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A few days ago, I just so happened to stumble across an old blog of mine. It always makes for an entertaining read whenever I remember that demonstrations of my past inner ramblings are still publicly viewable. I started it in the winter of ‘03 when I was just a spry and naive 21 years old. Xanga was really taking off in those days and was pretty much the hub of all my pre-Myspace and Facebook online activity (side note: it’s funny how the internet goes through different “movements”, isn’t it?). I dutifully continued my blogging from then until sometime in the early summer of ‘06 which, thankfully, was a summer I’m particularly glad I didn’t recount.

I still cringe at my utter and complete nerdiness during that era of my life. But looking back now, that blog serves as a great reminder, as well as a timeline, of days that would prove to be key in shaping who I am. For that, I guess I’m not so ashamed of my geeky postings as I am proud that I was so faithful in writing on it so often. Obviously, I’m having a problem with consistency these days (re: the time between postings on this page).

I think that’s because writing, in it’s essence, is creating. And creating is just, flat-out hard work.

It takes time. And writing on a computer takes purposed time in front of a computer. I spend nearly my entire work day in front of an LCD monitor. So, the last thing my eyeballs enjoy doing every evening is cooking even longer in a soup of gajillions of red, green and blue pixels. Writing for me has always come fairly easily but for some reason, finding the time and desire to do so hasn’t been quite as achievable.

I also think there’s a misnomer out there that creating is this free-flowing rush of inspiration and ideas. A frenzy of non-stop imaginative motion. I think a person could get to that place in time, but it takes that initial push and shove to get going. Which is pretty much like any other endeavor in life, I suppose. It takes initiative and the passion to push us through when life’s many distractions and temptations move us away from our first loves.

Oh, and it also helps if you don’t have a job. I’ve been lucky to have a good job but it’s one that slowly saps my optimal mental energy during the best hours of the day. When I get home, I have vast stores of physical energy saved up from a day of being pent up in a fabric-covered corner office dwelling. And I feel primed and ready to conquer these great ideas I have in my head. But when it comes time to convert that potential energy into positive, forward motion, my brain taps out.

And then I wake up.

And I’m sitting in front of my TV. Or that ever-engrossing entity known as Facebook. And the day is gone. And 2-1/2 years are gone. And I don’t know what I did of worth in that period of time. Nor do I have a record to verify that I was even alive and thinking during that time.

I guess the one thing that keeps these wild-eyed ideas alive in me–the thing that keeps me going–is the glut of creative people I’ve been surrounded with over the years. This kind of energy has a way of rubbing off and serving as inspiration itself. Most of them I consider friends; some I’ve just rubbed shoulders with for a short amount of time. Whether they be writers/thinkers/norm-challengers like Dave, Aaron, Jess (& Jim), Colleen; musicians/melody-makers/sonic-soundscape-shapers like Coby, Caleb, Nathan, Chris; or artists/experience-designers/technicolor-visionaries like Joe, Craig, Seth, Mallory; they’ve inspired me simply by who they are.

Whether they know it or not, they have within themselves the God-granted ability of converting an otherwise indefinable beauty into a much more tangible glory. It’s no less wonderful, it’s just a glory that the human soul can more easily comprehend.

And make no mistake, that ability is within us all. For we are created in His image. And our God is a magnificent creator.

I pray that this will serve as a reminder of that God-given ability in you. And in me. However it takes form in your life.

And may this be the start of many more reminders to come.

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Ryan Straits



Ghost States

The art of the in-between

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