I’ve been listening to a recording of Macbeth. I’ve read and heard and watched this play a dozen or more times (as I’m sure you have, as well). This morning the “Tomorrow” speech caught my attention:
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
It struck me as very zen.
The ego does not like this speech at all. When I first heard it I was all, “wow this is depressing.” But when you lean into it you realize that it’s true. Our lives are an act on a stage full of sound of fury, but really what does it all mean? When we are gone we are gone and our act will be done. It kind of hurts the ego to realize this. The ego wants to be remembered. The ego wants a shape.
And yet we still act because we have to. Because we are human and that is what we do. We go through our lives with sound and fury because we are compelled to do so.
I love that this speech is so dead on and true and a gut punch to the ego, and it’s spoken by an actor on the stage.