Can't Sleep

It's 2 in the morning but I can't sleep. I don't even feel tired anymore. I feel wide awake.

I wish I could come up for some reason for this, but I can't, other than: suddenly, every second spent at home seems important. I leave on Sunday to return to Kentucky, and every second in New Hampshire feels like it should be treasured, that I should be up accomplishing things before I return to the drudgery of schoolwork.

No, not drudgery. I'm wildly excited about the classes I have this semester, three of which involve filmmaking. It's these films that scare me. I just watched one of the special features on the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Extended Edition DVD about a young indie filmmaker named Cameron Duncan. Duncan was so captured by his filmmaking that when cancer took his body over for the second time, this time destroying his lungs, he continued shooting his movies, pouring his own pain into the process. The end result is stunning - all sorts of technical weaknesses can be pointed out, but when you hear Duncan's voice in the steady voiceover of a teenager who has made his peace with death, it's heartbreaking. "The only things you regret in life are the things you never did," he monotones, and I'll be damned if it didn't make me want to go out and conquer the world. There was a real power in his work that amazed me and made me insanely jealous. In his film, they bury him on a hill overlooking the park, where he "can watch over the park in protection as the seasons change." When Duncan passed on, they really bury him on the hill, overlooking the park.

And now I just feel inadequate. That I might pour myself into a project, bare my soul to the world through the power of film, and people will feel - nothing. If, in the next semester, you ever see one of my films, there is nothing that will scar me more than you saying "I didn't feel anything." Hate my work, despise it, insult it with every depreciating word that you have in your vocabulary - but at least, by reviling my work, it did something to you.

I don't know where my whole "emotional artist" thing came from, I suppose it's a product of a sleepless night. But is this the curse of the unnoticed artist? To struggle in vain and wait for the world to notice, to feel your passion and be moved by it? And, when the world passes you by, as the world always seems to, what then? For every one grand success there are ten thousand grand failures. If your life's work is in the creation of something that moves people, what happens when people remain stagnant? Do these artists just fade away? Was there ever a purpose to them trying? Is there still time to switch to be a business major?

And yet, somehow, these people arise out of bed each day and face their failure again. I can't think of anything more poetic. I think there's something so pure in creating something and knowing deep down that it will never make an impact, that the world will pass over it as it's passed over everything that you've done. And to make it anyway, because it had to be made. To create, not for the world, but because that creation was locked inside of you, waiting to get out, needing to get out. My hope is renewed, though this post is going to look terrible in the harsh light of day. Ah, well. Its creation was the important thing. Let the world pass it by.