I had this notion that 27 was a cult age - a period of transcendental culminations and revelations. Why did I think so? Somehow my mind had built a trail of thoughts around three characters that no longer existed but had left an enduring legacy, questions and mystery.
How would I describe the three without plunging into the depths of a lengthy prose?
Died at 27.
And, now for some clarity about the three.
What made them geniuses? Such prolific authorities on creativity and aesthetics? What stirred them into frenzied bouts of artistic endeavors? Where did they get their edge? Where did they get their madness from?
From what I could gather, they were self-made, self-taught, had discovered their calling and were single minded in its pursuit. They made chaos in every other area of their life, it seems they were built to suffer and endure the intense melancholy and paroxysms of inspiration that are true of most iconic artists of their time. They weren't made for anything else, they couldn't function in any other way.
Jimmy overdosed on sleeping pills. Jim allegedly accidentally overdosed on heroin. Kurt shot himself.
The recklessness, the demons, the anger, the isolation, the pain that drove them to their end also drove them to their greatness. You cant separate the artist from the person in their case.
In 2012, as I turned 27, another artist - Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning at 27. It reinforced my notion of the number 27. I had been blissfully flailing and fumbling, aimless, miles away from a meaningful life and waiting for the universe or something or someone to put me on the right path. Sometime during that year, I did reach a conclusion. A decision was made. I had found my calling and my path of reckoning. I told myself I was to be a writer.
I was looking outward and not inward, looking for melodramatic signs from the universe, a spontaneous psychedelic experience, a sudden rewiring of my consciousness, subliminal messages from my subconscious, powerful interactions with people. In a clarity filled moment, I understood that the universe might not have screamed but it had already whispered what my calling was. I had been waiting for someone to tell me what I should be when I knew all along what I should be. That I had to decide for myself, declare it, uphold it and act on it by myself and that it needed me to go in a completely new direction than where I was at present - was something that I processed and made peace with at 27.
Reading and Knowing the story of these intense geniuses helped me. At 27, it put me in a dire straits mode, anticipation mode, contemplation mode, seeking mode which ultimately led me to the greatest truth of my life. It was a wake up call.
Have you had your wake up call? If yes, what was it?