Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Navigation for a 21st Century Man.

Today I went for a drive to Wales with my better half.

It started fairly certain enough – the same roads I go along each day for work – then a slight mistake and then a single lane track with grass intermittenly growing out of the centre, dubiously small “passing points”, clammy sweaty palms on the steering wheel as the hedgerows got taller and taller and then, after a few miles the blessed relief of another A road leading to safety again.

It was a lovely trip, to Mold for a bite to eat then over the winding roads to Ruthin (pronounced Rithin) for a relaxing stroll next to a river, past some lovely houses, through a field of cows and then back to my incredibly hot car for a journey back made longer by fading mobile internet and a reliance on apple’s sat nav.

There was something lovely as we walked through the fields, incredibly relaxing, as if a burden had been lifted that I think I needed. I wonder sometimes if we spend enough time looking around at the beauty around us, instead choosing to focus on the minutia of our lives, the little things that gradually get to us.

I’ve been reading a book recently called “don’t sweat the small stuff”. It was one of those Amazon purchases bought when I was feeling a bit under pressure and had various things whirling round my head at 2am preventing a solid night’s sleep. I’ll save you reading it, the title says it all, essentially, it’s about picking what to worry about and what is, on the scale of things, not that important. It’s a lovely theory, unfortunately one that is both incredibly difficult to live by but also incredibly frustrating for those around you.

You see loads of those memes (i think they’re called that) across facebook, twitter and the internet in general like they’ve been scattered at random. Mostly I tend to steer away, not least because they’re usually accompanied by either a cute animal in an unusual location, a sandy beach with a single set of footprints or of a famous person who is now dead.

The nearest I’ve got to a saying to live by, I think, is Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day. I like the idea that it’s about the multitude of small steps that build to create something bigger and better.

The question I find myself asking is what is Rome?

I think it’s something different to everyone and not necessarily to do with work, or careers. I think it’s more general than that, it’s to do with what sort of society we want to live in, what we want life to be, how we want to treat people and in return they treat us, it’s to do with society, community, faith and love. But most of all it’s about peace. Finding peace that you built your Rome and with your dying breath can smile and say “I made a difference”.

Which gets me back to the wrong turn. Those miles going down the single lane track, the hedges getting taller, seemed incredibly daunting, but now I know what’s down there, and that, if taken carefully I won’t die and I’ll come out the other side – it is now just another path. There’s a metaphor or maybe a parable in there maybe. Or maybe I’m tired, have eaten too much ice cream and need sleep. Night.

I’m conscious that creatively I’m doing fuck all* at the moment so need to get back on it. I’m considering making a short film, probably a documentary, so if you’ve any suggestions of something I could create in a day that’d be great. I’ve been considering going down the ipad filming road, one that seems eminently sensible to me at the moment considering the ease with which to work them and also the quality of the footage… Anyway, thoughts welcome… It’s either that or storytelling/standup and tbh I’ve lost my nerve so badly I suspect that’s beyond me at the moment.

*technical term