Way back in the day, I used to be a Magic: The Gathering player. Because the internet was a twinkle in someone’s eye as far as content goes back in those days, the sense of community that I found with playing the game, which of course required that we have more than one person interested in it, was found in local events at places like comic book places and bookstores where you got to sit around and talk with and commiserate with others who played the game – and of course, spend a few hours beating the tar out of one another good-naturedly at Magic. Sure, we were all summoners who were in competition with one another, but through regular interaction and play you really got the sense that a community was being formed just for the basis of shared interest in a suddenly popular card game.
One way that people have been able to deal with the fact that they struggle with things like depression, anxiety, and the like is to envision those feelings and those difficulties as something tangible or visual, to give it form so that it isn’t something nebulous and invisible, and so that it doesn’t have as much power as it normally does over those that have to cope with it every day. It’s a technique that allows for people to be able to take action, to mentally be able to compartmentalize that vagueness of negativity into a single entity, so as to be able to symbolize what they try to ultimately do with it.
The creative process is rife with peaks and valleys of inspiration, and as someone who has been blogging on and off for the better part of a decade, I am intimately familiar with that kind of roller coaster ride. Sometimes you’re hit with a huge bit of motivation and sage understanding, and you begin writing words that basically just spill out of your mouth, and other times you’re just utterly spent and can’t come up with anything beyond a couple of words here or there. It’s the great dilemma of the creative process – no one’s going to be completely inspired 100% of the time, but you need to work your brain to try to get past when it isn’t in some form or fashion.
Platformers have always intrigued me on some level because of the fact that the character onscreen is someone who in all likelihood you wouldn’t be able to duplicate in real life as far as what they’re capable of in the game. Unless you’re conditioned and impressive physically (in which case, kudos to you), players wouldn’t really be able to do the ninja flips, wall jumps, and top-down enemy evasion that many platformer characters are able to do. In this sense, they’re all about transcending limits by a simple ability to jump further and farther and higher than you could normally.
Creation is probably one of the main motivating factors behind anyone who gets into cooking or baking, as I have. There’s a certain sense of satisfaction in being able to put together something from nothing, and not only that, to have others enjoy what you’ve made. A lot of why I continue to do more with baking is for that look that people get on their faces when they eat something that I made and they are always wanting to come back for more.
Barriers that exist in order to keep you from moving forward have been a theme with the entries that have been uploaded for July. Persevering in spite of them, or just as a means to become something more, has also been somewhat of a theme as well. But very few, if any of them, have dealt with the goal of breaking through to someone as an objective, as a means of trying to find someone to connect with, or who you care about in order to make yourself stronger. This game, one which takes a bit of effort to ensure that you get to your goal without issue, is one of those that takes this more specific tack on the message.
Support structures are supremely important to being able to accomplish what we want. While there’s a certain amount of individual dedication and strength required in order to be able to meet your goals and reach new heights, rarely are those goals met without a certain sense of assistance, whether that be from those around you who love you, from dedicated and loyal co-workers, or from friends who are there for you when you stumble. Even rarer are presentations which really show the importance of that structure, as your accomplishments usually take center stage, with the structure only referred to in passing, grateful remarks after the fact.
Many of the entries in this project deal with death on some level or another, and I’ve seen entries that deal with the finality of it, look at it in a positive light in terms of cherishing memories, and try to come to a conclusion about whether or not it is the actual end of existence. But none of them so far have taken the political or religious tack that Shelly’s entry does, putting the burial of a grandfather at odds with the religious orthodoxy of a country itself embroiled in a battle about territory.
Sometimes it’s the little things, the specific things that give us a sort of relaxation, a contented feeling that, even though it may be short term, is enough for us to forget some of our pains and issues, not have to think about what kind of problems we have to face that are large and looming before us. Part of the reason why people give advice to try to take a mental break once in a while is so that we’re allowed to reset ourselves, focus on something trivial, and hopefully come back stronger, both mentally and physically.
Life is sometimes filled with experiences at times of running in place, of trying to get somewhere where you feel like you need to go, but never really getting there, and seeming like you might be doing a bit of aimless wandering in doing so. We all go through these experiences in life, and they can, with not so surprisingly reliability, be annoying to our forward progress.