Rimbaud was a French poet who had a huge influence on Arts and Literature, but stopped writing at 21. He became a merchant, mostly in Africa (in coffee trading, for example!), and died at 37.
Gould was a Canadian pianist who stopped giving concerts at the age of 31 and became an eccentric hermit in recording studios.
Different destinies, but a similar pattern : at one moment, they stopped completely something they succeeding in, they closed a door.
Rimbaud stopped writing. Many wondered why : The artist had said everything? He wanted to explore another face of his personality? He had a secret wound? Dead wordsourcespring?
Gould didn’t stop making music, but never came back playing in concert, and he explained himself about that.
I write this because I wonder if sometimes we should consider a similar flip. A combination of levers & dials, studying what’s good in our life, considering that insisting (even in different ways) could be, from now, a failure : it’s maybe time for a closure?…
The Big Less is about considering to close a part of you which… works. Why would you do that, like “I park it”? Why would you stop what works? You feel you miss something? It’s too easy? You reached a plateau? I works but the wrong way? You lost a goal? You need to experiment to enrich? Fresh air? You need to get smaller to go faster? A fresh start to go elsewhere? You’re afraid of some ticking-over routine? Is it a bad idea? Why?
And who knows what will happen after some years? Maybe you’ll realize you needed the big disturbance of it? Maybe a bigger room will open? A secret path will appear? Maybe you’ll make good Bach records, or trade coffee?
Have a nice day!
I didn’t know that about Rimbaud: interesting. Perhaps the burden of other people’s expectations started to irritate him. People might have been nagging him a possessive way, “When’s your next book, Arthur?” (But they hadn’t read the last one.) Perhaps he felt uncomfortable with the way people admired him too much and paid him too little.
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