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What Does It Mean to Be a Man?

I’ve seen all kinds of definitions of what it means to be a man, from being tough (Robert Mitchum) to being sensitive (Check out this Nick Lowe video ) to being a canine.

Now, for the benefit of anyone who might be wondering (women, young men, small terriers) I’ll tell you the number one thing about what it means to be a man. And it’s only because my biology prevents me from being thrown out of the fraternity that I can reveal the following:

We haven’t a clue about what it means to be one. There, I said it. It’s true. Trust me. We don’t ask for directions because we don't get lost. We never know we’re lost. So we don’t ask directions. If anyone you know denies this truth, consider them lost.

A lot of writers, musicians, artists, and adolescents have wrestled with this question over the years, from Jean-Jacques Rousseau (“Confessions”) to Michel de Montaigne (he retired at 38!) to Philip Roth (my favorite: “My  Life as a Man”) and L. Rust Hills (check out “How to Do Things Right: The Revelations of a Fussy Man”) and we can now add to that distinguished list the new magazine Kindling Quarterly.

More properly, Kindling Quarterly examines what it means to be a dad these days, something that’s no less confusing (trust me). The Kindling Quarterly is a handsome, perfect-bound, publication full of thoughtful essays. David Michael Perez and P. August Heffner, the founders, sent me a copy in the mail the other day, and I just started reading it last night.

I was drawn, quite naturally given my interest in food, cooking, and this blog, to the interview with Rohan Anderson, the man behind the blog Whole Larder Love. I might have had my head in a book for too long, because I somehow did not know about Anderson’s blog.

He’s the father of two young girls (sound familiar?) but he’s (how do I say this, ahem?) much more of a man than I am. He hunts, gathers, gardens, forages, and does everything pretty much damn well. He even published a book. Check it, and Kindling Quarterly out. Whether you are lost or not, they'll help you find your way. 

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