I’ll go days without speaking, sometimes.

Often there just isn’t a need to.

But when I greet a coworker on a conference call, for example, the sound of my voice is surprising at first. I myself forget what it sounds like, or at least, I forget the sensation of hearing it aloud.

I know my accent is long gone, and the cadence itself reminds me of how my grandmother, a school teacher, spoke to me over her crossword puzzles.

I know that, if I could speak to her, she’d be pleased.

When I pass a parent with their child, I’ll often notice their young face staring up at me. I wonder, then, if I did the same thing as a kid, and what they’re thinking.

When I think of my childhood, I think of being in the fourth grade, sitting in school and drawing jets and abstract art on wide ruled paper. I’d become engrossed, utterly, in the endeavor. When I finished, or was close, I’d often look up to see other kids watching, sometimes even standing behind my back and looking over my shoulder.

I often watch that ‘FIREPLACE’ series on Netflix, and the sound of crackling embers echos surprisingly realistically off the walls that surround me.


I’m not sure myself, honestly. The infrequent illumination onscreen casts weird shadows all around, in a way that a mere lamp does not. When I build a house, I want a large fireplace. A huge one.

Sometimes, admittedly, I’ll light a candle rather than keeping the lights on.

When I go to bed, I feel the softness of the blanket settling on my feet in the darkness. It feels, in those moments, like it’s winter, despite the fact that it’s just the beginning of summer.

I tell myself that the feeling is a byproduct of a very complicated and unique scenario, and one which my mind is attempting to quantify and compare to a season of the year.

I feel fine speaking to crowds.

I feel fine looking out over a sea of eyes in near darkness and talking about graphics technology, or art, or… anything, really.

Late last year I was asked if I would be open to speaking at trade shows and technical demonstrations. What could I say?

I ask myself what I fear… and there’s nothing that I can think of.

Sure, I want my family to be safe, but besides that?

That, and strange undersea creatures?

Is this, like, my final form? Am I a fully evolved Blastoise now? Do I spew art out of nozzles on my back? Is there a boss I need to fight..?

Is my own special magic that I can visualize and create anything I choose?

A few months back I wanted to make a golden shield based around the silhouette of a piece of toast, and the end result was something I really liked. Is that an answer to the question?

It seems, at times, like the answer is an over simplification.

I get excited. I speak loudly and eloquently, and when I reflect afterward I recall people’s faces and moods around me.

I wonder if I’m the source of illumination to those around me.

Do I need a candle or a fireplace to take over for me in the instances that I want to sit in darkness and watch something else shine?

What shines in your life?