I Hope It's Never My Year. / by Jaz Malone

Today, I'm choosing to focus on the better moments in recent history, e.g. the announcement of a new Tribe Called Quest album, and the discovery that I can take a few minutes extra on my lunch break at work without anyone pitching a fit. I realize that next week is Election Day here in the U.S.A., the Dakota Pipeline is still a thing, and Black lives don't matter very much to an alarming amount of people, but Lin-Manuel Miranda's upcoming mixtape will be butter to my ears, and so I'm going to focus on that.

Towards the caps of every year, social media floods with "(fill in the date) will be my year!" Certainly, at least a handful of people really believe that- or at least, believe that if it's written down, it'll become true. I make lists to goad myself into finishing projects. It's about the same. 

Truthfully, I hope it's never my year. The minute I start to believe that any moment is solely mine, one of the little voices in my head tells me to shrink my giant head before life shrinks it for me. I'm not advocating self-hate. Confidence is one of the big differences between making strides and staying still; luck is the other big one. I am advocating, however, for a realistic view of my (our) place in this world.

Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot and the jellyfish creation myth from Ishmael come to mind. While the thought that we mean nothing to the grand scheme of things should be the spark to my bi-weekly existential meltdowns, it usually arrives at the end. We are alive for a finite amount of time, teeming on a floating rock, circling a giant ball of fire. It barely makes sense. So if I get an opportunity to not be an ass (every moment of every day), I should take that opportunity. Everyone else is also an organism teeming on a floating rock, circling a giant ball of fire. We're all stuck here, so why be a dick about it? I don't want a year just for me. I'd love a year for a big handful of us. 365 consecutive days where everyone I care about is either on the come-up or in the up is a lot to ask. It's most likely impossible. But I'm not going to focus on the impossible. Dave Chappelle will host SNL with Tribe Called Quest soon. 

Just so it feels like an art post, here are some figure drawings from a session at The Sketch Club the other night.