I had an epiphany a couple weeks ago.
I was sitting in my bed with my computer watching Netflix. I had a hankering for some classics so I watched “The General” by Buster Keaton.
And here’s the thing… I laughed. A lot. That shit was hilarious.
And it boggled my mind. Not that I was laughing at a comedy movie (after all, that’s what they’re for). But the fact that I was laughing at something a man created almost 90 years ago. The humor and expressions were so classic and so human and so real and so identifiable that I was entertained. I was entertained even though it was shot with technology barely more advanced than the fossils I see in history museums compared to what we have now. It made me laugh despite the fact that the civil war themes feel so far gone and not something I can readily identify with anymore. It made me laugh despite the fact that there was no spoken dialogue.
It was magical.
And I realized that’s what I want to do. I want to tell stories that can long outlast me. I want to connect people through laughter. I want to make people feel more human through simple storytelling and honest reactions. I want to become a part of the very fabric of our culture through art that people for generations can be entertained by.
I don’t know much about Buster Keaton’s personal life. I don’t know what his daily struggles were. I don’t know how much debt he had or what he was thinking while filming “The General.” I don’t know how stressed he was or the hardships he faced. I get to see his body of work. And it’s still entertaining and funny.
That’s what I want. Not to worry about the stresses or the frustrations except what I can learn from them. To be a good and balanced person that can do her best work and be present and enjoy it. And to actually do the work. Good work. Quality work. And lots of it. So that someday, when a person 90 years in the future is curling up on their floating space bed and using their internal brain-scan chip to surf the internet, they could stumble upon something I created. And be entertained by it. And feel more connected to humanity through connecting to creations of the past.
Whoa. Like… deeeeeep, man.
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