This is how life is when you feel weak and helpless:
You lay down and die or you puff yourself up until you
look so big everyone stays away.
But they stare.
One day the puff goes out and you think that maybe you don’t
need it: that there is no one to blame, there is no one to hate.
Bad things happened to me and they still happen; bad things will
happen to other people long after I’ve died.
Weak minds and political opportunists abuse religion; they always
have, and they always will.
All political creeds are open to corruption; all economic systems are open
to abuse, the poor will always be their own worst enemies because violent
poverty causes intense identification with the oppressor.
How does one think ones way out of the hateful violence inflicted by
one’s own people?
Somehow, I’ve thought my way out, but it’s taken most of my life.
My puff is gone.
I don’t need to explain myself, to apologize, or make myself livid with rage.
I don’t need to incite power struggles.
Power struggles are about feeling powerless; the need to fight small battles
is about the need for distraction.
“Am I dead?”
“No, not dead.”
I’ve never felt more certain of my worth as a person, never more secure
The puff is gone and in its place I think I see a person; a man whose hellish
past no longer defines who he is or how he will live the rest of his life.
Teagan and I are hard at work on this week’s Jazz Wednesdays which means
I have to take a short break from Art by Rob Goldstein to make illustrations.
Several of Teagan’s readers have asked how I make the illustrations for Hullaba Lulu, so here’s a quick explanation: to make these illustrations I use two gaming computers and a virtual reality platform.
Each virtual photo shoot takes about six hours and I usually have to do two shoots to get the images I want.
I use four to six avatars per shoot.
Each avatar must be dressed, posed, and positioned, and getting this right
takes total concentration.
The sets I use must be built or purchased, and modified and sometimes
I take at least five to six gigabytes of high-resolution bitmap files per shoot.
Post-processing also takes concentration because the avatars are usually
distorted in subtle ways, so in that sense I use Photoshop to redraw the scene.
This short video is composed of extra shots from the last six shoots for Hullaba Lulu.