My Jihad


BLUE DAMEN, the embodiment of GWYDHAR’S conscience,¬† goes into the studio where GWYDHAR is working. It is a small room with a computer at one end and a drawing board at the other. The walls are covered with posters, bulletin boards, newspaper and magazine clippings, and a string with dozens¬† of mis-matched gloves safety pinned to it. Everywhere there are piles of paper. GWYDHAR is sitting at the drawing board, writing a two columned list on an 11×17 sheet of paper. BLUE DAMEN peers over her shoulder.

BLUE DAMEN
Whatcha doing?

GWYDHAR
I’m making a to do list for my jihad.

BLUE DAMEN
Ummmm… Jihad as in Holy war against the infidels?

GWYDHAR
No, Jihad as in a vigorous emotional crusade for an idea or a principle. I’m going on a spirit journey.

BLUE DAMEN
I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.

GWYDHAR
You know what I miss?

BLUE DAMEN
What’s that?

GWYDHAR
I miss having something that I believe in so strongly that nothing else seems important. I used to feel that way about artwork and filmmaking.

BLUE DAMEN
But not anymore?

GWYDHAR
No it’s all become just one long to do list.

BLUE DAMEN
What changed?

GWYDHAR
I’m not sure. I grew up I guess.

BLUE DAMEN
You think you’ve lost your creativity just by getting older?

GWYDHAR
Isn’t that why everyone is afraid to “grow up”? Because they’ll have to worry about bills and schedules and traffic and weather until that’s all they can manage to think about in a day?

BLUE DAMEN
Maybe, but I don’t think you lose your creativity just because you get older I think you just don’t let it out as much.

GWYDHAR
Well that’s what this spirit-journey-thing is going to be.

BLUE DAMEN
So what are you going to do? Go out in the woods and dance around naked? Drink Peyote? Chant and meditate?

GWYDHAR
I’m not going to sleep.

BLUE DAMEN
But you love sleeping. It’s your favorite thing to do.

GWYDHAR
Well I’m making a sacrifice in exchange for heightened awareness.

BLUE DAMEN
Sleep deprivation has some pretty mind altering effects. You might start talking to some figment of your imagination who isn’t really there, for instance. Is that it? Is that why you decided not to sleep?

GWYDHAR
Partly. Staying up will give me hours of extra time to knock some of these things off my list AND will be good research for the film I’m working on.

BLUE DAMEN
“The Insomniac Chronicles”? Oh. I get it.

GWYDHAR
Yeah.

BLUE DAMEN
So we’re taking the path to spiritual enlightenment paved with the asphalt of pragmatism.

GWYDHAR
Right.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on April 9, 2009.

2 Responses to “My Jihad”

  1. So how long did you stay up and how much of your to-do list did you complete?

    • By Saturday night when I turned in I’d been awake for 67 hours straight and got about 75% of my to-do list done (I made progess on more than that but didn’t finish everything). All in all a very useful and interesting experience that I hope to not have to repeat for a while.

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