Tuesday, January 10, 2006

What Happens When Mary Gets Overwhelmed.



I don’t really know where to begin with this magazine project for Hank’s class. Sometimes I wonder if I am really supposed to be in this field…creating and selling an idea to people who are looking to fill a void. We all do it. I do it. Everyone does it. We are, somehow, incomplete as we are and we look for things, people, relationships, places to fill those desperate voids in our psyche. So I create something meaningful and beautiful. Who cares? Does it really make the world a better place? Does what I do really mean a thing? So I re-design a logo. So I create a beautiful book cover. Who fucking cares? I’ve never been interested in the surface-level things. I am interested in what is real. I am interested in what is authentic to who we are. Beauty, function, aesthetic is nothing if we lack substance. So what is the purpose of all of this? So I can sell you emptiness bound in beauty? It is precisely that. Bound. So I can continue to perpetuate the myth that we are not enough, that as human beings, we are so lacking in who we are that we must be filled with things in order to be worthy? I want to change people’s lives, not make a beautiful line of make-up packaging that is going to sell a lie.

What I really want is to know that, in the absence of everything, we are worthy. We are worthy of love, we are worthy of kindness, we are worthy of companionship. Hank says good design is when you can take nothing else away; it is not adding, but stripping the idea to its essence that makes good design. Is that not true of life as well? Victor Frankl says, “Everything can be taken from a man but ... the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” That said, true character is determined by a superior attitude in the worst of conditions. I believe that. So, when I think about another lifestyle magazine, I have to wonder what kind of lifestyle I am willing to sell. I cannot sell a lie. I cannot sell an unattainable idea. I cannot sell something unauthentic. I don’t know where this will leave me in this industry and I fear that it will leave me in the dust. I know there is purpose for me in this industry; I don’t know where it is, but it will not be in the cesspool of superficial commercialism. I want to make a difference, a positive difference.

1 comment:

Anne-Davnes said...

Damn, Mary - that sounds so beautiful. Can't you create a lifestyle mag that celebrates the ordinary and authentic part of your life and lets you just be OK with yoruself? Just be in the present? Instead of selling the idea of making a purchase - could it be more about creating something with what you have? Or soemthing like it....