Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Difference

Occasionally, I like to talk about a specific issue I face, in a slightly indirect manner. I blog them here and kind of just ramble on about the general idea, so I can help the problematic aspect drift from my heart and mind. So, on that note...

People are different. Like, everyone is different. Sure, I know there are things we hold in common (with some, there are A LOT of things in common). Ultimately, though, we're all given a life with these very specific and different set of events and circumstances. Thats what makes meeting people, maturing, growing up and, well, life in general an experience that gives the possibility for "true stories" to be interesting. Because of that, it truly BOGGLES my mind as to how so many of us seek to "fix" the people around us.

A few years back I came to the concept of "God Boxing." Now, I'm sure the visual that comes to mind is, you with boxing gloves, and a gigantic old guy with a gray beard and boxing gloves. While funny, that's not what I'm speaking of here. "God boxing" is a predominantly Western concept of how, regardless of what the bible says, God CAN'T possibly be in control of every aspect of life you could encounter. Basically, God has parameters that he's inclosed in, a la, a "God box." Western Religious culture basically states that a lot of the things we know of God are true but, we still have quite a bit of leg room in the parts He CAN'T help out with.

What's this got to do with "the Difference" I mentioned of people? I'll explain:

For the most part, we prefer people being a lot alike us because its something we can understand without much effort. Social classing and racial divides, THRIVE on this. Problematically, the idea of "God Boxing" and its acceptance by most, gives the right to another handy concept I came up with, called "the Circle."
(Okay...Technically, I didn't come up with "the Circle" concept. I got it from and episode of the TV show "House." In the show, House (a rather unimpressed doctor) scolds a member of his team for complaining that they feel sad a kid will never be "normal." He goes on to state that people's ideas of "normal" stem from their view of things outside of a circle in which they exist as being, "ab-normal" or "broken." Thus, when faced with things outside of your personal circle, the response is to "fix" it (or them) so that it becomes more like what is in your circle, i.e. "normal.")
As troubling (for some) as the idea of "God Box" is, I've found that "the Circle" is just as horrible... And one which we all seem to indulge in to quite a heavy degree.

Make no mistake, I've totally attempted to "fix" people outside of my "circle." Like I stated before, it is so much easier to have people around who are "on the same page" with you. It allows you to not have to work as hard on things like patience, humility, etc. Still, don't you think that's an "acceptable evil" we play with often? Or, maybe you've never really thought of it that way before. I know I hadn't thought of it for a LONG TIME. Literally, I had been operating in a system where a cocky level of pride about all "my good" was what everyone else should probably be about. And its just wrong.

To say that your life and the way you've lived it and progressed in it, is BETTER than the way others have, takes away from the beauty (or, sure, in some cases, horror) of individual life experiences others have. And we need that difference! Imagine a world where everyone lived how you did and learned lessons in a way similar to yours. How would our fiction read? Our movies? Inspirational talks? Shoot, even the everyday conversations you have with friends or the person who makes your heartbeat race?

You've heard the adage that, "You like a person for who they are, but you love a person for who they AREN'T?" If you had your way, and you "fixed" everyone around you to look like what's in your "circle," You would most likely lose almost everything that you love so much in this life. Really, THINK about THAT. Its not wrong to want better for people. That shows you actually have a heart and can care. I just believe that we have to be able to realize that some people NEED to have their lives existing in another "circle" so they can develop into the unique individual they should always be.

The Difference is important and, we need to always be aware of what we gain (and could lose) by trying to impress ourselves and what lives we've led, onto others.

- Conduct Lionhardt

Writing for the Love of it

I know I promised my friend (Bryce, author of the graphic novel series I'm illustrating) That I would post up a rundown of graphic novels that I think are underrated but, I've had a few interesting weeks and some other thoughts seem a bit more important.

I have wrote, whether interviews, reviews, or fiction for the better part of 10 years or so. It probably sounds like an interesting hobby, I'd imagine, something that people would be interested in hearing some about. Funny thing is, the majority of it is probably never going to be seen by the general public.

I write for the love of it.

My writing has been very much a thing unto myself. Hours and days, weeks and even years of sitting, thinking and creating has amassed a decent sized amount of written material. I've never really had the chance or the aptitude to get most of it up and out there for people to be ABLE to read. And to be honest, the choice to do things that way has really stemmed from a deep seated belief in the following 3 things:

1.) Most people aren't all that interested in reading what I write. (I say this mainly because the things I review, people I interview, and stories I try to write, often skew outside of the usual things that people find popular)

2.) I'm technologically challenged. ( For more years than I'd like to admit, I just haven't been able to acquire the tech needed to seriously write to a degree that would be okay to allow the public to see)

3.) Time ISN'T on my side. (The most obvious of challenges is trying to fit in writing when my life requires me to be a brother, uncle, son, youth leader, artist, worker, etc. At the end of the day, the focus and energy to SERIOUSLY get into writing, just isn't there.)

So, where does that leave things?

Again, I write for the love of it. I'm, first and foremost an illustrator. If I could draw it all, I WOULD. But lack of materials to draw on or with, and the ability to communicate the "images of thought" (a concept I'll delve into on some other blog) have bred the skill to communicate otherwise...Through writing. And after various years of working out the kinks, I found that I love the form of writing, despite the limitation of NOT necessarily being visual.

Things interest me, so I write of them. Sometimes a story (or series of panel images) must be put to the paper (or screen). Other times a person is interesting and I want to ask them questions. These and more motivate the desire and, it's so much more than wanting the world to "see my vision" or "hear my voice." Those of us who are creative can't really afford to contain these things that spring up in our minds by just letting them sit there then slowly dissipate into limbo. We have to DO something with them. So we write... And its true that sometimes the things written are long winded, or wordy, or jumbled into something maybe only we can perceive but, it's still an expression of our thoughts or confusions about the world around and existence in general.

It is very much...One of the oddest passions that people display, the transfixing of words to a form of grammatical or lyrical prose. Whether poetic, sympathetic, or chaotic, it creates a place where the inner can become the outer and both aspects reflect or affect, one another. And while some of what is written through this strange and unusual love can become that which drives the cultural consciousness and trends... I'd imagine that, out there, is so much more impassioned writing that exist in the most intricate and fantastic ways, of which we may never experience.

But it exists and thrives in its small universes of creativity, none-the-less.

- Conduct Lionhardt