Are you thoughtful?
I mean… do you think about… things?
Do you think “thoughtfulness” is wimpy?
What do you think about a person asking you, “Are you thoughtful?”
Doesn’t everything we do start with a thought.
I’ve been very full of thought lately.
Must be because I’m reading Shakespeare.
Ever think about reading Shakespeare?
Or as Chris Farley would say, “Ol’ Bill Shakespeare.”
I tried to read him when I was younger, thinking I was smart enough, thinking I had some sort of untapped intelligence.
(I’m gonna try to write some comedy, because that thought, in that last line, just made me laugh out loud.)
Needless to say, “I didn’t get very far.”
“Why,” I wondered.
There’s a bible verse I have adopted as a life verse, as I go along this new road I’m traveling, heading towards success as an author, see The Definite Dad, and as an Emerging Man myself.
Exodus 23:30 “Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.”
Just like adding a pair of 45lb plates to your bench press, adding Shakespeare to your reading can feel just as heavy.
But… but… if you’ve been training, adding those 45’s might be kinda exciting!
And I don’t mean, “thinking” of adding them; or adding them for just one rep; or just one set.
I mean adding them into the routine.
For multiple reps; and sets. They will be heavy, and you will strain to reach your goal.
But you know it’s time to add the weight.
I’m reading a little red book containing his 150 or so sonnets.
Paging through, taking in a line here, a whole sonnet there.
The first thing I had to learn was, “What the heck is a sonnet?”
My younger self assumed poetry was poetry was poetry.
Some rhymes, some… limericks.
Some off color… you know… “How’s your Longfellow?”
I did not know…
“Traditionally, the sonnet is a fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter, employing one of several rhyme schemes, and adhering to a tightly structured thematic organization. The name is taken from the Italian sonetto, which means “a little sound or song.” ~ poets.org
What? Yeah, what that guy said. I did say, “I thought I was smart.” See the humor in that now?
So out of 154 sonnets I got 1 line so far… “little by little,” right?
“When forty winters shall besiege thy brow…” ~ William Shakespeare
Ever think that reading one line would stop you dead in your tracks?
I’m a touch over forty now, maybe I’ve increased enough by now to actually get something out of Ol’ Bill this time around.
One difference between a young emerging man and an old emerging man, I found, concerning learning things… at my age now… I want to. I want to read Ol’ Bill and get something from it.
Younger guys often times don’t want to learn anything new. Hating to “look stupid.”
I quote him quite often. I get a thought to write and I have to check and see, “Didn’t Shakespeare say that?”
And quite often, he has.
I never read those things, they’ve been placed in my mind by movie’s, t.v. shows, other books and authors, who quote him… I even think Guns & Roses used a sonnet line for ammunition for one of their hits.
GnR… “sweet child of mine” Shakespeare… “fair child of mine.”
I don’t know that for sure, but when you read it, and hear it, it sounds awful similar.
“When forty winters shall besiege thy brow…”
I’ve lived in Wisconsin, U.S. of A, my whole life. I know about winter.
A siege is a very adept description.
And my brow, as I’ve been told, has a noticeable “thinking scowl” permanently creased into it, being under siege, as it’s been for five decades now.
I had a lot of time to think about things, lots of things, some worries, some predicaments, some “what now’s,” I earned that old man scowl, might say, “I gotta A,” in my life studies, up to forty and beyond.
As a young Emerging Man it can be hard to determine if we are ready for something new, something heavier.
After all, we don’t want to look stupid trying something out to see if we are good at it.
But by thinking it through “little by little,” we can keep adding weight, “little by little,” we can move out those Philistines camping out in our mind, “little by little,” and even if we have to learn… line by line, we can move beyond Nantucket.
Eventually… “When forty winters shall besiege thy brow…”
1 thought on “How To Learn Manliness… Ever Think About That?”
Thanks Dave, this was thought provoking, producing some great “Brain Food” I can chew on this week.