My mother's gift
It usually takes me time to create projects and develop ideas before sharing them with the world. The durations always differ, but I might expect to wait a month or so as details accumulate, one or more weeks to conceive and finalize a visual identity, some weeks or months for implementation if there's programming involved, some time for considering how another person might come to and perceive the space, etc… The entirety of this process was compressed into about three hours in the case of Ephemerata.
I woke up on a Sunday morning ready to begin a normal day: made myself hot oatmeal for breakfast, read some articles. An idea came to me while reading, and I thought, "That sounds kind of cool, I should do that some day." Ten minutes passed by, and then I received a jolt and thought, "Whoa, I should really, really do that, like maybe even drop everything and get started immediately type of thing." I tried to calmly finish eating, and then got to work.
Completely consumed by this idea for a weekly newsletter, I came up with a concept and visual identity, wrote the first edition, and told the world about it before lunch. It was like standing under a waterfall, a deluge of possibilities and details hitting me intensely and all at once. In combination with my discussion forum, this very clearly represented for me a missing piece of the puzzle, one that I've been struggling with for over a year now in my journey to earning a living as an independent creator. The two create a sort of connective tissue for building a community around what I do. This sort of thing might seem obvious to many people who approach things from a less technical perspective, but I was skeptical about this approach for a long time, and it actually took me until now to arrive here.
Reflecting later in the evening, I realized something: it was Mother's Day. And how fitting it was for this idea to have emerged, fully formed, on that day: I gave birth, in a sense, to a new community, and my mother was someone who brought people together. It was like receiving a gift from her, and reconnecting with qualities that she had passed onto me, qualities that I have only recently began to cultivate more deeply. I now believe that this idea struck me so hard because—and I say this with sincerity—it resembles a new way of for me to integrate myself into the world, a gift of life. It gives me a significant resolution to various questions of belonging that have plagued me for ages, and I feel relieved, energized, and excited.
Thanks, Mom, and to all mothers, whose nurture and care transcends their time on earth.