Reflections in a Cracked Mirror

There are those who call me insane...
...When they're charitable they say 'Unwell'.

Maybe. I spend a great deal of time at a drafting table and, sometimes, I do miss having real people around me, a voice that comes from flesh and blood and not a device, but I, like most artists, am driven to create something of worth, even if it's not appreciated in our own lifetime. It's what gives us strength to get out of bed, it's what keeps us awake when we should rest, it's what alienates us from most of the world we're trying to impress. 

Creative people, writers, artists, poets and so on, may seem solitary, but we aren't. In truth, no one is, even when they try to hide in their own minds. No person is a singularity, we're the product of thousands, perhaps millions, of people. From the moment we are born we're surrounded by unseen others...The actors on television, the songs on the radio, the authors of the books we love, historians, teachers, friends and more. We are the product of civilization, of voices from people we don't know intimately, of actions made by politicians who are suppose to represent us, and even in our dreams we are never alone. Perhaps we spend time on a lost love or creating a whole new universe in which to live because the real one is seriously fucked up. We are not, nor have we ever been, alone. 

Yes, there are those individuals we pick to be our heroes or savior or mentor, men and women who have earned our respect and admiration, but even they are more than one person. They've led lives authors may write about but no single writer can do real justice to a person's life because those who helped forge them, those who were there to pick them up when they fell or gave them a word of wisdom or encouraged them to become more than they are, all of those countless voices and words and helping hands are as much a part of an individual's life, deserves as much credit for any moment of pride and success as the person receiving the adoration we heap upon our idols.

We've all probably seen an actor receive an award and they thank a few people for their success but if you drew a line from that moment back toward the very conception of whatever film or show they're winning an award for, you'll have a city worth of people who made that moment, those few heartbeats in a lifetime of heartbeats, happen. 

I can look back and point to all these people who helped me make my being an artist a reality, my friend from high school, Alex, Ray, Tony, and more...I can point to the artists who drew the comics who inspired me, but the reality is more than one hand and one imagination created the images I fell in love with...I can remember clearly when I started reading about 'Real' artists and their (Often) tragic lives and even knowing many of them ended badly, I still wanted to become one of them.


We are not alone. None of us. The memories of those in our past and those in our present surround us, influence us, remind us of all those moments of joy we experienced, reminding us happiness in never a one time thing, as well as all of those mistakes we made...Reminding us why we shouldn't ignore those moments when they present themselves in the present. 

Life has taught me a lot of important lessons. I think the one most precious, the one that has actually haunted me in the past because I didn't recognize just how huge the moment was until it passed, is to always take a chance on life. Always take a chance on love. We all think our feelings, our aches and desires, are not like those of others, but they are and, yeah, we'll crash and burn sometimes, we even may have to wait a while before we really understand what and who we want in our lives and, sometimes, it's a better life to have the memory of that one person who was there and helped you find your direction in life. If you're lucky, they may even love you for a while.

I am surrounded by images, memories and small objects of people who have helped keep me alive and working toward everything I've achieved and may yet discover. When my life is over it's not a single person being buried, it's a large number of people and memories to keep me company in that dark place. I believe it will be those same memories that will lead me toward the next step in evolution.

We are never alone, even when the entire universe seems to be pressing down on our hearts, we have a lifetime of moments to keep us standing, keep us moving and, yes, they keep the hope of love alive so that we can have one more day on this planet. 

When I sit down at my drafting table and begin drawing, all of those voices and memories always appear in my mind and I can't help but smile, sometimes even weep, because I am not alone.

Neither are you.

 later

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