Letters to my Sister in Japan — Day 20

Dear Sister,

Today felt productive. I was able to complete a series of tasks at work that had long since been overdue, and I started writing a little more on the long-form piece I was talking about. It’s not huge progress but I feel like every step is crossing a valley at this point.

Do you remember the first time I really started writing? Not rhetorical, I’m actually curious. If I think really hard, I can remember writing with red marker on a piece of paper. I can also remember my writing being really messy, with the lines that make up letters going in all sorts of crazy directions. If I think really hard, I remember the content of that paper being about Sabado Gigante and Don Francisco. Those are the only words that really jump at me when I think back to that time. I must have been four.

It was around those years that I truly enjoyed re-purposing my father’s work notebooks and drawing stick figures and other sorts of scribbles. At six years-old, I was especially happy when I drew a corridor and I applied some depth to one of my doodles in the form of a long corridor, whose supporting arches became smaller towards the center of the page. I think that was the first time I applied any sort of 3-d eye-trickery to my art and I was immensely proud. I haven’t really improved much since then.

In High School, I loved doodling. I loved doodling peoples’ backs or their faces, but only if the faces were at a 3/4ths view. If you look at the diagram above, 3/4ths are faces 2 and 10.

Did you ever dig through my old notebooks? I know that while I was in college my bedroom was completely barren, and you and my mom could look through my stuff if you wanted. I have a strong suspicion you guys were super nosey and dug everything you could. I don’t think I was a particularly unique case when it came to the angsty stuff I wrote down or the lame shit I drew. And for the most part, I think you and my mother both understood.

What’s it like to raise a child and to see them develop ideas of their own? What kind of thoughts run through your head when the little baby boy that could barely spell their own name, or say “because”, eventually grows into a young man copying down amateur poetry, or writing stories about robots and gamers? What if you don’t agree with the views, the ideas, or the philosophies that child has adopted?

I’m only asking these things because lately, all I could think about is self-expression and the relationships between parents and their children. On Ellen, there was a little boy that practiced make-up application, and she awarded him with all sorts of stuff. I didn’t know this kid existed until I caught a post on Twitter where someone used a video of that boy and asked: “what would you do if this was your son?”

Responses ranged from disgust to supportive to ambivalence. If I ever had son, and that son wanted to practice make-up, I’d encourage it. There’s far too many people that outright ignore their own naturally-occurring interests for the sake of pleasing others or because their passions are not that practical.

Tell me, sister: what was your biggest passion growing up? What’s your biggest passion now? What do you think you excel at? What’s your special skill? It’s something I always wondered.


Your Little Brother