Continuum First Drafts:Reflecting on the history of a want and an action to see it through.
I remember being in 2nd grade when my classroom was given the assignment of making a book. The entire class was given a single blank black book which had about twenty-five unlined, unmarked pages. I think I might have been too excited about the prospect of having a whole book filled with my drawings, because I didn’t wait for instructions. I immediately ruined the book by turning to a random page in the book and making doodles. By the time the instructions were being given, I was already nearly done taking advantage of the blank canvas.
For years I would ask my mom to buy my drawing pads, so that I might be able to relive that experience. I would fill them up with Simpsons, Hannah-Barbara, and Warner Bros. characters. In junior high, I would transition from cartoons and visual aesthetics to the written word. I moved from long sheets of unlined paper to composition and notebooks, filling pages with stories of troubled youths and angsty protagonists.
I wrote for a long time, but found myself stopping in the early 2000s. During my trail the stories I wrote during my adolescence, stories of angry and bullied kids seeking retribution, were used against me. For a long time after that, I did not want to write. I felt like my words had a power to them that could then be wielded against me. But, this changed once I arrived at the first prison unit I would spend a significant amount of time within. This was spurred largely by the reading habit that I began to lean very much into simply to remove myself, at least mentally from my surroundings.
I wrote about life experiences, dreams and what I saw on a daily basis within the prison units that I was assigned. By the time I was released, I had at least two hundred pages of both written and typed text. I held on to those pages for nearly ten years before I felt the need to dispose of them. It may have been my want to forget what I had been through. However, it would only take a few days after their disposal to be made aware of how big of a mistake I made.
There was not a defining moment where I felt the need to start writing again. My writing has almost always served as a healing mechanism that would allow for the removal of the self from situations to identify alternate perspectives. My guess is that I experienced something that I could not express through sculpture, photography or through another medium. Regardless of what initiated the resurgence of this want to write, I have simply decided to ride it all the way out.
Continuum is simply a story about how my cat, Kitty, may very well have saved my life while I spiraled out within my mind after a traumatic event. It’s a story about attempting to find meaning, examining the past and present, while seeking a newfound sense of normalcy.