Steve Bogart,

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Development Journal 1: Distractions

August 11, 1999

When I find myself lacking in some crucial area, I will often return to passages in favorite books that help remind me of some first principles.

Lately I have been procrastinating shamefully, and so today I went back to page 139 of Cerebus: Flight by Dave Sim and Gerhard, a page that has stuck in my brain far longer than most pages of most books.

The page is one I should perhaps blow up and frame, or photocopy and tape by a mirror, just to remind myself regularly of what it has to say. Posting this reminder to myself is the next best thing, and it might prove valuable to others in the bargain.

Some of the dialogue is confusing if you don't know the complete context of the scene, but the excerpts here capture the spirit of it.

Cerebus has just dismissed the visions Suenteus Po has presented and has returned to pursuing his original goal, climbing 'up' through an empty black void:


Any time Cerebus decides to do something, someone comes along and gets Cerebus to do something else.

The more people Cerebus is in charge of, the more distractions there are and the less Cerebus does what Cerebus wants to do and the more Cerebus does what someone else wants Cerebus to do.

Well, Cerebus isn't in charge of anyone any more, so Cerebus is going to do what Cerebus set out to do. Cerebus is going up.
Up is up, even if everything else is black. It's like climbing a mountain. You know you're at the top when you run out of mountain and until you run out of mountain, you keep climbing.

Suenteus Po:

Well said, Well said, indeed. For a fellow whose progress to date might most flatteringly be described as "meager" this smacks of insight writ large.

The most distinctive trait of the fool is his submission to distraction and diversion and an abiding faith that they are inescapable matters of course.

His quite tedious refrain: "life is what happens when you're making other plans."

Conversely, it is a cornerstone of wisdom that obstacles exist to be bypassed; and where that isn't possible they are to be overcome or eliminated entirely.

"The more worthwhile the Road, the more seductive will be those paths divergent from it."

It's like a good hard whack on the head every time I read it. I hereby preserve it as bits so I and anyone else may come back to it as needed.

-- Steve Bogart,

Last modified on 8/11/1999; 3:40:11 AM Eastern 
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