We inch toward 2021 and it seems that many people think it’ll magically ameliorate into paradise

Pandemic aside, we’ve seen some weirdness and bizarrities in 2020 unlike any other. Murder hornets became a cliché for heaping foul gravy on an already fucked up year.

The economy, civil unrest, tornadoes, Kobe Bryant, George Floyd, massive protests, and the recent suicide-bomber terrorist attack on our own soil … Anthony Quinn Warner blew himself up to become a hero for the QAnon conspiracy theorists … yet another bizarre wonder that gained more notoriety and power in 2020.

We have Sheriff’s deputies who are plotting assassinations of Obama, Chief Justice Roberts and nurses who threaten to vaccinate his children. We have a chief of staff who wanted to prove that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time, because you know, God.

And this damn economy and the failures of our government to do diddly shit to help the American poor.

I hate memes. But I saw this one, and while I know it’s a bumper sticker simplification of truthiness. But damn. Just damn. What are the priorities in America? Oh yeah, douchbags. Socialism is EVIL. Just make sure you only give handouts to the fuckwits who don’t deserve it.

Six hundred dollars?

Six hundred dollars.

I wish I couldn’t use $600, because otherwise, I would do my best to give it to a local food depository. In this case, I am the charity.

We live in the richest country on earth, and we’re fighting over face coverings, socialism, and a “stolen” election, and meanwhile the wealthy in this country are wringing out their bank statements like wet washcloths dripping with cash.

In other news, I’m doing my best to concentrate on magically making myself more creative in 2021. This year took a shit on my creativity in a way I can’t seem to shake off. Yes, I feel like I wrote a little more. But at times, I was so hyper distracted by news that my ability to create took the backseat before diving out the back door onto the pavement.

My favorite blog Kottke.org keeps me a little bit in check. He recently posted this:

I’m not a beginner, but creatives ability to create work they feel good about ebbs and flows. I feel like I’m doing good work for my clients, but that part of me that needs to create for myself is suffering.

There’s also this that Jason Kottke posted from Austin Kleon:

“One of my favorite parables about creative work comes from David Bayles and Ted Orland’s book, Art & Fear:

[A] ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

“Like any great parable, it’s the specificity of image that makes it work for me: You can picture the dusty pottery studio, the scales, weighing all the crummy pots and failed experiments.”

This same story is said to be used in photography classes and may have originated in one.

It has inspired me to stop pontificating on the perfect image, but just to create images and find nuance within creativity.

Anyway, I just wanted to jot some notes down and share. Give yourselves a hug today. Draw a hot bath and relish in what you do have that’s positive and secure, even if it’s not much right now.

Hugs and Kisses,

–J