In this world of ours, there are many ways to walk, many roads to traverse in life, if it’s a road that is. To be honest if your road looks like something out a nightmare the Crypt Keeper envisioned and Alfred Hitchcock directed then good luck, no seriously good luck.
Aside from that, it brings to mind the realization that we really do not travel one straight path, we go down forks in the road, old beaten paths, hell if we’re feeling lucky we go straight into the bush. So it is not strange that we might find our way back at past points in our journey of life, familiar trees we wrote marks on, old cottages we used to nap in until the mountain Lion ran us out.
Some persons might reminisce and feel comfort in the memories, some would curse and wonder how they could get themselves lost. People tend to avoid going back to past locations because they might hold memories that they wish never happen. Naturally various individuals might choose to avoid looking back or seeking old memories not on fears of it. But for the primary purpose of trying to shoot forward ambitiously and sometimes impatiently for the golden castle on the horizon.
I wonder what I would find at my Golden Castle if it existed, could I even find it and what would be found there. Riches, pet dragon, king sword, ultimate power, sleeping beauty, Rapunzel, Brad Pitt and I don’t know. I suppose since we are seeking that one singular thing with such immense desire we know what we’re seeking or do we?
It could be said that generally the people who are sure of themselves and what they want don’t look back seldom if at all, prefer new sights but don’t treasure it long, and moving forward to their elusive Golden Castle or whatever it is they are chasing. People, who don’t have a specific desire, tend to wonder more, taking longer stays in locations appreciating the scenery more, continuously looking for their ultimate purpose in life.
Regardless, everyone is going to somewhere, seeking something they deem important to their existence. Now that I think about it I have an interesting take on this and I am going to use our favorite Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite film making tactic to illustrate it. The MacGuffin, it is a trope, this creative tool is used to stimulate the plot of a story or give the main character(s) something to chase. To gain a deeper understanding of a MacGuffin go here.
Alfred’s style of directing focused on the fleeting goal it didn’t matter whether the character gained it at the end or never at all. As long as they chased something, the thrill was evident for the audience as they try to figure out with all their might why this person is chasing this thing. Usually appearing near the beginning of the story, it is meant to capture the attention of the audience and leave a mystery that would never be explained.
So is what we’re all chasing a MacGuffin? To be perfectly honest I can’t say some do end up finding their desires or MacGuffin, whether it’s useful or exactly what they envisioned is another thing.
“Of course It’s exactly what I wanted, I traveled up the frozen mountains, through the caves of the Dark one, fought off mountain lions (at least he was successful), it must be it.”
“So a red stone, was exactly what you were looking for?”
“Yes and it’s a glowing sparkling red stone”
“What should it do exactly?”
“Make me rich”
“When I sell it?”
“It looks like a stone of great value, it will fetch a high price indeed. All you need now is a buyer”
“Buyer, oh yes right, where do I find one?”
“Well there is this city beyond the fields of agony…”
And the journey continues, took some walking, rainy nights, claw marks from mountain lions and a myriad of other things but I get it now “the chase is the thing” It isn’t the prize that keeps us going but the chase for it, the anticipation, the toil.
I attained many prizes in my journey, you can call them MacGuffins if you want, some I broke, some were useless to me at the time, some straight up useless. Then I realized this MacGuffin is nothing more than a distraction in life but a distraction that is worth having, after all what would drive me, push me to keep going? Obviously it’s me but I am pushing myself because there is this irrational golden castle I am trying to find, don’t know what’s there but I want to, I have to go, I can’t sit and look up into the sky forever.
And let’s say I find that Golden Castle dirty and derelict. It’s would be expected for it seems not a soul has lived here for centuries, much of the walls white laden with nature’s embrace. I find a pathway adorned with triumphal arches, the keystones still intact, entering the room chests overfilled with precious stones and coins of every type under a beam of shimmering light and then what? Well I could hire some servants to clean and fix up the place, could hire help from that town I visited way back. Yes I’ll fix up this place make it nice and proper, turn myself into a king! King thing might be a little harder I’ll start with the castle and go from there. It would be nice to talk back to that woman I saw in the emporium, she was nice, looked pretty too.
Whether you wonder where you’re going or know where you’re going, we are chasing some purpose, so keep walking, each MacGuffin is a clue to another on, the story never ends!
The beautiful main picture was done by Gosia Arska (Malgorzata Arska), she does beautiful works of art, you should check her out.