They say old dog’s can’t learn new tricks. Well, I have an old dog and he’s learning new tricks on a daily basis. For instance, he stepped in gum over the weekend. Also, he barks at anyone who is not white. He’s learned to be a klutz and a racist in his older age. However, in the owner’s defence, he was rescued, so those may be skills he’s always carried with him and is now only letting loose as he grows increasingly comfortable. The fact is, he’s learning new things, despite their deplorability.
The same can be said for one of my dearest friends. He’s slaved away at a job he’s hated for near on a decade. He’s worked and pined to make a small living. Through grad school, time as an illustrator and an artist, this job has always been there. When I returned to San Francisco, I found him in one of his darkest states. The world was getting to him.
But, let’s be honest. It wasn’t the world as a whole, it was the insular world that is San Francisco. Much like other metropolises, this is a city of transplants, bringing a wealth of skills along with them. Those that have been here, have seen their ability to compete flail and falter. The artists and the creative’s are falling behind.
To make a long story short, he decided one day, that he needed to change. The prospect of being discovered flew further, and the reality of those student loans loomed larger than ever before. So, he set out to find a career. Without a computer of his own, he peered over mine for weeks on end and learned everything he could about the world that now existed in San Francisco: developing code and everything that came along with that.
Today, he was offered a job at a terrific company. He’s in his thirties and this is his first grown up job. But, in that speaks volumes of what can be; the true Horatio Alger story. From nothing, to something. Yet, what makes this so fantastic to me, is that at his root, who he is, is someone that creates. Writing, illustrating, whatever, it’s who he is and that will not be lost, instead it will be built upon. As the drudgery of becoming a working stooge grows larger, he will see the length and breadth of which creation lives in his heart. Time, otherwise spent spending that newly acquired significant salary, will become precious. Time will become a commodity in which the ideas important enough to linger long enough, will have to come out; they will have to become living things.
This is the new artist. This is the new creative. Time is the cruel clicking mechanism that means nothing, yet runs our days. Once those minutes slacken, the ones left to yourself mean more. He will create, and he will out create me, and that makes me happy.
He has all of the talent in the world, and I know, more than I know most things, he will make use of those spare moments to make something we all look at and feel something towards. From art, what more can we ask for? And for time, well, what do we all dream of having more of? It is just a matter of how we use the time we have.