If PilgrimAkimbo was a band it would not be a blog.
I cannot say exactly why I write this blog, and when someone tells me, in an off-hand manner, why they write their blog I don’t entirely believe them. Not because they’re wrong, but because personal, non-corporate, non-fake blogs exist for deep and complex reasons, and reasons are always being born and always expiring. But still, I feel I must, for deep and complex reasons, sort out my thoughts about PilgrimAkimbo, at least just this once.
There is a little man inside my gut that jabs a stick at my heart every once in a while, reminding me that I need to grow up and be a kid again. There are many pressures placed on adults, good pressures like being faithful to your relationships, paying your bills and, if you have them, raising kids with love and mercy. But along the path from the city of destruction to the celestial city (if you get my drift) one is easily convinced to give up on those things one loved as a child – to put away childish things and grow up.
What are these “childish” things? In particular I am referring to those unique personal aspects of one’s subjective nature that make up who one is, that come so freely when one is a child, and that often get pushed aside by outside pressures as one matures. Maturity is a good thing, but maturity is a tricky slope. I have been too quick to measure my maturity by common cultural standards and thus have often gravitated towards a false maturity, one that is more about conforming and putting on airs than it is about true maturity. And thus I have trapped myself – not a trap I cannot get out of – but a trap nonetheless.
What is this trap I am suggesting? The trap is believing that a childhood passion for something (be it cinema or baseball, poetry or wanderlust) must be suspect merely because it is a childhood passion. Take, for example, a passion for artmaking. Many children have this passion, for some it is only temporary, but many, I suspect, have this passion as a inherent and indelible characteristic of their soul. However, as they get older they will inevitably hear that artmaking is a nice hobby, but certainly not something to be taken too seriously, especially if one wants to grow up and get on with life – you know, get a real job, support a family, do something important, be like everyone else. Those pressures to set aside artmaking may come from parents, teachers, the youth-group leader at church, friends, anywhere.
Now, I do believe it is important to grow up, but I think we have these deep passions because that is who we are. What were your passions as a child? Do you still follow them? If you do, that’s great. For me, my love of film and filmmaking got set aside, in part for good reasons, in part for other reasons. This blog is an attempt to re-engage with those passions. But why now?
That I can only partly answer. Suffice it to say that my love of cinema has re-welled up within me at a time when I have also been reconsidering my life. A little over a year ago my wife, my eldest daughter, and myself were reeling from the death of our second daughter, Coco Madalena. That “event” and subsequent sorting out gave me new eyes on the world. Not angry eyes, but a realigned perspective. I began to see the value once again in being true to oneself, to not get hung up on little things, to seek honesty and love rather than surface level respectability and corporate success, to love what you have, and to find value in being who you are, to trust in my creator. Since that time we have been blessed with another, beautiful, amazing little girl, Wilder Rose. And her existence in my life has only fueled my passion for the wonder of being human.
That is why I am reaffirming my love, my childhood love, for cinema and why I write this blog – in part of course, for there are really many reasons.
So why the pic at the top? A friend of mine has a passion for making music to which he is staying true. That’s me with his guitar, in his studio, pretending to know what I am doing. So, if PilgrimAkimbo was a band… Ah, now that’s another dream.