Saturday, 29 August 2009

Shakespeare vs Goethe

"I wasted time. And now time doth waste me."

What are you trying to do, Mr Shakespeare? Sir? Put the fear of God into us? I'm all for calls to arms, but sheesh! That's a little defeatist, is it not? At best a warning to get a wriggle on?

True, as we get older a lot of things pass us by and a lot of chances slip through our fingers. On the (dramatic pause) walk of life, I've already missed a few intriguing short-cuts and secret pathways that might have irrevocably changed things. Maybe even for the better. It's highly regrettable, but what can we do?

Can't turn back the clock, as someone as wise as William 'Mr Pessimist' Shakespeare here would have said. If only we could, eh? There's so much I would like to try while blessed with the benefit of hindsight. There's so much sheer laziness and dicking around that I would cut out of my ambitions and goals.

The best I can hope to do at this middle-to-late stage of things is adhere to the wisdom of the sheet of paper I saw stuck to the wall of the Retrobate record shop at the bottom of Muswell Hill. It's a quote by Goethe: a cleverer person than me.

"Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits onself, then providence moves too... whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.


I'm frequently stalled by the hesitancy that is the essence of Mr Shakespeare's little quote (from Richard II). It would be nice to be encouraged by the providence that Mr Goethe promises. It's happened before and it will happen again.

No comments:

Post a Comment