Someone died. A great someone, whose death allows us to stop. It allows us to celebrate the lives of great someones who die every day. Thank you, great one.
There is no longer a single idea explaining everything, but an infinite number of essences giving a meaning to an infinite number of objects. The world comes to a stop, but also lights up. – Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus
Graphic design is hard. It starts out as a blind wandering, motivated by some sense of aesthetic that is otherwise elusive to concrete logic, morphing into an obsession with serifs (present or not), colour palettes, textures, lines, more lines, symmetry, asymmetry, ratios, guessing… galvanising into a continuous gestaltian dedication that others fail to consciously see. Graphic designers hand over babies, at whom scoffing onlookers turn up their noses.
My, aren’t babies just the most hideous things fresh out the womb.
Building things is hard. Your chosen medium is a shifting, duplicitous nag at the best of times. It starts with a blind meandering into a world you believe is constructed with pure logic. You advance boldly with an engineering arrogance, believing the world is round. It develops into a world of multitudes, conflicting options, offsets, compromises, a place where the only truism is pragmatics. You solve an easy problem, you get cheered, you solve an unbelievably hard one, no one notices.
My, how builders make a mountain out of a mole hill.
Communicating is hard. You begin with an absolute lexicon. A place where your words are solid, immutable, impervious to interpretation. Your words fit soundly; bricks mortared in concrete grammar. Surface cracks, however, appear soon after the house-warming. Foundations slip. You question the integrity of your walls, as bricks start to look out of place. They’re now the wrong colour, claylike and flakey.
My, how little he must read dictionaries.
Everything is hard. But the hardest thing is allowing yourself to admit it every now and then. Wipe your brow, taking a moment to smile over those falling droplets of sweat. You are not alone in finding it all very hard at times. You may not be destitute and begging on the street, but it’s still hard all the same. And that’s okay.
I’m currently reading The Drunkard’s Walk. A quote from the philosopher Immanuel Kant, cited in this great book, stuck with me:
Each, according to his own inclination, follows his own purpose, often in opposition to others; yet each individual and people, as if following some guiding thread, go toward a natural but to each of them unknown goal; all work toward furthering it, even if they would set little store by it if they did know it.
I’m a little obsessed with ideas around collective consciousness. We all seem to ‘happen’ on the same knowledge in relative isolation of one another, and only the most arrogant would believe any of their ideas are truly original. I don’t believe it is magic or super natural, but rather something that arises from sharing certain finite experiences contrived by human society and its currently accepted norms, even if we experience them in a slightly different cultural style on different parts of the planet.
But this always raises a chicken-or-the-egg type conundrum of causality, which makes it an interesting topic to muse over.