Get Lost

The world looks pretty uniform from 36,000 feet at midnight: inky black, and punctuated by distant points of light.

Not that I could really tell. I woke from my Xanax and Full Suspension Pale Ale slumber, wedged between two other fellas my size (practically spooning with the fella in 21A) somewhere over eastern Wyoming. I struggled to finish my last article for MTV News, a thought piece on artistic reaction to these politically troubling times, then retired to my iPod, currently in heavy rotation with me new hero, Neil Young.

I departed for my second trip to the Sundance Film Festival with some trepidation. Last year’s festival had felt awefully close to the red carpet, A-list, entertained to death worlds of New York and Los Angeles, allbeit with better scenery.

But this year’s festival was restorative. I participated in numerous meaningful discussions of creativity and social justice. And I found a space there, somewhere between the Tony Kushner and Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” documentaries. Sure, Paris and Justin were there. But there was a whole lot more going on, and it was inspiring.

I’m happy to be home, to be sure. But I’m glad I got a little bit lost on my way here. And I’m grateful that Mr. Young reminded me that I have to go anyway — to leave the safe places, to find myself in a vast, unknown wilderness — even if I might get lost. Because in the end, sometimes getting lost isn’t such a bad idea.

I’ll remember that moment forever, there in the old Union Pacific rail station, shafts of golden sunlight pouring through the windows, his eyes gleaming brightly…

“Go anyway,” he said, looking me straight in the eye and smiling.

“You might crash,” he continued, nodding to Jonathan and laughing just a little bit.

“But … it’s gonna be at least fulfilling to you.”

And anyway, how else is one to find one’s self?

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