Friday night at the Troxy
This is what I’m doing on Friday. It’s a crazy expensive ticket for a rep movie, but the price is right when it’s for the right cause: it’s hard to quantify just how much this film means to me. It was my first encounter with Shakespeare, Thoreau, Tennyson. My brother and I watched it a hundred times, my parents worried that Neil’s suicide would make an impression on our far too young minds. It certainly did. But not as much as that central dictum: “carpe diem. seize the day. Make your life extraordinary.” It should be no surprise to anybody who knows me well that I have suffered, and I have had therapy, and I was saved (temporarily, because it’s a constant battle against that big black dog) from my own depression by the realisation that I misunderstood that idea. An extraordinary life doesn’t mean success, wealth and fame, it doesn’t mean triumph, boasting, power, measuring yourself against others. An extraordinary life is one spent believing that every day has something to offer, no matter how small or large. Fighting every day to keep going, be kind, stay open. Choosing to adjust navigation techniques depending on the ebb and flow. It’s hard work, an extraordinary life. I will be able to quote along tomorrow, through some inevitable tears. So don’t judge me if I give my hard-earned cash to Secret Cinema hipsters*, or I fall for the easy emotion of a celebrity death. I’m nothing but an idealist trying to grow up.
Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
* All profits from the screening are going to charity. There will be other screenings in different venues, to be announced on the Secret Cinema social channels.
If you are in the UK and cannot attend the event (sold out in 4 minutes!), please consider giving a donation to Mind, the amazing mental health charity that helped me to ask for help and put me in touch with my therapist. Thank you.