To Be or Not To Be
A Lesson in Living
Written by Brigitte Franssen
Illustrated by Jef Franssen
The Irish Sea was showing off its rugged beauty underneath a sky of soft hues of blue, grey and pink as they only occur in the more northern parts. She was sitting on a rock on top of a hill overlooking the sea. She loved sitting here, taking in the view, the colours, the beauty of it all, but that wasn't the only reason why she had sat down here.
After walking not more than half a mile she had found herself out of breath and fatigued. She needed a rest. Her dog, lying about 6 feet away from her, knew. She wished the dog would come closer so that she could pet her, but it wasn't the dog for that. There was still too much wolf in her.
She often felt guilty that she couldn't take the dog for longer walks and roam with her for hours through the woods. She didn't have the energy, strength or stamina and there was nothing more that could be done about that.
The voice of her old mother rang in her ears, "Just look at your dog! She is happy and utterly content. All she wants, is to be with you." She, however, couldn't understand this and worried endlessly that the days were long and boring for her strong and agile little wolf. True, the dog never asked for anything. Always happy with what she got, never asking for more. And that was exactly why she wasn't convinced that deep down inside the dog wasn't yearning for more.
Years later, after her dog had passed away, she was sitting on a bench overlooking a different sea, remembering how nice the time had been when her little wolf had been lying 6 feet away from her. How nice it had been just to have her company, just to be with her... In that moment, she finally understood.
The God of the Christian faith is known as Yahweh which means: the one who is. It seems that the deceivingly plain state of being is somehow linked to divinity.
The English poet William Shakespeare used the now so famous line
"To Be or Not To Be: that is the question!"
in his play The Tragedy of Hamlet, prince of Denmarke. He probably wrote this play somewhere between 1599 and 1602 based on Scandinavian legends. The earliest reference to the legend of Hamlet occurs in an eleventh century Icelandic poem and the earliest written version of the story appears in the twelfth century in Saxo Grammaticus' Historiae Danicae.
The line "to be or not to be" is followed by a monologue in which Shakespeare choses a literal interpretation but the far reminiscences
of a deeper meaning resonate till this day.
the might of an old tree
the oneness of the sea
the freedom of a bird
and its pain when it is hurt,
the beating of your heart
the good gods waiting to take part
to move to the rhythm of the beat
and follow the wind's lead,
is to be.
Not to be
was, and today still is,
it shall not.
© Brigitte Franssen 2020