Oct 10, 2012

Breaking (it) Down

Just coming up for air between large chunks of what I'll just casually refer to as "working on stuff", thought I'd tap out a few thoughts and reassure folks that I'm neither dead, comotose, imprisoned, or bewildered in a labyrinth of my own making.

Okay, that last one might actually still be valid, but I've been getting quite good at leaving myself a path to retrace if it comes down to it.

My daughter introduced me to Minecraft recently - which was a certain degree of distractability, but also offered me a truly interesting metaphor, which is a win in my book. (another win? Being introduced to a fun video game by your daughter)

It's a fun little game, and to the two or three of you who've never played it, here's the basic gist. You live in a world that is made up of really bad graphically designed blocks of material. Dirt, water, trees (made up of blocks), sand and so forth. You're a blocky little dude and you break stuff down. You tear apart trees to make wood, which you craft into wooden utensils that you then use to break down rock into stone utensils, and so forth. It's minecraft. You dig, you refine, you make new stuff that can dig deeper and you refine that stuff into new stuff and it goes on and on.

One of the side effects is that you end up with a lot of crap. Dirt, rock and...well, more dirt and more rock. Most things, however, can be refined into something else. Wood for tools, doors and stairs; coal for torches and to stoke the furnace that you use for turning your sand into glass and your ore into ingots - which are then turned into better items and upwards you go!

So the analogy just clicked into place the other evening as I was tucking the Bean into bed. She'd had a bit of a rough week - just felt a bit worn out and exhausted from school and what not, and is still coming to terms with the biorhythm of being, well, her.

I told her about the challenges of being an artist - as she is becoming - and how you have to, just like the little blocky dudes in minecraft, scrape all the human experience into large heaping handfuls so you can express it back out in some sort of structure.

And that's my world this month. Breaking it down for you, one square at a time.

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