Have you glimpsed the depth of emotion and feeling that most men hide?
*A minstrel was a medieval European bard who performed songs whose lyrics told stories of distant places or of existing or imaginary historical events. Although minstrels created their own tales, often they would memorize and embellish the works of others. The Modern Minstrel observes the world around him and shares it with us as lyrical story. This series was inspired by Luke Davis, whose eye for story and ear for lyrical prose are featured here.
Have you seen a man’s heart? Have you glimpsed the depth of emotion and feeling that lies within? I don’t think you have, not truly. You may look at the men of the world and think they are cold unfeeling brutes, to all outward appearances you would be right. A man’s heart is a very dangerous thing, it must be tamed, it must be controlled and at all costs it must be hidden from this world. The very fabric of society would be rent if men were allowed to use their hearts. Every stage of a man’s life our society is bent on ensuring a man’s heart is contained, it’s written so in our fairy tales, in our stereotypes, in our media and in our very thoughts. It is with good reason this must be so and if you feel you have seen a man’s heart be cautious and seek help, for that is a problem that must be resolved.
Have you seen a little boy’s heart? So shiny and bright with hopes and dreams for the future, there is nothing this boy can’t do. His heart, so small and yet so large, big enough to feel all the ills and pain in the world around him and small enough to heal quickly. Big enough to show him courage and bravery, to take risks and overcome that which scares him yet tiny enough to be a fragile thing. The world is such a beautiful place to this boy, so wide and large and always another hill to see what lies on the other side. But men do not cry. When such things as a boys tears are loosed upon the world they must be shackled, controlled and converted; competition is the only outlet suitable for that which fills a boy’s heart. He must play societies game and learn how to win the acceptable prizes in life. If you see a boys heart prepare your shackles because such a sight cannot be left unaddressed.
Have you seen a teenage boy’s heart? Full of motion and action, he rebels at the constraints laid upon him and the world is his yet to change. So quickly does he grow, so fast does he see the world for what it is. We fill his mind with tales of knights, dragons and princesses but this is our snare. Oh so carefully do we divert him form learning the truth, that first he must learn to love himself; that love must come from within and it isn’t a prize to win. But men must not touch. At a time when a teenage boy begins to learn of love this should be stymied, strangled and bound. He is a rapist, a pillager, a plunderer and a monster; he will not know the boundaries such needs should have. He may want a simple hug from his mother, an embracing bond between his fellow man and a kiss from his first love but these he cannot have. He can never be trusted with such freedom for he does not know how dangerous he is. If you see a teenage boy’s heart prepare your bindings because such actions cannot go unchecked.
Have you seen a man’s heart? So slow and sluggish, but oh so strong. With shackles and bindings, still it yet beats. Somehow he maintains his purpose and passion. He is capable of such great things, marvels beyond compare, wonders that never cease. But men must not show weakness. Such willfulness must be enclosed, corralled and caged; a prison in his own mind with bars forged of honor, duty and responsibility. Pain, uncertainty, fear, sadness, inaction and distress have no place in a man for how can we charge him with his roles if we believe him to be human. He must be the first to step in front of danger to protect those he loves, the first to sacrifice himself to provide for his family, the first to bear the pain of ill winds. There is nothing a man should not dare for honor, duty and responsibility and a man with passion cannot be trusted to act in the interests of everyone else. If you see a man’s heart unfettered and free, run.
If you see a man whose heart is free, flee as far and as fast as you can because an encounter with this man will leave you forever changed. A man whose heart is truly free is the most dangerous thing in existance; he is a dreamer, a visionary, an idealist. This is a man who still sees all that is good in the world; he will shine a light on all that you find dim and dark and show you the beauty that lies underneath. This is a man who believes he can make the world a better place; he will touch you with his love for this world and you will believe also that the world can be changed. This is a man who burns with a passion so deep it cannot be extinguished; a man who creates miracles and makes his very dreams come true. Flee because this is a man who has learned to love himself.
If you see a man’s heart, embrace him, he misses the world’s love for him.
Photo: Flickr/Juliana Coutinho – Image altered