I got asked once my favourite person from history in a job interview.
I said Isaac Newton.
An old cricket coach told me about the laws of motion.
And I never forgot.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
It helped fix my right arm leg spin.
I later learned Newton also invented calculus before the age of 25.
Mathematics we still use today.
His other major works?
Alchemy, the process of trying to derive gold from other materials.
Another project was to develop an elixir of life, a potion for immortality, the Philosopher’s Stone.
In retrospect it’s easy to dismiss these other works.
We know now (maybe) that his works on alchemy and a life potion aren’t as applicable as his laws of motion.
But what if these other lesser known projects were required for Newton’s more well-known projects.
As in, the thing that mattered wasn’t necessarily what Newton was working on but it was the curiosity behind it.
The deep seated energy that comes from exploring the unknown.
Trying something that might not work.
The same irreducible curiosity that leads someone to discover the laws of motion also leads them down the path of trying to get gold out of coal.
Two of my favourite writers, Charles Bukowski and Alan Watts were alcoholics, teetering on the edge of madness.
But millions, including myself, listen to their words and feel the enchantment.
The same enchantment Newton may have been looking for with his inquiries into alchemy.
It is a very clear two sided coin.
If you want magic, you must accept the madness that comes with it.
In the moment, they’ll almost be indistinguishable.
Hard to tell which is which until later.
That’s the fun part.
Some of the most enjoyable moments of my life are when I’ve been running into a wall for days, weeks with a problem trying to think of a solution.
And all of a sudden.
Out of thin air…
It hits me and the world seems as clear as it’s ever going to get.
Until a few hours later and the madness returns.
An everlasting cycle.
Walking the tightrope of madness and magic.
A cheeky grin in the thick of it.
You’ve been here before my friend.
So if you lack magic.
Let the crazy sink in a for bit.
Because the best place to see the stars.
Is in the darkness.