Standing at the foot of the scroll, stretching out in front of me into the distance, towards the horizon, it all makes sense. I see the road. It’s continuous. This life. There’s no time for creating structure, adding control, order, because as we try, the journey continues and it either bunches up on us, weighing on us as we turn to make sense and justify it, or we just have to turn towards it, and travel down it. Seeing that endless, continuous document, a sacred parchment, is like seeing life, lived and documented, in that way we constantly document as we go, and have done since time began, but it also creates a sense in me, of the last 19 years, since I read the book, at a time when my young mind was at its most pliable and vulnerable. Seeing the film introduced by someone who claimed to have not even finished the book and wishing us luck with our viewing saw the 16 year old me clamber to the surface defiantly and screech ‘it’s not for you, this text, leave it alone, leave us alone with it, don’t be scared of it because you don’t understand it, walk away from it’. And so we watched, and the disjointed, unstructured, confused, narrative of sorts unfolds, it’s quick then it’s slow, it stops, then it goes. It thinks, it dreams, it asks. It proffers little, but then what can it? In it, I see myself and the war that wages within. I work because that’s where I come from. I want to write, and call myself a writer, so I write, but I don’t call myself that. In that declaration is a pretension the journey of life saves me from facing. Always moving. Always going forward. Seeing the confidence with which Moriarty embraces his desire for life is enthralling, as much as seeing the world crush that desire is saddening. Salles understands the journey, he understands that moment and has made a film that mines the same soil as Anderson’s much more lauded The Master and much more than jus containing Amy Adams. Man, young man, post global, cataclysmic, psychological change, searching for meaning, knowing the old ways are not valid anymore, knowing it’s different, unable to articulate the difference because of the newness in the face of the scared, weak, old, brutal ways that cling on. We live voraciously in our vicariousness and become damaged, having no pure life of our own, feeling scared to declare. So we head down into books and down steps into darkness where beams guide our way only to a screen. Always looking for the courage to say, you know what, my work ethic is as good as yours, and if you can’t see that, if you can only equate work with material outcome, then it’s your loss, and you are the cancer that feeds on the spirit required to bring freedom and enlightenment to the surface. 35 and stepping away from the scaffolding. We don’t find ourselves looking back at three clear acts.