Today was day 2 of TechCrunch Disrupt in New York, but what really excited me today was the announcement by a friend of mine that she’s starting a small arts and writing publication. As much as I enjoyed watching TCDisrupt today, it was almost overshadowed in a sense by getting that message in my inbox. I’m still incredibly attached to my writing (as one can tell) and my art, and the chance to present it publicly (however minor) thrills me beyond measure. I suppose that’s part of identifying as an artist: any possibility of an exhibition of your work immediately takes on a whole new exciting tone when one considers it as a viable possibility.
Delusions of grandeur aside, the thrill that comes from doing a small art exhibition, or seeing a piece of yours published somewhere other than your own blog, is something that we creatives live for. In the end, it’s not about being the next great whatever; it’s about creating something and knowing that someone somewhere will see it. That dynamic of produce and consume is innate in all creative souls, and something which drives us every morning to make something new. For me, I’ll be looking into my portfolio soon to see which pieces I’d like to send her first.
I had dinner tonight with an old high school friend. It’s actually been a year since we saw each other without needing to go through Facebook or email. It’s kind of amazing how time changes people—or doesn’t change people. Of course everyone is subject to change—that’s the natural order of things. But the ways in which people change are what intrigue me the most.
As with anything, people grow apart after high school and go on to lead different paths in life. You still get together every now and again when both people are free to do so, but it’s not really the same as knowing someone. You sit and exchange life details over a beer, but then realize after that drink that you’re separated from who you used to be, both singularly and together.
Yet, every once in a while, you might find yourself lucky enough to be around someone who hasn’t changed much, and is all the better for it. Of course people grow up and become more responsible in life (hopefully), but the things that you wish would never change about someone—the things you told them never to change in their yearbook—rarely stay the same. When they do and you find that you need to try to remember why you loved someone in the first place—because those reasons are still all there—it strikes you just how fortuitous it is to be sitting across the table from that person.
With Dave Goldberg’s sad passing last night, I’ve been watching the tweets come up over Twitter as those he knew, and those he didn’t express their pain and condolences. It’s surreal that life is something fleeting, and that we go to bed (mostly) never considering the fact that the world could (and does) change drastically around us as we sleep.
It’s a nice sunny day here in Atlanta, and by all accounts was a good day when I awoke this morning. But the realization of the pain that people are in over Goldberg’s passing brings to light (for me, at least) an emotion that I try not to entertain all that often: wistfulness.
I try to keep it at bay because it feels almost like a sense of looking back; a sense of wishing that something was different in the past. Many times it’s in reference to something that was way out of my control, and thus took place as it had to. But the point remains that on days like this where the sense of change is so immediate and stark, I can’t help be entertain just a few wistful thoughts, and reflect on what they mean at their deepest cores. I imagine those closer to Dave than I was are doing and feeling similarly today. Sometimes all one can do is look to one’s support system to reassurance, and try to forge ahead, however painful it might be in the moment.
It’s been a busy week, and some of the posts I put up over the past few days have been pretty intense. But not every day is a diehard battle, and it’s nice to have a moment to write in what feels like a respite from the storm. It makes the writing feel deeper, and not so urgent. The deadlines can get old after a while, and the “every minute counts” mentality is adrenalizing, but exhausting thereafter.
I love the energy I get from writing a piece that addresses something specific, but I love these more amorphous, ambiguous posts just as much. The specific pieces can create a “mill” feel sometimes, and in the moments when I find myself able and free to write about anything (or nothing), I feel able to recharge for the next focussed piece. It sounds perhaps more poetic, but the benefits of writing just to write greatly outweigh the drawbacks (if there are any). I’ll find more specific topics to cover over the weekend (in fact, I have a list), but for now I’m content to simply sit at my computer and see what flows onto the page.
I went to see my brother’s semester high school play tonight. The performance was a mix of musical theater numbers and spoken word pieces spanning a number of genres. With only about 12 students participating, I was impressed and intrigued by the amount of work each student had to put in to cover multiple characters.
Yet as I sat in the dark theater, what really started occurring to me between numbers from Rent and Fiddler on the Roof was just how much I knew about the musical theater pieces; and how much I didn’t know.
Though I’ve always loved creative sorts of things, I was never much one for musical theater. I never hated it—but I never loved it. I was always somewhat ambivalent, happy to enjoy the music I liked, and dismiss the parts that bored me. Tonight, however, some of those same pieces that I may have dismissed years earlier came back to me in a different light. And even ones I’d liked before—somehow I found myself rediscovering an appreciation that seems to have been dormant for some time.
I suppose that we never know what exactly we like and don’t like because those things can change so drastically and so rapidly. Appreciation for something is a process just as much as is the production of it. Sometimes—as with that production—that appreciation can take years to develop and catalyze in a way that becomes concretely apparent to us. In that time, many times we pay it no heed. But at the moment that it becomes clear in an instant, it seems to have come out of nowhere. Perhaps it’s not that it came out of nowhere, but that it took more time to realize something’s potential and worth.
It’s funny how some days you plan on writing one thing and then move to another unexpectedly. Perhaps the most intriguing part about it is how you come to the second though process almost as quickly as you remember coming to the first. Today was one of those days for me.
I had originally intended to write my post today on another music-related news piece, but was side-tracked by something a lot more mundane: the weather. While not the most brilliant of subjects to use for smalltalk, I was nonetheless struck by the power with which the weather in Atlanta commanded my attention today.
Atlanta isn’t exactly known for extreme weather; not in the sense that Boston has blizzards of Miami has hurricanes. Today though, the cloudy morning skies turned dark gray around 3:00 PM—right before the downpour of hail started. Needless to say I was caught off guard. Not so much because of the hail (we do have hail in Atlanta from time to time in the spring), but because of the speed with which it suddenly changed to sun after about 20 minutes. The tornado warning I got on my phone was made all the more comical by the light shining through my blinds.
And what side-tracked me the most? It made me miss Amsterdam—and my time there—so much. Anyone who’s ever been to The Netherlands will tell you that Dutch weather is a clusterfuck of indecisive bouts of precipitation and wind. It literally is sunny one minute and hailing ten minutes later—sometimes the hail came down as the sun was bright and out. That’s what today’s hail-and-sunshine mixture made me miss: the time I spent walking along those canals and drinking black coffee. Ironic, isn’t it? The affects that weather can have on us even years after it’s passed. Go figure.