Thursday, 16 April 2009

11. :: "the path"

There is a gallery in town which Andrew likes to visit. It is what you would call 'contemporary', though Andrew is not sure exactly what that means. The art which they have on the walls and scattered around the floor and in different rooms in the gallery tends to be brightly coloured. This makes Andrew feel good. Andrew sits in the gallery for most of the afternoon, drinking from a bottle of water and watching the attractive girls who walk past.

The gallery makes Andrew think about what his life is for. As a small child, and then after that, a teenager and young adult, he believed that there was some predetermined path, on which he had no choice but to step and eventually the path would lead to something important and that he would achieve something and have a lasting relevance as an adult. He has notepads where he has written over and again the phrase 'I want to be remembered for something good'. Andrew is still waiting for the predetermined path to show itself. Perhaps, Andrew thinks, perhaps the path is invisible, and he will not know he has started upon the path until he has arrived at his destination.

As an adult, Andrew's life has been defined by vague ambition, the desire to do something artistic but lacking the conviction to follow that through to any definite conclusion. His home is full of half finished projects. Stories left half done, pencil drawings, musical instruments gathering dust and rust. Commitment is the problem here. Andrew is worried that if he decides that he wants to be a professional artist, do drawings for a living somehow, then he would have to give up all his other endeavours, or at least put them on a shelf somewhere below this ambition. What then, he wonders, if he puts everything he has into becoming successful as an artist, only to fail and have nothing to show for it? Would he then not be able to return to those other activities and try? Choosing one ambition means maybe giving up on others and that scares Andrew.

Andrew applies this same logic to most everything in his life. Girls especially. It is a cliche. It is a cliche which Andrew has had to suffer. It is a cliche Andrew is trying to break from.