gooseberry studios build yourself essayIn The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce Wayne (Batman) is thrown into a prison deemed impossible to escape. His back is broken, he’s immobilized and left to watch his beloved city of Gotham get destroyed (bear with me, I have a point, I swear).

Little by little, Wayne’s back heals and he starts exercising aggressively to regain his strength. One of his fellow prisoners asks, “Why do you build yourself?” After all, their surroundings are insurmountable.

Wayne replies, “I’m not going to die in here.”

And what happens?

…well, it is a superhero movie. He vanquishes all odds, breaks free and returns to Gotham just in the nick of time to face his enemies and save the world. Obviously.

Superhero surrealism aside, I’ve been thinking about that line, “Why build yourself?” quite a bit during self-isolation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Blame it on all the movies I’ve been watching or my lifelong adoration of fiction for inspiration.