the fire in the mineshaft
I’m going to gradually add to this in the coming weeks. It’s kind of a psychological narrative of the past seven months.
A few minutes ago, I felt the compulsion to wiki the director Ang Lee. It was there that I found out he was unemployed for six years after film school, before his first feature film. And then I suddenly felt this gnawing recollection of a deep, heartbreaking ambition.
So, you are on your knees? Good. Now die to yourself. To your idea of yourself. Everything you think you are, you are not. What’s left? Find out.
There was a time in my life where I took pride in being a “social justice warrior” on Reddit, ticking the boxes of others’ mistakes, missteps, and misspoken words, cruelly scolding people, looking for those who were “doing it wrong” as a means of validating my own sense of integrity as an activist, as if each person I roasted would be a talisman against the same thing happening to me ever again. It was only when I discovered that I had made someone cry for hours that I took a long step back and asked myself if I was really making the world a better place by doing this.
lagrima - “Tony & Maggie”
It was only after I quit that I wished I hadn’t always kept my head down, relentlessly climbing to reach the top of the game, to fulfill an American dream. I wish I had looked up more often, even at the cost of some of my success. The American dream didn’t tell me that an experience only matters if I acknowledge it, that losing yourself in the game is a good way to lose what makes life meaningful. When you’re standing at the plate and you hit a sharp foul ball to the backstop, the spot on the bat that made contact gets hot; the American dream forgot to tell me to step back and enjoy the smell of burnt wood.