Today I inaugurate some reading tips from me, Zambonesman. Since Oprah retire, now we begin Zamboni’s Book Club. What is good about my reading tips is you don’t have to actually read the book of which i speak. Simply by reading my comments, you will know enough to talk about the book smartfully at a brunch or bar mitzvah, and this is more important than reading whole book. And time saving for sure! Like we say in Estonia, “why cook over horse dung fire if you have microwave”.
I have discovered there is more to this American place you call New England, than oxford shirts, clam chowder, and cool beach names like Squibnocket and Annisquamsett. Namely I have been reading Ralph Waldo Emerson.
This guy is great. He write essays like “Self Reliance”, “Nature”, “Circles” and even his journal entries like arrow shoot to core of truth. Listen to him: From “Self-reliance”
“Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist…Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind…A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he…Your goodness must have some edge to it-else it is none.”
And this from a journal:
“I am never beaten until I know I am beaten… I am in debt. cannot yet make my ends meet…seem to fail in my friends and clients, too. That is to say, in all the encounters that have yet chanced, I have not been weaponed for that particular occasion, and have been historically beaten; and yet I know all the time that I have never been beaten; have never yet fought, shall certainly fight when my hour comes, and shall beat.” -August 1851
This Emerson writing is with such strange energy and heat, no wonder it was not taught to me in Estonian school; all the time it is urging you being true to your own mind, that this is the primal energy that must drive the world. Plus I did not even know “whoso” is a word in your English! Neat.
Emerson tried to be a preacher, but his mind was too big for the walls of the church, and his fire for knowing and feeling god inside his soul transcended the rules and rigamarole of the olde school church routines. Thus he come to be known as “transcendentalist” with his cronies like Thoreau.
Since knowledge is medicine, I would prescribe Emerson for those times you feel like you are fading into life a little too grey. The times when you just aren’t sure where you end and others begin.
So now you are knowing some Emerson, or perhaps you already did- but if not, you have something to speak of over lunch.