Bring back the analog!

Although I’ve shared something digitally every day this week, my hands-on self is bringing to my attention how much I miss doing analog work. By that I mean using tools like paints, markers, and paper.

Earlier this year, I used to get up in the morning to look through physical copies of magazines and would black out poems or write in new cartoon captions. Since I haven’t been doing much of that lately, the missing analog has become more evident.

Maybe it’s just that I miss my creative mornings, but I also know that using analog tools is cathartic for me. It helps me feel as though I’m creating, that I’m actually making something.

So, in order answer that call, I took my Posca markers earlier this week and started drawing what was in front of me. What resulted was a very Rugrats-esque depiction of my office supplies and wristwatch.

I was actually very pleasantly surprised and, now seeing the Rugrats logo, I might go back and fill the shapes in with that iconic purple and teal.


The flight that was

I made it to seat 34E, three rows from the back of the plane, to find that my entire row was empty. It was a relief since the rest of the plane was full, but I knew that my neighboring passengers would soon arrive. Only one of them did, and her name was Terra.

She was sweet from the start, bearing with me as I switched seats in order to leave an empty seat between us. We reveled in the extra space and later clinked our plastic airline cups in celebration of it. We started our seven hour flight off well.

About midway through our trip, the pilot turned the seat belt light on and announced that we would be experiencing “moderate turbulence” for the next fifteen minutes. Terra turned to me and wondered what that meant.

As though he had heard her, the pilot then added that “moderate turbulence” could be “enough to slosh water in a cup and make you feel a sense of weightlessness.” Neither of those were comforting, and Terra and I looked at each other with concern.

Terra, after a moment’s quiet, held out her hand and asked if we could hold hands to face the fear together. Little did she know that I was about to ask her the same thing. We clasped hands, and I closed my eyes.

I imagined us riding a bus through a rural highway. The sun had just set, leaving residual light and letting the temperature fall just slightly. The headlights were turned on and illuminated the rows and rows of pines on either side.

A jolt brought me back up to the sky as I was still holding on to Terra. A surprisingly familiar song came to mind, one I have not heard in years, that I decided to hum. Its familiarity helped me hold steady.

Throughout our turbulence, I thought of the end. I pictured my friends, the beloved people I know, and how they would take my passing. I thought of losing myself, no longer existing, and how I would miss the chance of being alive.

I thought of losing the ability to write, to create things from my own hand, and how I still had much to give. Deep down, I did not want it to be the end. I felt as though I was only beginning.


It’s time to face it

I was walking toward the train station at Fairbanks St. yesterday when I looked up to the sky to reflect on an idea coming to mind: I think I need to “come out” to myself about my creative life.

The thought was in reference to Jerry Before Seinfeld, when Jerry jokes about his experience of “coming out” to his parents about wanting to become a comedian.

On the night his parents first see him perform, Jerry reflects:

I was so nervous that night, because I was showing them this whole side of myself, it was like my little gay-closet moment, you know, where I had to say, “Mom, Dad, I’m…I don’t know how to tell you this, but I’m a funny person.”

Jerry jokes about now wanting to have a “funny lifestyle” and having “funny friends.”

Although I have creative projects here and there (most of which I don’t finish) and post elements of them on Instagram, I still lack the internal “oomph” to own that creativity is a (big) part of my life.

I surround myself with colors and things that inspire me, yet I feel like I haven’t fully embraced this part of myself. I feel like I haven’t really let myself go.

And that’s what I’m missing.

Admitting, accepting, and acting on the fact that I’m a “creative person” (as Jerry might put it) would only bring more beauty to this world.

So why not share it?