“Let’s go.” “We can’t.” “Why not?” “We’re waiting for Godot.”
― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
“You go back, Jack, do it again.
Wheel turnin’ ’round and ’round.”
– Steely Dan, Do It Again
The start of another year. They’re accelerating mercilessly now.
For some of us, the most intractable things that imprison us are in actuality elaborate and convoluted lies we’ve constructed, an abdication of our responsibility to be ourselves. We make idols out of our fear and submit at the altar. We shake our fists and gnash our teeth; pantomimes that feel like resistance, feel like progress. Rinse and repeat, as the years pass.
Sartre famously wrote that “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.” For a long time I understood this on the most superficial of levels, as a simple refutation of the existence of God. The epiphany for me has been in understanding the actual mechanics of assigning meaning in and to a life, which inherently involves how one chooses to understand and assign meaning to every experience and thought, and a recognition that, more often than not, I just might be what is known in literature as an ‘unreliable narrator’. Our perspectives are not immutable. We create our lives much like we make a photograph. We make the choices that define what is to be focused upon, how it is to be framed, and what it ultimately means to us.
Further down the rabbit hole in 2018!
“The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.”
— Robert Henri
“How odd I can have all this inside me and to you it’s just words.”
— David Foster Wallace, The Pale King
“When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll be the pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”
– Pablo Picasso