The Little (Rediscovered) Acts in the Margins


I’ve been cleaning out my closet here at the house of mis padres, and when going through an old high school binder, I stumbled across not only some sweet doodlings (if there’s one good thing to come out of a lot of time spent being bored in class, it would definitely be the enhanced creativity that occurs in the margins of notes), but also a few old writings that I thought had been lost forever in the Great Hard-drive Crash of ’97. I’m going to post some of these shortly after this, so that they can join my on-line repository here, so stay tuned.

It’s fun going through personal historical archives, filtering through old track and cross country medals (now on their way to the dump), sifting through elementary school-era journals and cartoons, and discovering random pictures of me I didn’t even know were there of me with long hair (which was a weird and disturbing phase in my physical existence that is probably best left buried in the past). What’s fun about it is not only the kind of vain fulfillment of harkening back upon one’s gloriously depressed and socially inept days in middle school and high school, but also in discovering that the most important things to you are not all the stupid things that adults tried to mire you down in—what stands out from the bricolage of your historic memorabilia are the moments and trinkets that best captured your sparks of creativity, your flares of individuality and defiance in the dark sea of conformity, insecurity, and complacency. The little short stories and poems that—while no longer quite so passionate and eloquent as you once might have thought them—become revealed as joyous moments of exploration and quirky pathos. The little tormented drawings on the sidelines of your algebra notes that were once just a way to keep sane in the midst of utter boringness—now they seem enlightened with depth and verve, especially given that you no longer feel that you can draw that way anymore. It was natural then. Now you no longer have an excuse to sit there and draw weird things.

These little archival snippets of yourself in youth—it is a remembrance of struggle. It is to remember who it is that you have become, forged in the flames of all the mundane shit that once seemed to dominate every little thing in your world. It is to realize that even now you still stand swaying in the ocean of homogeneity and peer pressure, and the only things that will ultimately redeem you are those shots of brilliant, selfless creation, which will yet come to define you. Beyond all of the teachers, all of the bosses, all of the nameless acquaintances and strangers and masses that would tell you what the world is—it’s really just those little creative acts in the margins that truly make you who you are.

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Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

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