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Posted by on Apr 26, 2011

Shakespeare and shutting doors

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Today being Shakespeare’s birthday, it seemed appropriate to review the Bard’s impact on our modern, Western culture and how his words create a structure that echoes throughout our designs. At least some of it does. But what is amazing is how much of it still resonates, or at least educates, this mobile world. 

“Men shut their doors against a setting sun.”

Now this is essentially in reference to death, but the applications abound everywhere. It is a death of sorts, the setting sun, whimsically casting us into darkness each night. And the myriad of emotions we greet this little death with are revealing as well. Melancholy? Despair? Captivation? Frenzy? I suppose it all depends on your relationship with the light. 

But the application of this quote is critical for learning, especially learning from both mistakes and inescapable closure. Learning stages are entered into, learning structures (universities, classes, new jobs, careers, even relationships), and then exited. We all need exits from these structures and we need to stare down that setting sun with open hearts and humility. It is the emotional resonance of the familiar, those relationshiops and structures that oftentimes prevents this. Not that this is a bad thing. I find this unwillingness to depart a testament to the veracity and joy of these relationships, both their utlitarian purpose and their ability to soothe tattered souls. This all good. It just can’ thwart progress. We are meant to be in motion. 

That is all; to thine own self be true and all that. 

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