In the wise words of my dear friend Peter Lollo, “You have to have a project. Or else you’ll go insane.”
“Project” is an interesting word – it is a noun – a tangible thing that generally is a process and ends when the desired result is achieved.
Yet it is also a verb, in which one “Projects”. One projects themselves – their identity into a physical manifestation. The result is an extension of the self.
So what is the nature of a project? It is external, yet it involves the self. One projects their emotions, their desires – these non-physical entities – and expresses this through something physical they can share with the world.
Does one do projects for oneself or for others? Can it be both?
Speaking only from my own experience, I do projects for myself. For my own enjoyment with a secondary desire that others may also find enjoyment in the result. This reminds me of something my favorite teacher once said – Mr. Wallach. He was my 11th grade English teacher and he was hilarious. One time I asked him why he was so funny and he said he just tried to entertain himself and in doing so, other people happened to be entertained also. This seems to be the best way to live life – and it may be the only way one can live. Do what you will find entertaining/purposeful/interesting, and all you can do is hope others may share your feelings.
But I digress.
Projects. The other day I was helping another dear friend, Reese, run a few errands before he departs on a sailing trip. It was Sunday and he hadn’t finished packing despite leaving the next morning. I wanted to to just run mindless errands and spend time with him and that’s exactly what we did. We watched some YouTube videos with his friend JD, picked up an anchor from a warehouse in West Berkeley, stopped for coffee on University Ave. on the way back to Reese’s parents house in Albany, waited there for Dierdre to pick up his dog, hung out with Reese’s mom while he went back to the cafe to get the spoon he forgot, and then decided we should go get a digital recorder someone was selling on Craigslist in the Richmond district of SF. It was dark and I had to go at this point but the Richmond was in the vicinity of my house so I was happy to do this one last errand with Reese. We got to talking about projects and he said this is just how it is – he can spend days just going from here to there to get this or to get that to bring back over there to put in the other thing over here all to find out he never needed that in the first place and he had this all along. He said it gets to a point where someone would have to be insane to partake in these projects with him – and even he feels insane going through these processes to get projects done.
And there we have the Catch-22 of Projects:
Projects can be insane.
Without projects, one goes insane.
So it goes. Life is a series of projects. There are many missions in life. Some you will succeed. Some you will fail.
Project yourself. For yourself. For others. Others project. For you. For themselves. A project is a project. It’s all a big project.