“If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.”
-Brutus, Act III Scene II, Julius Caesar
That’s one of the only lines from Shakespeare that has suck with me for years. If immediately asked why, I would probably reply “I don’t know” (as I generally do, even sometimes when I do know). But after a strange flash in my mind this morning, I think I can better explain why I love this line.
Flashback to this morning. It’s raining and my curtains are drawn so it’s fairly dark in my room. I was laying in bed at 8:30AM not willing to move yet and a random scene popped into my head.
Picture it. Winter. Freshly fallen snow from overnight now blankets my front yard. The sun is streaming through the windows and reflecting off the snow making it almost blinding to look at. I step outside and smell the pine logs burning from my neighbors through the woods. I walk down the path we line with candy canes and Christmas lights and the snow crunches under my feet.
For some reason I’ve been having random scenes like this pop into my head, at least for a week now. Directly following this incident I try to pin down whether or not I was missing home or longing for winter (my mind is very analytical like that). If it was a longing for home, I was going to get out of bed and do something productive in order to fend off falling further into the “I miss home” trap. If the later though, I was going to indulge in the feelings a bit longer.
I never did figure out which it was but somewhere in my thought process and trying to determine if I missed home or not, I remembered this Shakespeare quote from Caesar. And then it all made sense. It’s not that I love England less, but I love home more.
The people are friendly here and I dare say (knock on wood) I haven’t experienced culture shock (culture differences, yes. shock, not yet). So I don’t say that out of missing home. I say it because while I love it here, it will never be home like Ohio is home. But I don’t love England less because it will never be home.
And then I thought of more things this quote applied to. Brutus (erm…Shakespeare) was a genius, really. I think too often when faced with choices we’re forced to reduce one to fit below the other…and the higher one comes out on top. Process of elimination until there’s a winner.
But sometimes things don’t fit so neatly like that. Sometimes you love things equally as much and can’t find that you love one less. So then it becomes a question of which do you love more.
I guess all I’m saying is…I hear ya Brutus. Holla.