Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Journey for a Journey

I find myself at a crossroads. An intersection of various paths, each leading down different roads on diverse vehicles. I ask myself the cliche question: where do I go?

I've always loved projects. The process of generating ideas, filling them out, making a plan, setting deadlines, putting my mind to work, and building. Various projects have come and gone from my life, from novel-writing to painting to woodworking to fitness goals and self-improvement. All of these were journeys, but they were treks to the peak of a mountain, singular and finite. Although the path to the top was often grueling, with many setbacks and trials, I knew there was a goal at the end. There was something to work toward, be that a finished manuscript, a pair of workable stilts, or a new sense of self-confidence. Mountain peaks are an end. Rather than only climbing to a summit, I want to travel through a mountain range. I am searching for a journey without an end.

In the past month, I have finished writing the second draft of my novel. As the result of an impassioned month of word-vomiting in November, I created a sloppy first draft that I was relatively proud of and a piece worthy of the dispassionate editing that would follow during December and January. Being a traditional-medium book, it was the product of my longstanding commitment to writing. While this book offers many outlets for me to improve upon as a project (as I will have several more drafts to come), it is a mountain-peak project. It has an end. A bound and printed, sitting on a bookshelf, end. It is an end I plan to pursue, but nonetheless, an end.

I have had several ideas cross my mind for future projects, such as board games, films, pieces of sculpture, etc, and I am trying to sort through which of these will be bound or unbound, finite or infinite. For several years I have wanted to program a highly complex variant of chess. As a result, I have been learning computer programming to one-day fulfill this. In satisfying this, no matter how long the process to complete, it will have an end. I have drawn out loose drafts of scripts and screenplays, and have played with video-editing software in the hopes of eventually creating a masterful piece of film. While this goal may not be as reachable today as I had originally envisioned, the final destination for this work will be death--the end of a project. I have practiced painting and drawn out designs for furniture or ideas for sculpture, and even after pursuing and completing a handful of these, I know that any pursuit of them will terminate in a finished product, an end. Yet again.

Therefore, I am on a journey for a journey. A quest to find an ongoing project. Something that savors the trek and envisions no end. Perhaps I wish to grow and foster a relationship, be it emotional or mental, for the sake of ongoing growth and development? Construct a passionate courtship with an idea and strive for continual movement. I want something that replicates life. I want to enjoy my quest, as I strive forward with no predetermined end, as that is death. Ergo, what can I continue to build throughout my life? A journal? A photo album? A daily video recording?

I keep a journal of ideas, and plan to write at least 15 minutes everyday, but this is a practice akin to brushing my teeth or eating. I am inconsistent with taking photos and find this process to be meaningless and unrepresentative of life. Things like Instagram have created a universal portfolio for the world to share these similar snippets of instances. It won't do. How about videos? I have seen an ingenious work created by taking a one-second video daily and compiling the quick flashes over time to create a film of one's life. This is simple and brilliant, and something that should be surely spread to others as a form of self-preservation. I plan to try this general idea out, but I am not sure if it is what I am looking for. The relationship I seek with a project is something that can fully engage me over time, something that will require more than a second a day.

It is difficult journey to find. The process of seeking this journey will result in an end, an end to a new beginning of a never-ending journey. But where will I find this path? It is hidden and I have much ground to cover.

So I seek.

2 comments:

  1. Very ambitious. Many writers find it helpful to maintain a routine of writing --that SHOULD become a habit like "brushing teeth"

    "a journey for a journey" sound good --enjoy! --life itself is "a journey for a journey"

    This is wonderful:
    " have had several ideas cross my mind for future projects, such as board games, films, pieces of sculpture, etc, and I am trying to sort through which of these will be bound or unbound, finite or infinite. For several years I have wanted to program a highly complex variant of chess. As a result, I have been learning computer programming to one-day fulfill this. In satisfying this, no matter how long the process to complete, it will have an end. I have drawn out loose drafts of scripts and screenplays, and have played with video-editing software in the hopes of eventually creating a masterful piece of film. While this goal may not be as reachable today as I had originally envisioned, the final destination for this work will be death--the end of a project. I have practiced painting and drawn out designs for furniture or ideas for sculpture, and even after pursuing and completing a handful of these, I know that any pursuit of them will terminate in a finished product, an end. Yet again."

    Continue on this journey of journeys: "life".

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  2. --love crossroads, for offering so many possibilities, so many directions in which travel is possible....

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