Hahahahahahahaha. NO.

“So you’re a hundred and five and you’re looking back- what do you want your life to look like?”

My sister Bean and I were sitting in the car in the driveway with the lights off, just talking. The plan had been to attend some kind of special event involving the Jim Henson exhibit at the Skirball center, which sold out before we even knew tickets could be bought in advance. So instead we wandered around a part of Santa Monica that was white to the point of being slightly inbred and rich to the point of absurdity, then retreated to the frenetic enthusiasm of Hollyweird to wander around Book Soup and Amoeba Music. But it wasn’t until we were alone in the quiet and dark of the car that we began to have any real conversation. And then once we started, we couldn’t stop.

I’d already told her about my plans to live to be a hundred and fifteen, and about my recent existential struggle surrounding my mundane life. She’d asked what it was that I thought I was looking for out of life and I didn’t know how to answer besides to give career-related accomplishment goal posts: to write a book and get published, to write a script and see it produced, to do this, to do that, to have this, to be known for that.

I didn’t answer right away: I didn’t know how to. The answer came to me later.

“I want to create something that…” I struggled for the word and then settled, reluctantly, on “inspires people.”

Bean could tell from my tone that ‘inspires’ was not the word I was looking for.

I struggled to clarify: “I mean, inspires is technically the right word, but it makes me sound so Lululemon.” I said. ” And I’m pretty sure Lululemon is a troll of the first order.” I added. I’d recently read some of the advice on a Lululemon bag and was pretty sure that someone out there was laughing their ass off, thinking of someone like me reading this ‘advice’, and knowing that someone out there was taking it as gospel.

If you wake up uninspired two days in a row, change your life!

Says the bag that clearly has never tried to hold down a job.

But I digress.

“I want to make something that resonates so strongly in other people that it makes them want to go and create things because of it.” I managed eventually.

Enthuse. The word bubbled up in my memory from one of my books on the Hero’s Journey: that enthusiasm came from the root en theos which means ‘in god’: in other words, to be moved by divine inspiration, or to have divine inspiration put into someone. That was what I wanted: to create something that burned so brightly that it kindled flames in the people who experienced it.

You know: inspired.

It was one of those moments that didn’t seem like much at the time, but suddenly helped me to find perspective on the work I was trying to do. It has certainly given me a lot to think about.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on June 4, 2018.

2 Responses to “Enthuse”

  1. I’ve always been interested in “affecting” people. That means so many different things, of course, but it’s also the reason that I don’t see a major difference between filmmaking and teaching filmmaking from the perspective of that goal.

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