Tonight, I broke a promise. The stars are out and the cool night air dragged me outside for a smoke of my pipe. It couldn’t be helped. The alley behind our apartment is a holy place where our neighbors go to feed an addiction and get the latest news. As I sat outside and lit a flame to that fresh tobacco, I realized the small dread that’s been building up inside of me for the last year. It’s the dread of the city. The dread of confronting my neighbors. The city is not a bad place, it’s my attitude towards it that’s gone down the toilet. The smoke was good. I sat beneath the heavens and slowly realized, “this is what I’ve been missing.” I like to think under the stars. This is the thing that makes me who I am.
I was told recently by someone near and dear to me that I am a leader and not a follower. That going to the farms was an act of following, not leading. It felt like an attack. It put my spirit in a meat grinder. If I go back to my original thought, the engine that set all of this in motion, I’m brought forth to a single word, Change.
The idea of applying to the Peacecorp was an act of change. Farming was just an offspring to that idea. In all honesty, I chose farming simply because it sounded the most interesting. There was no great divine reasoning behind that choice, it just felt right. To me the most essential thing was change. I needed, no, I was begging! for change. Something to drag me out of my current life and throw me into the sweet chaos.
If I sit and think about farming, a flood of imagery enters my skull. To translate these into words would break its essence. It would turn the Mona Lisa into an abstraction and put an end to the mystery that is the subtle shape of her lips. Food is a language unto its own, one that I’ve ignored for most of my life. We can fly away into space on shiny ships if we gotta, but we should never neglect the very thing that keeps us all standing. Farming is the change that is necessary for this moment in my life, and I will admit right now that I am indeed a follower, but it’s my instinct that I’m following.
Rosy has a special tattoo. A thin line that wraps around to the inside of her wrist where they stop to meet a small triangle. To Rosy, I believe this represents change (shoot me if I'm wrong). When I randomly apply my lucky number to it, nine lines in the form of a triangle, it evolves, in shape and in meaning, and I’m reminded of the logo that I created (below) some years ago on a hike inside of a snowy forest near Mt. Hood. It’s a very random correlation, I know, but it is also a very important symbol I've come to appreciate over the years. This new idea popped into my head tonight while I was outside smoking. Okay yeah, it’s just a logo for my design company, but for some reason it pulses like a drum whenever I picture it in my mind.
The one true thing that attracted me most to design was the origin of language. In the early history of mankind, graphic symbols were created to represent an idea, and our language evolved from those basic forms. Were I to start a new language of symbols in this very moment and my logo was to be the first character, it’s meaning would be this: “The change from follower to leader.” That’s got a nice ring to it.