Why did you name your brewery Sisyphus? Where did the name come from? I have been asked these questions thousands of times, but I have in the past been afraid to give the true answer.
“He’s the greek guy, you know the one that pushes a rock up a hill over and over again. We have a small brew system, so we are like Sisyphus, always brewing.”
That’s my stock answer, and it’s partially right, but hides the truth with its seemingly peaceful musing.
I used to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about suicide. It seemed to be the only thought that permeated my head, nearly everyday, for many years. I was taught that mental health issues are shameful, and are not to be discussed. So I suffered in quiet, alone in my own head.
My junior year of college, I took a philosophy class that introduced me to the philosophical essay, “The Myth of Sisyphus.” Which begins with a phrase that most certainly caught Suicidal Sam’s attention.
“There is only one true philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Deciding whether or not life is worth living, is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy. All other questions follow from that.”
For the first time in my life, I felt not alone. Like someone understood. Ironically that someone was a dead Frenchman, but I felt connected like never before. I read, and I agreed. Man is here on Earth, with limited faculties, but within those faculties lie the ability to comprehend our place in the universe.
Sisyphus is each of us. The rock is the absurdity of the universe. The confrontation between the meaninglessness of a single life in an infinite universe. No rocks we move can carve our place in the history of the universe, for we are just organic matter moving around other organic and inorganic matter. Nothing we do can matter in the grand scheme of things.
We, as humans, can’t help but think about the big picture, and suddenly our existence seems to stop mattering. I feel as if I am a single raindrop identified and named in a monsoon. Only the naming and following of said raindrop so closely distinguishes it from the millions that fall next to, before, and after it. We could name all of the raindrops if we liked and found the time. Like raindrops, our fate was bore as our journey began. We travel from one point, birth, to another point, death, and hope to prosper on the way.
But why? Why do we care? Why do we want to live? Why should we live? What is the point of all this?
And this line of questioning, led me to dark places, where it seemed the only escape was a final escape. But then Camus, and Sisyphus, and I started listening to a voice in my head that had been silenced long ago. It was my voice, telling me what I wanted in life.
I wanted a challenge, I wanted to do something I love. Something that made me greet the cold indifference of the universe head on, and defy it as I pushed forward into life. There is so much to humanity that gets lost in the scale of the universe. There is music, love, laughter, food, dancing, and of course beer. There’s a near infinite number of things to explore on our planet, and beyond. I wanted to do it, as much as possible, before time ran out.
But my depression was still there, and I did what I had avoided for so long, I sought help. And it helped. And I’m still here today.
Seek help if you need it, it makes you stronger, not weaker. Your struggle isn’t unique, it isn’t shameful, it is part of being human.
We are here as a relaxing retreat from it all, a brewery comedy club, made out of a vision and desire to thrive. And we think it's a pretty cool spot.