About The Arena
Risk. Stepping once more unto the breach. The general subject came up last night while talking with another musician between sets. We were blowing off steam, per usual. Might as well talk about something that matters, right?
During any decent conversation, there’s a moment where you learn something, or at the very least, think about something in a new or fresh way. We were banging on about money and the crowd and the show and bills and I shared a sentiment that sounded stupid the second it came off my lips. It was something like, “I’m gonna put all my chips in, risk it all.” I was referring to my desire to be a full-time writer, complete with cardigan and practiced autograph for the fans.
Put all my chips in? Before I don the cardigan I better take off the faux cape. I’m no superhero and the fate of the world isn’t exactly on my shoulders.
So what is there to lose? People say that all the time, nothing to lose, but it’s a little more nuanced than that. Of course there are things to lose. There’s the place you sleep and your job and your relationships and on and on. Seems like a lot, because it is. I know this all sounds a bit contradictory so far, but I’ll get there if you’ll bear with.
What I find fascinating and truly admirable is the ability for some to shirk it all to step into the arena. It’s not normal, and it’s not normal because like I said, there’s plenty to lose. There are those who feel a finish that is so magnetic that everything else gets stripped away.
It’s a little crazy, honestly. But a little crazy is the name of the place where you tend to find the exceptional.
Try to keep your head up while I hit the history button. One thing me and my boy talked about last night was an audiobook I was listening to about ancient Rome. I’m all too obsessed with the subject. It was a culture that lived on the edge. These dudes were high-risk by definition. They staked it all, and I’m not talking about taking out a second mortgage. Succeed or die type stuff. These mopes really did live like they had nothing to lose.
I have to admit, I dig it.
All that said, this isn’t ancient Rome. They’d probably trade in all that achievement and the adrenaline-induced highs of getting over on the next guy for a ride to the convenience store in my car.
There’s always something left to lose. What you’re willing to part with might be the most personal and important question you face in this life. Is it once more unto the breach, or no thanks, I’m good here?
Don’t ask me. I just bring this crap up. The answer guy is down the hall to the right.
Cheers knuckleheads. See you after.