Chapter Twenty Seven of An Ecstatic Loneliness: Seabiscuit
By Michael Moriarty
The lazy loser's second chance? No.
God's gift to all of us? Yes.
In other words, the human soul as a misunderstood thoroughbred.
I love a horse race. No, I don't bet. That doesn't interest me. It's the pure power and speed of it! Some moments in a horse race are the pinnacle of life's ecstasy.
The closer you are to the track, of course, the more thrilling it is. Nothing can get you closer to a race track than a great horse movie. One of them is Seabiscuit.
It puts you into more than the saddle. You're inside the meaning of the Little Guy, the One You Overlooked. The Little Guy's in all of us.
The little guy and the little horse in what sometimes seems to be nothing but a horrifyingly heartless universe!
The more heartless, of course, the bigger your heart must be to endure. Sometimes your heart gets so big it explodes! Mine did!
Now I limp along with a cane and a much smaller heart. Best thing that ever happened to me. I can see. Before that I couldn't see for the pounding of my heart. I'm out of the race now.
However, nothing is so thrilling in life as being able to see clearly. To see the whole race you used to be in. That is when you stop seeing only yourself and you begin to see and feel life itself.
We are all Red Pollard.
We are all Seabiscuit.
Decades ago, as a college student, I performed as "Vladimir" in a production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot. At the time, the play had become a very fashionable hit among the world's most fashionable Gods of Fashion.
One thing is for sure: Waiting For Godot is not a horse race.
By the end of the legendary peek at an intellectual era, we know more about Samuel Beckett than we can ever know about the meaning of Waiting For Godot. That, in my opinion, is all to the good.
Samuel Beckett, all by himself, is vastly more fascinating than his play, Waiting For Godot. How can one man survive so successfully while sitting on the cliff's edge of suicidal despair?
You can't take your eyes off of him!
Will he jump or won't he?!
While waiting for Godot, we hear:
Something like that.
At any rate, it's Samuel Beckett's unavoidably bitter admission that none of us are God. I find that discovery to be the most liberating revelation in human history. Samuel Beckett seems to be inferring, if not downright declaring, "It's an almost insufferable thing to not be God!"
I used to suffer from such feelings of infinite inadequacy.
Now that I'm retired as a faintly memorable racehorse from theater, film and television, my joy in life, the Ecstatic Loneliness I most enjoy sharing with my readers? These meditations I offer make completely joyous sense out of what Samuel Beckett had me believing might be hell itself.
I'm old now and waddling with a cane.
My soul, however, has never been younger.
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.