Jeopardy

This is me at the end of the line last year – sitting in Union Station, Los Angeles having made it coast-to-coast despite my constant doubts that it would happen. I'm starting to have those doubts again from time to time, but I look at myself there and see my shaggy unshaven self just off a 36-hour train journey and I remember the cool fresh spring air (yes, in downtown L.A.!) and the sunshine and knowing that there never had really been any doubt – uncertainty about the detail perhaps, but no real risk that it wasn't going to happen.

This is the nub of good story (and I think by extension, a good life), we want to know it's all going to turn out all right in the end, but we also crave doubt, uncertainty, jeopardy.  We need that uncertainty to throw the success into relief – if all we ever did just worked out exactly to plan we would never know the ecstacy of success, it would all be the same – win after win after win after win.

The trick as an artist, performer, writer, human being is to remember that we have created the possibility of downside *in order* that the upside can exist, and to make it all the more delicious.  The journey is much more comfortable though if I can remember that it's just an illusion that I'm using to make the story interesting and to motivate myself to action.

So I know that at the end of March, I'll have some similar shot of me looking tired, wrinkled, dishevelled, but happy and satiisfied that I've completed something.  And then I'll start all over again.

Originally posted on Please Look After This Englishman

Advertisements