““If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds.” – Charles Bukowski
Sacrifice is a a rare thing these days. In a society of instant gratification, we want to pay the price, and get something in return.
I’ve spent a couple of years writing without expecting anything in return. I had lost hope of ever being read by anyone. I was alone, and in my solitude, I decided to sacrifice my time and my energy.
In retrospect, I was trying to accomplish something: I wanted to leave a part of me behind, a part that would endure through the centuries.
I wrote and wrote and wrote, and whenever I felt that life wasn’t fair, that I didn’t deserve to be treated in the way that I was treated, I wrote even more, to the point that I felt that the real world had nothing to offer me. At the same time, the real world had nothing to threaten me with, nothing to do to me.
I was free. Alone and free. I could write about anything I wanted, I could be any of the characters I imagined. And, sometimes, if I got lucky, I even felt alive. More alive than I’ve ever felt before.
Some of you might argue that we always translate life into art. But which life? The one we have or the one we wished we had? The one we’re certain we’re never going to have?
All art is a sacrifice. There’s nothing to bring you comfort: not money, not fame, not even the prospect of creating something that will last forever. We sacrifice life under the cover of the night in order to create a world that could never exist. We hope for more, we strive for better. We try to reach a place that doesn’t exist.
And we fail. And we rarely get thanked for it.
Most of the times we suffer. A sacrifice implies suffering, pain.
But you do it regardless, because you have to, because there’s a voice inside your head telling you to write, write, write until you can’t feel your fingers anymore. Because there’s nothing else you’d rather do.
Because you hope that, one day, the world outside your window will resemble the one inside your head.