So this was something I wrote almost a full year ago. As a little background, I’d gone through a bit of a rough patch leaving the school of music and dealing with a paradigm shift in how I looked at my future as well as saying good-bye to a large portion of my friend base. Well, this one night, I was out celebrating one of my best friend’s birthday parties (wearing a fucking RIDICULOUS SHIRT… one second… I’ll find the picture…)…
… and this guy walks up. He’s clearly looking for our group but my table is the only one that isn’t full. Well fast forward a couple hours and we’re both having a heart to heart (the first of many from that summer) on the balcony of his apartment while discussing Chargers football, Cardinals baseball, and Sounders soccer. The one thing I’d wanted all my life and didn’t realize at the time but in retrospect, I would desperately need this year, was a brother. That night, I met my brother… we even have the same freckle on the same side of our heads in the same spot (and… yes… his is bigger… ugh…) even. So this is part of a post he had asked me to write for his blog and I found it while reading old pieces of my writing. A lot of it brought me pretty close to tears (and I cut out some of the sappy stuff I had written) because of how I never saw my writing as a metaphor for my life until recently… and looking back, this is what Eric brought out in me. (And to those wondering, there are oddly zero pictures of me and Eric… so yeah… that’s going to have to change ASAP… until then, here’s da goofball in all his glory).
“These are the times that make men, Oswald. So it’s your choice. Stay where you are, or stand up tall and stride across the skin of the world.”I used to spend days and weeks pouring over one line, searching for perfection. There are just so many moments where the writer shines through, whether in a movie, a book, or in a TV show and I crave those moments. I’ve been searching far and wide for that one perfect line that would encapsulate a myriad of emotions, a tapestry of personality, and proclaim a profound statement on the human condition; that one sentence that can send chills down your spine or make your skin leap off your body in shock (and possibly horror). I think one of my favorite examples is from (…and you thought I was going to make it all the way through without a Torchwood: Miracle Day reference, Eric…) this show I happen to enjoy called Torchwood: Miracle Day.
I liken that line (and lines that are as impactful from other shows) to a Strong Safety (in football) making a perfect read, jumping a route, and intercepting an incredibly accurate Quarterback and then blindly lateralling the ball off to the Cornerback who then takes it 66 yards all the way to the house. It doesn’t ever happen…
The beautiful thing about writing for human beings and about simply being one myself, is that we are beautifully flawed creatures. We stumble over our words, think things are cooler in our minds than they are in reality, and fall so far short of perfection time and time again. The fantastic thing about us is that we get back up and try it again. We charge head first at that metaphorical solid wall over and over in hopes that this will be the time when the laws of quantum mechanics beat out the laws of Newtonian physics and rather than knock ourselves out upon impact, we pass right through it.
Whether it is writing a line, running a play, or just trying to be the best human being we possibly can, we try and try and fall so far short so often. We strive for those singular glimmering moments when we do not fail. They are a reason to keep striving, even when rejection and hard times strike… and they are the reason we believe in second chances… and for some of us it’s more like “infinite chances” sometimes… Perfection is this infinite, abstract, and far off concept that every once in a while, our finger tips manage to graze along the surface of. The incredible thing is that those fleeting moments when we do touch perfection are not definitive of us as human beings. It is everything inbetween, the scuffs, bruises, eraser marks, and even the worst of our slip ups that serve as a reminder of the sheer brilliance and unmistakable beauty of the creatures we truly are because we always get back up and try again or try something new, no matter the odds.
I’ve maintained that some of the best things I write are actually written FOR someone else, rather than just for me or for general consumption. I love all the people in my life but I don’t think I ever tell my “baby brother” how much I do love him enough and that he brings out the best in every single person he’s around. It may have taken about 330 days for me to realize it, but he brought it out in me.
Until next time, See ya, Space Cowboy.
(PS… read his blog. He’s a damned good writer, will have you laughing, and is generally awesome… when he updates and posts stuff… www.sylvestersays.wordpress.com)