Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Sherlockian path

I've been pondering lately the paths we walk as Sherlockians. In the last decade it seems like I look to one side and see researchers and documentarians putting together collections and histories, and then I look to another side and see creators of every stripe expressing their passion in the same way this thing came to them originally, or as their muses call, expanding that universe.

Something about our human brains always wants to put things into a binary system, and did you see what I did there? I just tried to shove a diverse landscape into two distinct countries, probably just because I have a right hand and a left hand, a left brain and a right brain, etc. But the world isn't really that way. The world is what we see when we spin. All the things and all the things in between those things, and above and below as well.

And Sherlockiana is, most certainly, the world. With our added pop-ups for "Hey, that exit ramp is 221!" and "This Arby's sandwich is basically what Holmes put in his pocket in that one story!" or . . . well . . . history. We look at the world and try to capture those parts of it that bond us to characters we just want to hug with our brains, in a scholarly fashion, in a creative fashion, in a celebratory fashion, but mainly in a connective fashion. In wanting to hug Holmes and Watson, we seem to inevitably want to pull others close as well.

I mean, i can write about Sherlock Holmes all day long. Dig through the books, find all sorts of trivia and conspiracy theories that amuse the hell out of me, but at some point, I always want to share some of that joy with someone, just to prove that this joy I found actually exists. There's an affirmational aspect to our Sherlockian connections, a go-to place where we know that someone just might get it, more often than if you walked into a random venue full of people. And those core aspects of Sherlockiana are present in all of our endeavors, whether in tuxedo or t-shirt, whether in footnotes or video.

While it can be easy to get so wrapped up in your own Sherlock specialty that you start to judge others as lesser for their very different way of walking the Sherlockian walk . . . and boy, is that easy for some of us (Note the use of "us" -- lord, am I judge-y.) . . . it's important to get back to the root of it all now and then and just go, "It's all good." Because if you focus your eyes just right, it actually is.

And it's definitely not just two paths.

(Postscript: I really was intending to get philosophical and write this post before I watched the finale of The Good Place. Really I was. That inspired entirely different philosophical thoughts.)

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