Independence Day Reflections
Whenever I’m in serious danger of taking life too seriously, I remember all the poets and myths who came before me saying “We called it didn’t we?”
Maybe I’m just pleasure-mongering about fear-mongering. I wish this were just another recitation to get that go signal from my mentors and curators I look up to for me to explore an idea, another thesis the musical, an open forum with like-minded freaks who can’t help making everything about comparative literature and beat me to it over the things I wanted to say first, a critical essay, creative output, shot at the moon exhibit proposal. Yet here we are. The problem with that fantasy is like David Foster Wallace’s suicide note: it wasn’t mourned, it was studied.
“Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task” — Henry James. What is education but the study of the unknown? How does the education of the human heart begin without attempting to “go too far” and see where the Archetype ends and the Man begins? A Dark Academia native only starting to create an escape route.
I’ve always resonated more with the princess in Pan’s Labyrinth. Curiosity killed the cat. Her heroism wouldn’t have happened without her disobedience. So that was literally her fault. I guess that’s the greatest extreme of “Nothing to lose, a vision to gain” (Rothko from “Red” by John Logan).
When nothing’s looking up and stoicism is a tough call, curiosity somehow finds a way to spark a passion.
I never understood “well-mannered” that easily in the past. I kinda require that paradigm shift to see that my reaction was out of touch after all so I won’t start a rebellion inside my head and shut off externally.
I have no idea how much I can afford to lose in the name of Freedom, but I’m starting with what I’m willing to give up. The idea of real freedom is sacrifice and the only sacrifice that counts is the one that comes from a pure heart. I guess I have 6+ years to find out what that actually looks like.
When nothing else works, I remember my first encounter with Rothko.