Monday, May 8, 2017

Hodgepodge 191/365 - Empty

Some days coming up with something to write about here isn't too hard. Some days I get lazy and mine old photos, and that turns out fine. Some days, though—those days when I don't feel like mining old photos and nothing else much has happened or caught my interest—I come up empty.

My sister-in-law Patricia studied art at what was then the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, and she once said to a professor that she was feeling "empty." He suggested that she try to paint that. Her comment about that exchange has stayed with me, and whenever I get that empty feeling, I wonder how to represent it.

Still haven't arrived at any conclusions. I may be wondering to my grave. My intuition tells me that my art, of language and words, is less conducive to such a representation than paint—but I could be wrong. Material manifestation of emptiness just sounds damn difficult, whatever the medium. (The Japanese ensō ☝︎ is a start, I suppose.)

So today I'm going to share a web link—which is sort of empty until you click on it, right?

It's from the humor site "The Oatmeal" by Matt Inman, a Seattleite cartoonist (b. 1982). He launched it in 2009, and by the next year it was getting more than four million unique visitors a month. As of 2012, the site earned $500,000 annually, three-quarters from merchandise, the rest from advertising. Not a bad way to make a living.

According to good old Wikipedia, "The information found in the Oatmeal’s comics is researched by Inman. One comic typically takes Inman seven to eight working hours spread across three days. The comics cover an eclectic range of topics, including zombies, cats, horse care, internet and English grammar, with titles such as 'What it's like to own an Apple product,' 'What your e-mail address says about your computer skills,' 'How the male angler fish gets completely screwed,' '8 websites you need to stop building,' 'How to name a volcano,' '15-ish things worth knowing about coffee,' and 'How a web design goes straight to hell.'"

Today I saw a gorgeous story called That's right: Believe. it's about . . . well, I won't spoil it for you. I think maybe you should just click on that link there and: read.

But I will quote the very end of the piece (which doesn't give too much away), because it's something I often say myself:

This universe of ours is so achingly beautiful.
And we're all in it together.
We're all going in the same direction.
I'm not here to take control of the wheel.
Or to tell you what to believe.
I'm just here to tell you that it's okay to stop.
To listen.
To change.

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