5.8.12 I saw A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Blackfriars this weekend and as Shakespeare intended, it made me think, metaphorically, about the way imagination works. Considering how invention serves us, more like a spider than a horse, catching us in patterns rather than bearing us on a desired course, I dreamt about the Tom Tom Founder’s Fest, and how it changed the way the city and the University did business forever–conflating industry, academy, community, and art in a string of happy accidents.
Coran Capshaw played Oberon, I think, guiding proceedings from behind a two-way mirror, and Teresa Sullivan was Titania, fooled into loving something common. Or was it the reverse? Either way, Paul Beyer played Puck, spreading cheery confusion among us mortals to fulfill some shadowy design, tracing troubling triangles with our affections. It was only a dream, but when I woke this morning I realized that Tom Tom’s grand finale is upon us. The town has reached a rolling boil with graduation a shout away. The restaurants and the streets are full, and for a moment in time West Main Street pumps the people back and forth between our two centers, like the Acropolis and the Agora in old Athens, where the Playwright’s mischievous comedy was set.
This week’s feature is about how research at UVA has created a biotech sector capable of bringing investment, both human and capital, to town for years to come with a model that threatens, in the same breath, to take it away. The news section briefs us on Battle Bypass, the ongoing saga of a state-funded road, and on the plain fact that African-Americans get more jail time than the rest of us, no matter what the crime.
I dreamt of Ole Tom Jefferson, standing outside his North Pavilion, spying us through his telescope, watching his design unfold. I asked a question, so he took down a book, placed his finger on the page, and read these words: “If we shadows have offended, /Think but this, and all is mended, /That you have but slumber’d here /While these visions did appear.”–Giles Morris