"Four Years" & "Falling"
written by Henry Magel III
Four years pass. Only four years. A wise high school senior once told me that a month in high school is equivalent to a full year in "real life." Real life? I doubt "real life" will ever be as real as high school, and that truly saddens me. High school is where I learned that everything in life is a choice. Everything else is consequence. The only obligations, or expectations a person must meet are his or her own. The most incredible thing about the high school experience, however, is the depth of emotion. Whether melodramatic or appropriate, everyone in high school drowns themselves in love, hate, happiness, or melancholy on a relatively regular basis. The reward of these moments of drowning is that the person's deepest marrow of identity is drawn out. And that's the thing. You have to lose yourself to find yourself. Once you have done that, you can make yourself into an individual. Or you can suffer the slings and arrows of popularity and conform into what someone else wants you to be -- expects you to be, whether it be a coach, date, social clique, or parent. Or your boss. Or society. Are you today everything that your society expects you to be? Are you basing your life on these expectations? Is that what the real world entails? Because that is where you lose the brilliance of high school . . . and the reward. But you can always get it back. Individuality and popularity are far too often total opposites. Only one brings absolute happiness. Only one brings freedom. Which one is for you? It's still a choice.
Vertigo was supposedly about falling. Hitchcock's personal fears of falling from heights, into thought, into obsession, or even into emotion. That's probably why I didn't like it as much as every other Hitchcock fan did. See, I'm not afraid of this metaphor of falling into emotion. It's that that I love, and in fact has brought out the most beautiful manmade things on the planet. What would poetry, painting, film, theatre or music be without emotion? And the greater these artists fall into emotion, the greater their expression is. How else can you find who you are or what you want to be without falling into your emotions? One falls in almost everything they do. Some say that one lives by trusting their senses to stay up and not fall. But what is trust but a leap of faith? And what is leaping but controlled falling? I say one lives by knowing when to fall and how to land. Emotion is what pushes you off the ledge. Not every fall is huge, not every fall is tiny, and sometimes you don't land right. When you fall in love, that's the longest fall of all. If you don't land right there, you break your heart. But god, wasn't the falling unbelievable? You feel truly alive only when you fall. Why be afraid?
Kudos and much thanks go to Henry for these monologues , it is very much appreciated.