1. The show. “The Seafarer” by Conor McPherson at the Studio. It’s Ireland and Christmas. The house is disheveled. Two brothers (one, Richard, blind, one, Sharkey, just returned home from years away, first at sea and then as some sort of driver in Cork), two friends, and a newcomer, a mysterious, well dressed stranger. Talk about their (failed) lives, amidst an overwhelming amount of drink. Badgering each other (with affection?) constantly. And But who is this newcomer? He is the devil himself, come to claim the soul of Sharkey, who had made a deal with him some time ago after killing a man in a bar room brawl. A card game commences – who will win? The devil, who will then lead Sharkey through the hole in the wall, or not?
An interesting play, finely written, with some outstanding performances.
2. The meal. At Thai Tanic, one of Washington’s better named Thai restaurants. A nice papaya salad, and a duck curry that had a nice (if a bit too spicy) taste.
But let’s talk about the duck. Earlier this month, in London at Vivat Bacchus, I had duck, and it was delicious. The duck at Thai Tanic, while good and certainly recognizable as duck, was not nearly as good. So my question is: is the type of duck you are served in England the same type of duck that you get in Washington? Or is the English bird just that much better? (I don’t know the answer to this question, but have my hunches.)
3. The book. For some reason I chose to re-read Rom Landau’s “God is My Adventure”, written in the early 1930s, about the various spiritual movements afoot in Europe, Hermann Keyserling, Rudolf Steiner, Krishnamurti, Ouspensky, Gurdjieff, Frank Buchman, Shri Meher Baba, Stefan George and Principal Jeffreys. Why, I am not sure, except that I continue to wonder why people believe as they do. I recently saw a poll that described the extraordinarily high (to me) percentages of Americans who not only believed in God, but who believed the literalness of scripture. I just don’t understand it, and thought I would look again at some of the faddish movements that capitalized on that type of thinking and attracted people who needed to believe but just couldn’t fit in with the established churches.