Letters of Youth


/ 22 January 2021

I used to dream big when I was a kid. I spend a lot of my time looking at the skies while caging myself and pondering how my life would take place. After watching John Hughes’ film, The Breakfast Club, I felt inspired after seeing it. I thought to myself that I wanted to become a filmmaker.

After creating a bunch of low-budget films for my projects in school, I always uphold to myself that this would be in my process of a student filmmaker. Unfortunately, I never felt the progress through all my projects. Thus, it became worse. I was completely lost.

After many months of break off, I stumbled across a poem about the structure of divine of Hell and Heaven. This is where I found the poem of Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy. For those who don’t know what the poem is all about; It is a story about Dante miraculously travel with his poet guide, Virgil, to the depths of hell, purgatory, and heaven.

In Canto 1, the first part of the poem, Dante finds himself lost and unconscious in the middle of the dark woods. The atmosphere of the woods made him unease. In the distance, he saw a foothill. He decided to go up there where the light of the sun is bright. While climbing, he encounters a leopard, lion, and she-wolf. Dante trembles in fear while the three beasts come near him. Just as he begins to feel hopeless in plight, a figure approaches in front. It reveals itself to be the soul of the Great Roman poet, Virgil. Finally, Dante was told that the she-wolf will not let him surpass, to get out of the dark wood he must find another path. There, they will begin their journey to hell.

Everyone knows that walking through the valley of dark woods will make us scared. We also might start to get a lot of continuously run circles in it. But what makes Canto 1 so good is that it shows the metaphorical message of getting lost in life. In the poem, Dante symbolizes our journey as human beings. We tend to get off-track and confused most of the time and it’s good! It’s part of our voyage.

People need to normalize that ‘getting lost’ has its good attributions in life. It trains our brain to test. What do I mean? Well, if we really are stuck in the woods by ourselves, we can’t just sit still and wait for rescue? With that in mind, it immerses us to be intellectually and physically ready in any circumstances. It’s a continuing process of maturity and a deeper understanding of problem-solving.

I say, let us continue our expedition to our dark woods. It might take us a long, long time to return, but what’s most important is not the destination rather the lesson from the journey that counts.

Always remember, no matter how many dark woods we stumble upon and blood-curdling beasts that will bar our entries (metaphorically); we will always find our way to get back to safety.