When I started writing this post on my favourite Halloween themed movie, I had two possible options in mind. Edward Scissorhands and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, both directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp.
Edward Scissorhands, while dark at heart, was really about someone who is misunderstood by one and all, essentially a misfit—cue the writer in me to nod sagely! This seemed almost too obvious an association to draw out. So I decided instead to focus on the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, originally written by Washington Irving when he was living in Birmingham, London.
I have always been fascinated by the concept of the Headless Horseman. There’s something very prophetic about a man with no head, mounted on a massive horse, riding into the sunset, in search of something he cannot see. In my head, this scene is played out to the accompaniment of U2’s I still haven’t found what I am looking for.
Many a time, I have felt as if I was a headless horseman. No, it's not because I am an excellent horseman, (having ridden just once my entire life) but more because there have been many occasions in life when I’ve felt as if I were losing my head over something. Or, as is the case now, where I am riding a treadmill day after day after day, until it feels as if I may as well not have a head, given that the material world does not allow for it.
In the reality of a large corporation, it is expected that one not question why, but simply do and die, and be paid for your efforts by the security of the monthly cheque which arrives on cue. It is, of course, this very predictability which soothes one into the gilded cage of life. It’s a fairly nice existence too.
The problem arises if you are a creative, thinking person. In which case you are curious, you question the status quo, then invite angst—which in turn fuels creativity. That’s the cycle I am caught in right now. Having found my voice, I wonder if I can follow where it takes me, out of my comfort zone and into the real world. Can I actually be true to myself and find the redemption in my story? Or am I doomed to being the Headless Horseman in this lifetime too? Stay tuned to find out where I land.
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