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.

quick thoughts

Unit B6(12)

Speaking of productivity, I just finished watching The Little Prince on Netflix.

The idea of “growing up” and what that all means has caught my attention today.

According to the film, us adults are “a bit odd” as many of us fixate on things that really aren’t “essential.”

Watching the film this time around, I identified with Mr. Prince, the grown up version of the Little Prince, who finds himself sweeping chimneys and disconnected from his younger self.

He’s forgotten his youthfulness and sense of wonder. His whimsy is no more and has been replaced with obedience and boundaryless work. All of his previous light has been dimmed in pursuit of pleasing Mr. Business.

But there is hope. He ends up finding his way back to himself and remembering all that was once his. I hope I do too.

quick thoughts, Uncategorized

Life, summarized

I woke up this morning with the beat of “Lost in My Mind” playing in my head.

I wasn’t sure why it was there in the first place, but it became clearer as I listened to the lyrics.

How’s that bricklayin’ coming?
How’s your engine running?
Is that bridge getting built?
Are your hands getting filled?

Won’t you tell me my brother?

The message reminded me of what the midnight muse was trying to tell me a couple of weeks ago.

tend to your garden
all those things you said you would
even now they call

It seems that my inner self is trying to remind me of something that I have forgotten. Not in reprimand nor in judgment, but in subtle reintroduction. A gentle prompting to get back to what I’ve lost sight of.

The phone camera fell out of my hands and captured this this morning.
quick thoughts

Time for a tune up

Did you know that running shoes have certain milage on them? It turns out that you’re supposed to get new shoes between 300-500 miles of usage, which equates to about six months or even a year depending on how much you run.

I’m not an avid runner, but I do know that it was about time for an upgrade. I slipped into my new sneaks this evening and was off. It felt good to run again.

cartoon captions

Coincidence? I think not!

I couldn’t help but laugh at noticing that the title of this month’s New Yorker cartoon calendar matched what I wrote about yesterday.

Out of all things, “Airplane Mode.”

It looks like The New Yorker and I have started this month out on the same page, literally. There’s nothing like a little turbulence to get you thinking.

haiku, Travels

Midnight muse

I was awakened in the middle of the night by an unfamiliar sound, one that grew as the wind picked up outside. Not making much of it, I shifted in bed and closed my eyes.

Again, I was awakened. This time not by sound but by words. I reached out for my notebook that was lying on the floor and began writing.

tend to your garden
all those things you said you would
even now they call

I settled back into bed. The sound outside persisted, but I turned away my ear. The words inside insisted, yet I listened.

go outside and see
hoping that the wind go down
will not make it stop

I got up and stumbled through the hall. The sound was coming from some metal decor my mom had put up. I took both down and made my way back to bed.

ahora si ya
puedo irme a dormir
bueno, lo dudo

What my writing looks like in the middle of the night and inscribed in the dark.

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.


A kind companion

It turns out that all throughout this morning’s commute, I wore a Trader Joe’s PLU sticker on my back without knowing it.

It most likely latched itself on as I walked through the store’s aisles last night in search of weekly goods. I bought bananas, a salad, and oatmilk, but no sweet potatoes.

Yet the sticker made its way over.

She rode with me on the train, packing in tightly to let passengers in. She saw, maybe even for the first time, the streets of Downtown Boston during rush hour.

We walked together up Bromfield Street, stopping to glance at fountain pens in the pen shop’s window. We wondered how much each of them cost, knowing full well neither of us could afford them.

We took the long way to work, crossing paths with an old friend and choosing to stay just one minute longer out in the sun. We then made it inside.

It wasn’t until I took off my sweater in order to hang it that I finally noticed she was there. No one had stopped me to point her out. Yet, having lived through this morning together, I’m glad no one did.

cartoon captions, comics, humor

When life gives you socks…

Just a seat away from me, I noticed a woman silently reading a copy of The New Yorker on the train. I, in turn, opened up my backpack and pulled out my own copy featuring this week’s cartoon caption contest.

I looked over at her and hesitated. “Do I ask her?” I asked myself.

In the moment’s silence, I decided to go for it. “Excuse me?” I interrupted, “Can I get your opinion on something? What do you think of these cartoon captions?”

She laughed and replied, “Oh, so you’re the person who does these!”

I laughed and went on to show her what I had come up with. Many of them were standard, like the mention of regret or forgetting to pick up clothes from the cleaners.

But the two that I liked the most were about the dog in the background and the mention of the man’s socks.

She pointed out that, although the one about the dog was funny, the sock caption made more sense since the woman seems to be reacting to something the man is saying.

“His level of cluelessness,” she said and broke out in laughter. I couldn’t help but join her.

She was right. The man pointing out his socks as opposed to the rest of his wardrobe made it all the more humorous.