Revenge tragedies. I saw a beautiful student production at the U of I's Krannert Center yesterday of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Voices and performances and orchestra and the SET were simply sublime. And so was the deep river of vengeful feelings I'm experiencing in the midst of grief. When a loved one dies, we go through anger, denial, acceptance, bargaining, depression--in no particular order. I know--I'm still cycling through all of those in the nearly twenty years since my mother's tragic death. But when a long-term loved one rejects love, rejects the present and the future, anger isn't anger; it's revenge. Watching Donna Anna, Zerlina and Masetto, and the Commendatore seek revenge on Don Giovanni for his callous sins and delighting in watching their revenge play out in the swirl of Mozart's overwhelming music was, well, downright cathartic. Revenge lures us into fantasies and the delight of imagined strokes of genius as we plot out a nasty comeuppance for those who have betrayed us. It would be easy to exact revenge. And I want to.
But, as sensual as revenge is, gratitude and an open/begging heart must rule our individual cosmology. I know this. I'm trying to live it. But today, I may find some powerful versions of Don Giovanni to download on my newest Spotify playlist: Amy's Revenge Songs.