by William Shakespeare
Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:
For then my thoughts–from far where I abide–
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see:
Save that my soul’s imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new.
Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee, and for myself, no quiet find.
I have always had a hard time reading or hearing Shakespeare prior to starting this project. My mind doesn’t follow old English grammar and vocabulary easily. I get bogged down and frustrated following the plot and dialogue in the few Shakespeare plays I have seen live or movies made true to the old script I have watched. I am afraid that biased me fairly negatively towards his sonnets in the past. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that the longer Fourteen lines continues the easier it is for me to put myself inside Shakespeare’s sonnets. My enjoyment of his complicated and witty verse continues to grow.
My daily social distancing has not been particularly intellectual. I have retreated to the simple pleasures of popcorn, games and mindless TV. But the longer this goes on, the more restless my mind becomes and I can feel more serious pursuits starting to push towards the front of my mind as fall looms. Maybe my brain is starting to awaken again after sheltering in place for a bit.
I recently got my hair cut for the first time since January. My stylist asked me; “how was your quarantine?” For a moment my mind couldn’t wrap itself around the question, realizing how chipper he was when he said it. I could tell he was brimming with excitement to share his experience, which was refreshingly upbeat. I let him do all the talking. In the end I did what midwesterners do, I simply didn’t answer the question as sometimes silence is better than being gloomily honest.
I wonder what my brain would look like in an MRI section right now? Would it look elegant and complicated as in the video below? Or would it look like a big bowl of popcorn, simple and satisfying but not particularly motivating. What does your brain look like right now? What colors is it radiating based on the current palete of your mind.?
Sonnet CXIII (113)
By William Shakespeare
Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind;
And that which governs me to go about
Doth part his function and is partly blind,
Seems seeing, but effectually is out;
For it no form delivers to the heart
Of bird, of flower, or shape which it doth latch:
Of his quick objects hath the mind no part,
Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch;
For if it see the rud’st or gentlest sight,
The most sweet favour or deformed’st creature,
The mountain or the sea, the day or night,
The crow, or dove, it shapes them to your feature.
Incapable of more, replete with you,
My most true mind thus maketh mine eye untrue.