I was watching a documentary about porn star Ron Jeremy.
Al Goldstein of Screw said “Of course, he’s damaged. How could anyone go through what he has been through and not be damaged?”
Jeremy’s damage has lead him to be the clown prince of porn, chasing the dream of becoming a legitimate mainstream personality, the dream he was chasing 35 years ago when an amateur photo in Playgirl got him into an industry that was trying to make theatrical presentations on film. He vacuums up everything on every plate after meals, hordes his money, takes every gig he can, and hustles for that attention and affirmation he needs.
Is it the result of seeing his mother die from Parkinson’s very early, or something else, some combination of factors? Who knows? But people connect with him, and his success has been large, even if he is still looking to settle down and have kids at 51 (or later).
All this got me to thinking. Every human is damaged in some way.
What if the only thing we can aspire to is interesting damage?
What if our job is to find a way to be damaged in a manner that reveals ourself while creating something bigger?
When sculptors remove chips from a block of stone, what are they doing but damaging that solid surface? Still, when they are done, they have art that can express to people, can move people, can endure and create change.
It’s important to leave our mark in the world, and maybe we do that by leaving parts of ourself behind, or by creating something with our own unique damage.
Maybe, in the end, all we can hope for is not coming back to some kind of perfection, lost in the tumble of our lives, but rather to achieve some kind of interesting damage, damage that carves out places where others can nestle, damage that allows us to have tools to create change, damage that leaves our unique stamp on other’s hearts.
Maybe the best we can hope for as humans is to create interesting damage, on our world and on ourselves.