Is there really a greater threat to human progress than the fear of the unknown, the fear of fear itself?
For it leads to one second guessing oneself,
to the point of inaction, when action is needed;
to fighting to maintain the status quo, at all costs even when it's the wrong thing to do;
it leads to conservationism (and of late) to Republicanism, to fundamentalism,
all out of fear of change,
of taking a calculated risk,
of offering oneself the opportunity of succeeding and thereby,
excelling, of raising both yourself and your fellows
out of the muck and mire of what is,
into the possibilities of what could be.
Alfred Lord Tennyson said:
"'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."
And so it is... better to have tried and failed,
than never to have tried at all.
T.S. Eliot spoke of being
. "Only undefeated
Because we have gone on trying..."
Or as the Zen master Adam Richman of "Man v. Food" put it:
"He looked his destiny in the face, and he ate it."
That reminds me of a film I shot for a couple of Professor's at my university on Phenomenology toward my degree in Psychology wherein there is a section that says (to paraphrase):
"When we meet, we eat one another."
Of course I meant that metaphorically.
Some say risk nothing, try only for the sure thing,
Others say nothing gambled nothing gained,
Go all out for your dream.
Life can be lived either way, but for me,
I'd rather try and fail, than never try at all, you see.
Some say "Don't ever fall in love,
Play the game of life wide open,
Burn your candle at both ends."
But I say "No! It's better to have loved and lost,
Than never to have loved at all, my friend."
When many moons have gone by,
And you are alone with your dreams of yesteryear,
All your memories will bring you cheer.
You'll be satisfied, succeed or fail, win or lose,
Knowing the right path you did choose.
-William F. O'Brien
The world is there for you to live in, not for the world to live in you, or to usurp your life. But for you to use it as a vehicle to expand, enhance, experience.
But you have to take hold of it, of Life, and never let go.
Then on occasion whipcrack it to your intentions.
"Qu'est-ce que le cinema?"
"What is film?" Director Jean Renoir used to ask his friends before viewing one of his films. He would say that movies are more than mere flashing images on the screen. That, "they are an art form that becomes larger than life."
As is cinema, so is your life.
Should you choose to allow it to be so, anyway. When life goes against you, try harder, do something different. Make it, interesting.
Especially when it is trying to do the same to you.
Don't just live life, don't just exist, don't just survive.
Eat it, love it, immerse yourself it it.
Make love to it.
And it will love you back.
Allow me to close on a passage from the great Syd Field's must read screenwriting book, Screenplay, The Foundation of Screenwriting:
"I've learned there are two or three times during a lifetime when something happens that alters the course of that life. We meet someone, we go somewhere, or we do something we've never done before, and those moments are the possibilities that guide us to where we're supposed to go and what we're supposed to do with our lives...I've learned not to believe too much in luck or accidents; I think everything happens for a reason. There's something to be learned from every moment, every experience we encounter during the brief time we spend on this planet. Call it fate, call it destiny, call it what you will; it really doesn't matter."
According to Field, auteur director Jean Renoir whom he once knew, son of the famous painter Renoir, used to tell them that, "Art, should offer the viewer the chance of merging with the creator."
How does one do that? How do you go about sharing with others you will never meet, a chance to merge with the creator of what they are viewing?
What matters in all of that is what you do with it.
Recognize it when it happens. When those moments of greatness are offered to you and then make good use of what you have experienced, of what you have hopefully learned. Then share all that in a way that others can "see" what you are trying to tell them, to share with them.
Now. Go out and be brilliant!
NOTE: Last night I was updating this blog, mostly about at the top and I twas going well. There is a nuance of this software where if you paste something it selects a group of text. I dropped down, typed some more then realized all the text at the top was gone. I quickly existed and reentered and it was gone permanently. This has happened a lot when I use my laptop and not just here. It's very annoying. I just wish software would allow me to lock it into writing mode so that only typing words would be allowed as other functions crop up if you have the wrong key accidentally. Usually CTRL Z will save it or some other thing (like quickly existing and re-entering a document but when it autosaves (it had looked like it hadn't saved) you're lost. I just wanted you to know, this blog was a better blog with more elements about Jean Renoir but I was so frustrated with what happened I just left it as the original. I've had this happen with entire blogs so that I got used to using Notepad and copying and pasting but when you're just updating you sometimes mistakenly believe it will be okay, and then...it's not. My apologies for the blog you may never see. Though I may try to update it sometime this week when the pain of the event passes. It's just hard when you word something well and lose it, then when you redo it, it never seems to be as good as what you had originally done because at that moment you had been inspired.
I've told this story before but back in the late 1980s I had a dual 5.25" floppy drive system, no hard drives yet on home PCs. The left side was the OS disk, the right, the document disk. If one or the other filled, you lose everything. I had sat one afternoon in my living room and written a short story that I felt was the most perfect short story I had ever written. I went to save and it said, the horrid, "Disk Full" warning. I sat there for an hour, frustrated, angry, depressed, trying anything to save it until finally I realized my only recourse was to reboot, then write as fast as I could to reclaim all that I could remember. I was able to rewrite the story from memory, but not with the exact wording, and so it was never as good as that period of writing with inspiration, after re-writing it with a period of frustration and sadness. Computers. Our best friend and sometimes our worst enemies.