The Will

La Voz de Galicia – August 24, 2018 →

Cristina PatoSometimes, things happen at once, and sometimes they don’t. If I get stuck on a small matter, on a task with a clear beginning and end such as planning a class or organizing a tour, then I have to do something repetitive in nature like ironing a week’s worth of clothes or take a long walk. Doing what can wait or what could be done at another moment also works. Perhaps, the less time I have to complete tangible tasks, the more productive I am in getting them done in the least amount of time.

The problem is when I get stuck with a large task: a problem with a clear beginning but no end, like an existential doubt about the way to face the next decade or whether I should come or go or remain in the industry. When things are this way, then I return to Montaigne, the sixteenth-century humanist and philosopher saves me on a daily basis. In his essays, I find answers to questions I have not yet asked of myself and with that, sometimes, I manage to get “unblocked.”

My idea in today’s column was going to be about some verses in a song by Caetano Veloso that I found in one of Montaigne’s essays, but without intending it, I became absorbed in this paragraph: “as to dominion, that seems so charming(…)I am very much of opinion that it is far more easy and pleasant to follow than to lead; and that it is a great settlement and satisfaction of mind to have only one path to walk in (…)” And so, without knowing it, I resolved one of those great doubts that did not allow me to think clearly: the importance of tracing one’s way.

And then this quote from Virgil, “audentes fortuna iuvat” (“Fortune favors the brave”), seemed the best way to end this modest column about the will.

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