Friday, August 19, 2011


I have a confession to make: I once wanted to be famous.

Let us imagine a young man; he is listening to a pop song; there is a black vinyl disk turning; there is a pair of headphones with a long cord; there is the vibration of the music; there is a soul awakening.

This soul is not waking up to freedom. It is not waking up to some hitherto unknown philosophical ideal. This soul is waking up to the power of itself. It is waking up to a way of being, a way of feeling in life.

I was that young man. That soul was mine.

Have you ridden a bike? Have you had this experience: your legs are barely moving, yet that small movement is somehow enough to power the bike along at amazing speed?

That day, as I listened to that music, I felt a sense of effortless achievement.

The musician ‘Sting’ was singing, and I associated the feeling of the music, that feeling of effortless achievement, with Sting and with fame.

I wanted to be famous – I wanted to be like Sting.

Wanting to be like someone else is both a motivating force and a kind of sin. It’s a kind of sin because you are not - and you will never be - that other person.

There is an effortless power in this world, but it is possible that Sting has never felt it as I have. There is only one path that I can see: to be oneself and to be true to one's own feelings.

Today I heard Sting’s voice singing from a radio next door. And, at that moment, a tiny part of an interview with Sting came back to my mind:

“…the whole of my 120 songs, or however many songs I've written…”

120 short songs, not much more than two decks of cards worth. That wouldn't be too hard, would it?

In that moment, for a faction of a second, and for no good reason, I felt that desire for fame creep up on me. But it was a small beast.

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