A Plea from me to u
Plus 3, 3 line obtituaries
The Main Course
Benvenuto Cellini once iconically remarked, “A man should be a philosopher, warrior, artist.”
He was a famous renaissance artist who wrote a memoir about his life and may have been a genius (he thought he was). But he was also a vile man. Here’s ft.com:
[Benventuo] murdered three times, was convicted of sodomy twice — with men and women — and was poisoned (but survived) while in prison accused of stealing the Pope’s jewels.
He was a bastard and not in an enviable, raffish way.
He also misses the point.
What he forgets (and most men forget) is that a man should also be a lover.
Being a great “lover” isn’t un-manly. It’s the most manly. Being a lover isn't just being a romantic. Lovers are always actively seeing and creating aliveness.
I prefer Heinlein’s quote to Cellini’s:
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
The most attractive people are people who are diverse. Paradoxical polymaths are the most attractive friends, conversationalists, and lovers.
A great man should be:
Somebody who can see the Great Beauty. Who can bring the aliveness out in you. Who loves you and the world deeply, so much so that it occasionally makes him cry. Someone who realizes that nobody ever wins a fight and love is the best solution to resolve conflict. And yet someone who can be strong, edgy, stoic, and dangerous. Someone who can protect (intellectually and physically). Somebody who can say how they feel (even if it is polarizing) because they are confident in who they are.
Somebody who can lead and be led depending on the situation and the relationship. Who can dominate and submit. Who can control his life and yet is aware of his helplessness in the face of life.
Somebody who is quiet, intellectual, and profound. Someone who thinks about the problems of the world and how to solve them. And yet someone who makes loud and cutting jokes. A person who can be crude, boisterous, and talk about pop culture.
Someone who is loud, mischievous, teasing, cutting, and honest. Someone who thrives on the playful + witty comeback. And someone who can speak with utmost sincerity and within his own vulnerability.
Someone who can be stoic, rational, and resilient. Someone who is analytical and cool when making decisions. And also a lazy hedonist who pursues pleasure and can disappear within it forgoing any sense of rational good sense at a moment’s notice if it sounds fun.
I can go on forever. But the paradoxes you want to embody are different than mine.
Here’s my plea to you:
We all watch the same movies as everyone else. We read the same books as everyone else. We have specialized in one thing and never ventured beyond it. We may have become more successful. But we’ve become boring.
My plea is to look beyond the ordinary and find within yourself interests that don’t exist in others. Follow the weird rabbit holes in your mind. Drive down streets you haven’t before. Look around. Watch a movie that may disappoint you. Read a book that you couldn’t tell your mother or husband about.
Be weird in your actions and your thought. Be unexplainable to yourself and others. Build a collection of interesting people, stories, and lives lived.
And if you feel fear, disappointment, regret, failure, and a deep sense of grief?
Well, congrats. That means you’re truly living.
3 Fictional, 3 Line Obituaries
He lived as he died.
Alone. Scared. Un-alive.
In death as in life, he told himself: Keep going, you don't have to feel this yet.
He always used to say...
Well, I can't remember now.
And of course, neither, can he.
As a writer, she learned that if there’s a problem in the third act, the real problem is in the first.
So she smoked till the day before she died.
The real problem she had said was that she was born
"And if you feel fear, disappointment, regret, failure, and a deep sense of grief?
Well, congrats. That means you’re truly living.”
What a line. Honestly this essay could have been a guide about how to not be an NPC haha.
I enjoy the idea of pursuing “randomness” as a way to find the interesting.