Thinking of your life as a canon
Taking inspiration from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
I recently saw Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, and without giving too many spoilers and the plot line away, I loved the way in which the writers of the movie engage with the idea of canons.
In fiction and literature, the canon is the collection of works considered representative of a period or genre. The collected works of William Shakespeare, for instance, would be part of the canon of western literature, since his writing and writing style has had a significant impact on nearly all aspects of that genre. As you might have guessed, canons are not static. As the world of fiction and literature evolves, new canons also get created.
In today’s newsletter, I would like to put forward a thought experiment — try to think of your life as a canon. If you need some inspiration, I would like to nudge you to read my editor Sadaf’s reflection on canons.
I’m going to refer to every painful, embarrassing, traumatic incident in my life as mycanon event. Tripping in full public view when I put an extra spring in my step because I thought I was looking fantastic? Canon event. Sending a screenshot of a conversation about my ex to my ex instead of the friend I was talking to said ex about? Canon event. Telling the doctor my urine was blue because I thought he was testing my general knowledge and quizzing me about the colour of chlorine? Canon event (and I was wrong anyway). As agonising as these memories are, I’m halfway to convincing myself that they had to occur in my life in order for the earth to keep spinning on its axis. And sure, the canon event of giving my ex a 6-page letter telling him I still loved him, only for him to turn around and tell me he was dating my cousin is a nightmare of a burden, but just because I carry it well to save the universe from imploding on itself, doesn’t mean it isn’t heavy.