“It’s about art and love and why we keep trying.”
– Neil Gaiman on Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor
Lately I’ve been swinging back and forth between books – Dune by Frank Herbert and Story Book: Essays on the History of the Book in the Philippines by Patricia May Jurilla. But on the last few days of the year 2015, I find myself drawn to Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor. And for me, it’s the perfect book to end my year.
The Sculptor reminds me why I like the world of fiction so much. As the protagonist in the novel experiences the hybrid world of fantasy and reality, I, too, am captivated by what is and what could be.
Neil Gaiman was right when he said that this story will break your heart. Not in a quick slap in the face sort of way, but in a slow, subtle (and maybe in some cases, melancholy) manner – because you suddenly realize that you have had your heart broken before in the same way. We may not have gambled with Death as David, the protagonist, did – but many of us continue to live with the burden of unresolved dreams and desires. Carrying this weight may feel like a slow march to death, similar to what David experiences in the novel.
But like what we all know, stories about death are really just stories about life and what it means to live. By the end of the novel, one realizes that our lives don’t have to be defined by the things we didn’t get to do. A missed opportunity is also just another opportunity for something else. It is in what we do, what we create, the memories we’ve made and who we share these moments with that matter.
Cheers to new memories and stories this 2016!