Sunday, 27 April 2014

Walking the Edges (How to Make an Impact?)

"When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe one of two things: either there will be ground to stand on, or you will be given wings to fly."
O.R. Melling (The Summer King (The Chronicles of Faerie, #2))

I believe in faeries. Do you?

I also believe we forge our own fates. Do you?

There are two parts to today's post: Part one is a bit of forward looking as I stumbled across an interesting mixed list of people recently released by TIMES. Found here. Part two is a lot of past nostaliga, in the form of a childhood which contained a lot of faeries and very little to do with locating a source of monetary income that had more purpose than showing me a lot of numbers in my bank account.

While I was browsing GoodReads for a quote to use today I got a google alert about an article from the TIMES about the 100 Most Influential People of 2014, so I checked it out.

It's a fascinated browse through pop-singers and politicians. Actors and activists.

I was shocked at some, in total agreement with those I knew, inspired by many and interested to discover others.

I haven't a clue what the TIMES uses as a bar by which to compare, contrast and weed through to these 100 individuals but whatever the case may be, it made me think about how I want to form my future. Currently it's all a bit of a cloud of stuff; tangled as I am with far too many creative endeavours (a friends recently convinced me to compile my personal encyclopedia into a wiki which is no small feat) in addition to being required to function as a useful member of my family, since I am back living with them.

Since there were many individuals to admire on the list I'll just focus on the two similar and yet, opposing figures who stood out to me in the same professional area which I wish to enter. Authors.

John Green. Have you heard of him?

His most recent novel: The Fault in Our Stars, is coming out as a movie this summer, though he has authored numerous books before that one. He is also one half of the famous brother duo on Youtube known as the Vlogbrothers who started up a group called the Nerdfighers. The Nerdfighers maxim is "Don't Forget to Be Awesome" and ultimately is all about being empowered and empowering others.

I have yet to read John Green's novels but the vlogs he and his brother do are hugely inspiring and I will leave it at that, otherwise I'll never get around to the rest of my post points. You can check out their channel here if your interested: Vlogbrothers Channel.

The other author who I stumbled across as I randomly clicked some of the 100 individuals who I could not recognize via their thumbnail portrait was Donna Tartt. Do you know her? I didn't. Still don't really, seeing as I just discovered her a couple hours ago.

Anyway, what stood out for me, between her and John Green was that she has been much quieter on the front of notoriety and being recognizable via a single image as many of these 100 figures were. (Not all, but many). Also, she has only published three novels, having a decade sitting between each, and during this period, the individual who wrote the tribute to her on TIMES, suggested Donna used that time to become her characters she would get so deeply immersed in them which is, in my opinion, the act of a true artist, speaking not just from a surface level, but an experiential heart level. That is not to say anything other authors, like John Green, or my favourite and highly prolific author, Terry Pratchett, are any less artistic, it's just that her's is perhaps a more sedate art that resembles a stroll along one of the foggy beaches of North Vancouver Island rather than the vibrant flash of culture and art found in the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul.

All that said, it made me think about who I am and the sort of impact I want to leave. Will I do what I am most passionate about and disregard all my other interests for the sake of succeeding in one area or will I dabble in multiple things and remain rather mundane and just another blip on the radar of human births and deaths. Like John Green, Donna Tartt, my university friends pursuing creative writing degrees and getting their scripts made into plays, or any other person I happen to know and admire, so I have what it takes to be anything more than a rambler in a corner?

So I sat with my faeries (and this is where Part two comes into play).

If you give a faerie a book. She'll ask you to read it outloud. If you read the book outloud, she'll ask you for...

I sat with my faeries. Outside. In a grassy corner supported by a rock wall on one side and cedar bushes on the other. I closed my eyes, soaking in the juice of sunlight and thought back to the days when the grass was a great jungle, when under the birch tree was a great forest and the only thing I, the faeries or my fellow adventurers were concerned with was exploring new lands, running a lot and imagining what those places looked like.

As I said at the beginning; sadly, those sorts of imaginings do little for the reality we live in which requires much more than a strong imagination to create the right order of pixellated numbers on your computer screen which determine whether you are broke, in poverty, comfortable or a rolling billionaire. How much should I worry about that though over doing one of my creative pursuits, like writing?

In reality, if I want to go much of anywhere, like with anything, you have to put in the same amount of effort and time you hope to get out in rewards. Or, at least, that is what we are always told. I'm not convinced that is true, at least not anymore. Not when grabbing information and expressing ourselves can occur in a couple clicks. On the other hand, that also inspires a lot of laziness and desire for things to happen *now* which tend to also only get augmented when you view lists like TIMES 100 Most Influential People of 2014 and you come across individuals who are not just ten, twenty, thirty years old than you, but a mere five.

And so I return to my faeries. Being faeries, there would often be a lot of imagining around flying; soaring through the blue sky, bouncing of bulbous clouds and zipping over the deep greens of the lawns below. In those times there was never any thought, any fear really, of falling, of crashing to the ground and ending in a horrific splatter of guts and forgotten bones. Unfortunately it's much easier to exist in the land of the imaginary than it is to face reality; even when it is literally screaming at you in the face, in the form of the general noise that occupies large families.

I was told 2014 would be an amazing year for me. So far it's turning into a lot of backpedaling and doing things which are keeping me stuck in someone else's chosen lifestyle rather than my own. Really, me be stuck on this edge is my own choice. I've said before, there is always a choice. I could up and leave and live homeless. Whether it is fear, or a ridiculous amount of rationality stopping me, who knows.

Regardless of what was said to me, I personally made resolutions on New Years (like most people). I hoped to actually complete them this year. Whether or not that remains to be seen, comes down to two things. The second half of this year and whether or not I'll try flying again, like I did with my faeries as a child and do what I am most passionate about, regardless of how long it takes.

Loitering in corners and walking sideways through edges.

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