Yesterday, I started taking a storyboarding class with the animation guild. Midway through the lesson, the instructor, a tough old master with decades of hard-earned experience, opined about the primacy of storyboarding. How it tells a story, how it’s the intersection of all arts, all human expression. Writers? They didn’t have to do the heavy lifting of sitting with the material and bringing it to life. Directors? They get to pick and choose. Accountants? Meddle with the end product out of jealousy. Creation, after all, is the most important thing in life.

This Tuesday, I was having dinner with a friend who’s training to be a librarian. During the dinner, my friend, an opinionated, smart girl who is like a real-life incarnation of Daria, talked about the art of archiving, and how important it is. How we are at risk of losing so much of our history, how we simply aren’t good at passing down information. How much we waste our time going off half-cocked, never learning from the lessons of the past. Knowledge, after all, is the most important thing in life.

Some months ago, I was taking a yoga class at a weekend retreat. During the class, the instructor, a nice young woman who’d been teaching yoga for years, talked about the evils of the modern-day junk food world and the importance of yoga. How it heals your body, purifies the toxins, straightens out your mind. How, if you don’t have clarity of purpose and an able body, nothing else will click. Your health, after all, is the most important thing in life.

It feels like I hear some variation of this every day.

I hear it from engineers, from dentists, from financial analysts, from politicians, from programmers, from believers, from atheists, from volunteers, from health nuts, from film nuts, from comic nuts, from people who are just plain nuts.

Everyone wants to be able to sleep at night. To believe one’s doing the best thing one can with one’s life. To believe in one’s own significance. To be able to keep moving as far as one can without the hounds of doubt nipping at one’s heels, burying teeth into calves, and bringing the whole march forward crashing to a messy, bloody halt.

But hey, sometimes they do catch up with you. And you need to take a breather to regroup.

And in unrelated news, I may be going to China for a week fairly soon.