But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us–to know
Whence our lives come and where they go.
And many a man in his own breast then delves,
But deep enough, alas! none ever mines.
And we have been on many thousand lines,
And we have shown, on each, spirit and power;
But hardly have we, for one little hour,
Been on our own line, have we been ourselves–
Hardly had skill to utter one of all
The nameless feelings that course through our breast,
But they course on for ever unexpress’d.
And long we try in vain to speak and act
Our hidden self, and what we say and do
Is eloquent, is well–but ’tis not true!
And then we will no more be rack’d
With inward striving, and demand
Of all the thousand nothings of the hour
Their stupefying power;
Ah yes, and they benumb us at our call!
Matthew Arnold, The Buried Life
I think it is because I do what I want and I do what I believe in.
This is not always the easiest route, not always the path of least resistance, but it is the only path I allow myself to take. I have refused to sacrifice my integrity as a person or the integrity of my art to appease anyone, and incidentally, have had story-book success because of it.
I find it a travesty that I am compelling because of this – that it is rare and therefore inspiring to come across stories of success (and I don’t just mean money) from following one’s own road. Such choices should be cultivated, honored, and rewarded wherever and whenever they are made!
Yet instead, our society seems to prefer the oppression of individual spirit; prefers fear-mongering by those in power, whether that power comes in the form of a boss or a military unit or a parent; prefers insecurity masquerading as ‘informed intelligence’ over talent or originality.
It is our right and our duty as individuals to stand up to all that – to stand up as the most honorable and most powerful version of ourselves and LIVE.
Live right, live true, live now, and help anyone and everyone to do this as well, alongside us.
Happy New Year.