “I guess it’s just the life of the English majors. We believe in the craziness. Must be why we all go crazy in the end.”
The whole class chuckled, and I couldn’t help but remember a comment on of my new friends made at Target the other night. She and I and a third were making our way through the hats, gloves, and scarves. Realizing how many strange items Target carries this time of year, we began to take turns picking out the funniest, most outlandish hats and scarves (and hats with attached scarves and scarves with attached hoods) we could find. I started to try a couple on just for some fun, and as they got more and more ridiculous, my new friend commented that I seemed able to get away with many of them. “For some reason they don’t look so crazy on you,” she said. “Must be the English major thing. I feel like you guys can get away with anything.”
I suppose it’s true. We English folk have a history of craziness. We push the limits of societal norms, and many of us spend our last days in the looney bin.
But isn’t that what makes life fun? I say embrace the crazy.