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Analog Remedies for the Overwhelmed Heart

Analog Remedies for the Overwhelmed Heart

On my days off, I prefer to be where other people are not. Recharge time away from the general public is a necessity when customer service is integral to your job, no matter how much you like your job. But privacy in a city is a luxury. Even so, pockets of solitude do exist in public spaces as long as the time and place is right. For me, the time is prior to 10 AM, and the place is a cemetery, where no one is there to cough openly into an enclosed space, almost hit you with their car at the crosswalk, or approach you when you really don’t want to be approached.

The Woodlands Cemetery of West Philadelphia doubles as a resting place for those who have lived and a resting place for those who do live. It’s a spacious, quiet reserve of old trees and headstones, a mix of both well-tended and overgrown flower beds, flocks of birds fluttering here and there in search of seeds and bugs, and the occasional groundhog scurrying from one underground tunnel entrance to the next. As a writer, this is the ideal space to offload all the noisy locomotion of my mind, even if I’m feeling totally uninspired. David Lynch said something about “mind fishing,” which is essentially sitting and waiting for an idea to catch in the lake of thought. What better place to “mind-fish” than a historic landmark teeming with more life than one would assume?

Hughes pulls out their well loved STALOGY notebook out of their everyday BAGGU Cargo Crossbody. Getting ready to journal with the essentials.

Analogue is in (it never left IMO), so I’m often armed with my favorite journal, the Stalogy 365-Day Editors Notebook in B6, a comfortable size for any spontaneous, on-the-go emotional outpours and careful introspection. Living in the aftermath of a turbulent eclipse season and a seemingly never-ending news cycle, this is needed now more than ever. It is intensely difficult to describe what is felt most deeply by an overwhelmed heart, so it helps to outline what surrounds the feeling. Distant chanting from a nearby college encampment for an end to occupation, forgotten and cooled black coffee beside an empty porch chair, the humid late-spring breeze dancing with a lone willow tree…

Sometimes it even helps to abandon words altogether when language is insufficient and simply draw. Practically everyone draws in childhood, so why do so many of us stop in adulthood? Is your inner art critic too loud? Tell them to shut up. Doodle unabashedly. No art degree or harsh critique necessary!

If you care about the world and all the creatures who inhabit it, then you, like the rest of us, have probably experienced firsthand how easy it is to fall into despair. But hope is crucial to the human experience. Without it, what is there to strive for? I choose to believe in people, no matter the varying degrees of frustrating they may be on an individual level. When I write, I choose to highlight not just my grievances with the world, but my gratitude for it as well. The people I know, the places I’ve been, the lessons I’ve learned and continue to learn—all of that gives me someone to be, a better world to work towards, and much to write about. Utopia, in my book, looks like community fruit trees ripe for the picking, reliable and widely available public services, and ample time for lounging in the grass.

Hughes' notebook shows their colorful sketches in their favorite notebook with their everyday tools.

Items Pictured:

STÁLOGY 018-Grid 365 Day Editor’s Notebook

ZEBRA CLiCKART Retractable Marker Pen 36 Color Set

Midori Pulp Storage Snap Pen Case

BAGGU Cargo Shoulder Bag

BAGGU Standard Tote

Zinka SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

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1 comment

  • Nathan

    Thank you for sharing this post.

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