Harvey Keitel


Dear Young Me!

Staring down at you (because you’re littler than we are now), I can see your sad, beautiful, curious face, those sad eyes. I embrace and steady you with my hands. Now, look at me and listen…

Every thought you have is right. It’s your gold. Whatever it may be. Every rage, every hate, fear, uncertainty, disappointment, numbness, they’re straw waiting to be spun into gold with, and by, this little secret: That you do not turn away from them. That you own them. Welcome them as you would a friend, because they are, they are a part of you, they together are you. You have earned them. They are phenomena that perform for you, they pirouette, jump and fall, bang your head, bruise your hands and knees, bloody your nose, cause fevers that whirl you, darkness that frightens you, loneliness that fatigues you, ghosts! (Ghosts that never really appear because they are your ghosts, not to be shared with anyone else.)

Every feeling, whether they’re to harm or even kill someone or some thing, they’re your treasures. Every step you take down that dark, foreboding hallway – fear, shudder, rage, confusion. Every word you struggle and stutter to say, when your body is contorting and conforming to its force. They are straw waiting to be spun into gold with, and by, this little secret: That you never turn away from themThoughts don’t die easily, if at all. They affirm your life, Harvey. They will wait for you in your forever. Those thoughts are you, the fundamental you, you that you were and still are.

Every shame that chills your strong body, every silent scream, every tear you shed, you have earned them all. They are your nourishment, straw to be spun into gold as Rumpelstiltskin did. This will all make sense as you grow. Be patient. The reward of patience is patience — you will understand in time as you struggle with it.

Oh, before we go, let me take this opportunity to change the future just a little bit: when Pesky comes around to bully you again, just punch him in his fucking ugly face! You could’ve done it even then, but we didn’t know it! I have to go now — we have many adventures yet before us. See you in the movies, champ!

Dear Young Me is whynow’s new editorial series where you will gain a uniquely personal insight into the retrospective thoughts and feelings of some of the UK’s most well known and influential figures including Pete Townshend, Michael Caine, and Stephen Fry.

Read the rest of the series by clicking here.

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