Single Player Game

Good evening ladies and gentleman

Apparently, the average lifespan at the moment is around 85 years. If you’re lucky, you might make 90. Those few and far between make triple digits, surprising even themselves at their own longevity. Look at it slightly differently- 10 years is 3,652 days. Imagine you are going to run that cycle 9 times. That loop round the lake, the run round the track. Blink and 365 days are gone- but 3652 won’t happen for a while- so sure we all are that there is always going to be time. We seem to have fallen into this time trap, this idea that we work 40 hours a week to afford the 2 days a week we actually enjoy, the modern idea to shove as much pleasure through the 2 days, making it seem like it will last forever- while you endlessly endure the other 5.

It’s an interesting idea…endurance. It take some endurance to get through a bad day, one of those days when it feels like the whole world is against you. Maybe your car broke down on the way to work, maybe your boss pulled you into the office for being late. Maybe your sandwich spilt down your shirt when you bit into it at lunch and just when you realise all the overtime you’re going to have to do to pay for the repair to the car you could just breakdown and cry.

I’ve brushed on it briefly in the past, more on the idea of life seemably being endless in the problems we are told we should be facing, or feel like we cannot avoid. What of the need to endure, the feeling that you’re constantly up against it, swimming against the tide and going to be just as tired as when you woke up, barely able to get through the day with your head above water.

I have an odd tendency to stare at myself in the mirror sometimes, particularly on those sort of days. Perhaps near deflated defeat at the prospect of another night of poor sleep in this stifling heat, looking at the bags under my eyes or the redness of another day gotten through. I don’t know how I’ve done it some days, endured when all I’ve wanted to do was climb to the top of a very tall hill and sit quietly, looking at the streets, roads and cars below as i lie distant from what life has become.

Even with this nature, I am very much aware of how lucky I am and that I am privileged to even be able to sat at my window typing this to you now. Life is brilliantly simple, yet I think we have fallen into a misconception that we must endure life to get where we want to be.

The world and the societies within it, will continue whether you are a part of it or not. I remember having this thought often as a child- going away on a family holiday and imagining the world as i know it had stopped, left on pause while i got on the plane and disappeared into new and unfamiliar places for 10 days. To find as reality hit in the taxi on the way back home- nothing had changed and the world had been just fine without me.

The world and the people in it have no power over you- or you it. The world and all that fills it is ultimately out of yours and my control. What i say may mean nothing to you, yet someone else you could hang off their every word. The thing about life and how we make the most of it is ultimately to live with this reminder- that life is a single player game. That’s it, society is a great concierto and you, just you have been gifted the opportunity to add a verse to this great piece of music, to elevate it to that next state of grandeur, of unrefutable beauty.

So, how does one contribute a verse- and live to tell the tale? This endless endurance, this supposed ideal in which you or I are surviving life, rather than living every day of those 32,868 that have been given to you? The chances of simply being born and becoming who you’ve become and achieving all you have, no matter how big or small are positively astronomical- you are a uniquely crafted set of impossibilities, proven possible.

The truth is- I have no idea. I’ve spent a lot of time asking myself that same question and will probably continue to do so…

Where to start then?

Look in the mirror. Literally or figuratively- even only for a minute every day. We spend so much of our day looking into screens, filtering pictures on Instagram and taking selfies, questioning why we look the way we look, talk the way we talk, wishing we had been born with this or that- or “how did that happen?” or “what the hell am i going to do?”

Forget the details for a second. Whatever you’re told you should look like, the way your hair “should” be, the fragrance you “should” be wearing. All very important when it comes to the power we give the world, that we give society but much less relevant when it comes to you. People talk of their friends and of their family that they would not be able to live without them. I am also a part of that and understand the ideal of this entirely- but there’s nobody in your life more important than you. Life is a single player game. We talk about surviving the day and this path so many of us find ourselves on, of endless endurance to make it through to the next period, the next week, the next month.

Before you know it you’ve endured 90 years and you’re lying on your deathbed wandering where it all went wrong. Learn about yourself, get to know yourself- become your friend. Listen to yourself when you are in pain, rest when you have to. The signs are all there, you just have to listen. Society is a difficult place to live in- life is very easy thing to live when you know whose staring back at you in the reflection.

Life is a single player game. Imagine a huge container at the other end of the room. You have any number of balls. Friends, family, co-workers, jobs, hobbies, trips and memories that will leave their mark on your forever. The container that makes up who you are is filled only by you.

Society doesn’t make you happy- you do.

Because life is a Single Player Game.

Yours, with love as always.
D.R x

Picture in a Frame

Good afternoon ladies and gentleman

Words, to me- have always been unrivalled in their power. The way a word can become a phrase, a phrase a sentence, a sentence a paragraph and a paragraph an entire piece of writing. Words have become an integral part of who I am and what i want for Thinking Evolution. A collection of words, in the right order and said in the right way- can completely alter someone’s perspective, illicit growth, help process pain and deal with the anguish of heartbreak. It can be the death of who you were and the rebirth of who you decide to be. It can be the greatest pleasure to write and an immeasurable pain not to. Without it, I don’t feel like me.

Here, today, writing is my art. It is the movement of a brush across a canvas or the pluck of a guitar string. It is something I have found a connection with like nothing else, it feeds the creative part of me and keeps me sane, unique and powerful in a time where the very nature of individuality is under question, under siege as the lines between right and wrong become more and more faint.

Along with the need to write, to connect to your artistry in whatever form you find it , as humans we have an ever needing desire to carry on, to progress, to move forward. When a moment that seems so perfect passes us by its a hard thing to let go of, but it carries on anyway, leaving a lasting memory and an imprint of that person you carry with you forever. It comes back to that point about writing, about the power of perspective and the way a connection with your art can facilitate your growth and its evolution.

How does art change perspective? Can art make you question things in a different way? I know you’ve heard the phrase “a picture can say a thousand words” but how can we understand more about the world or about ourselves because of it? What makes a picture more than just a collection of lines and colours, in the same way what makes a piece of writing more than just words or a sonnet just a few lines of code in pursuit of something you’re supposed to want?

I guess what I’m asking is quite simply:-

What makes art-art?

Difficult question? Maybe. Complex idea- definitely. Tell you the truth i’m not sure art even exists- living in the realms of destiny and love as an idea, an idealised concept, personal and often painful in the stories it can tell you about its creator. History will tell you that Michelangelo and Da Vinci were both artists by trade, some of the best to have ever lived. You could say Shakespeare was an artist unparalleled, that many poets to have come after him, Poe, Kafka, Bukowski, great composers like Beethoven or rockstars like The Rolling Stones are all living through an interpretation- a perspective- of that same idea. All artists, none the same as the other.

Perspective is the power we are given by art- in whatever form. When someone sees words on a page, you see a connection to an idea, to a feeling you’ve been wrestling with for sometime. When you see a tattoo down someone’s arm, you see just a gorilla, or just a clock melting away like a Salvador Dali painting. They see a reminder, a constant companion of the lessons they’ve learned and what they are capable of when they try. You see a lock screen of a happy couple smiling and laughing on a friend’s phone, to you its a friend being happy, but to them it’s a reminder first thing in the morning and last thing before they go to bed that they are loved, they are wanted- even in their darkest of moments.

We are all artists, travellers, hopeful believers in the path less taken. Life is more than pictures in a frame, a painting on a wall or words on a page. Art is pain, pleasure, self loathing, anguish envy and utter confusion. Art is loss, heartbreak and soul crushing loneliness. Art is impossible without all of these things i think, good work is not possible without it, for without it the painting is nothing more than scrawls on a canvas.

A photo- nothing more than a Picture in a Frame.

Yours, with love as always.
D. R x