Fathers and Megalomaniacs

A second post in one day!

I’ve fallen behind in reading the series of newsletters I read on a weekly basis. And this most recent cycle has been very good.

Martyn Wendell Jones has a great newsletter, Dang, where he reflects on having recently become a new father. As a new father myself, it’s been a wonderful reading companion.

From last week’s edition:

I want to be a father who stays; I already want Fox to stay as well. As our culture continues moving into decadence and repeating crisis—as I watch Fox roll with sudden ease, raise himself on his elbows, and look to the walls—I wonder if his hungry life will take him far away from me someday, too.

Starbuck couldn’t deter Ahab from his fate; perhaps it’s telling that the first mate’s name has taken on a more primary association with a massive corporation, the owner of which wants to pilot the ship of government simply because he thinks he’s the right one to do it. This world makes seaborne megalomaniacs of us all.


Parenthood and Art

I’ve been following Austin Kleon’s blog this past year, and it’s been a bright spot in my internet meanderings.

I especially enjoy the way so many of his posts revolve around the interplay of parenting and art. For example:

  1. A day of zines
  2. Always drawing
  3. Diary of a 5-year-old
  4. Loveheart (a song his five-year-old son wrote and recorded for his mother on Mother’s Day)

As someone who is only weeks away from his first child’s due date, I love the idea of cultivating an environment where my kid is encouraged to create art–of any kind–throughout the day. Mr. Rogers says the best way to encourage a child to do anything is to let them see you enjoy your hobbies. If that’s the case, then my kid will hopefully experience a healthy amount of poetry reading and acoustic guitar playing around the house.

Visual art, however, is my weakness. For some reason, as a kid, I got it into my head that I don’t have a “talent” for drawing. So I never practiced. I took one art history class in elementary school, but that’s it. Not being able to draw has always felt like a limitation, and I hope to avoid handing down my own mental block to my son. I realize this means that I should probably start learning how to draw…at least a little bit.