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A Cog in the Machine
by Jadestone

Published on June 14, 2021

It is human nature to want to belong, to be a part of something bigger than yourself. For some having a small circle of close friends is enough. For others, they need more. They need to give back, to inspire others but they don’t necessarily want to be the one in the spotlight. Not a lead singer, perhaps not even a member of the band but someone essential. The guy that operates the lights or the smoke effects or adjusts the sound. I am one of those.

I want to be an important cog in the machine. Let’s think of it like a grandfather clock. You see the face, the hands, the numbers; the swinging pendulum but as anyone who has ever had to fix that clock knows, there are a thousand unseen parts behind what you see everyday- and each one is important. All those little cogs are needed to run that clock that tells you the time so that you can make your appointments, bake that meal properly, live your day to day life.

All those unseen cogs are part of something bigger.

Pittsburgh, PA. Just beneath the bridge I crossed daily with 50 lbs of art supplies going to classes at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

I strive to be a permanent cog. You know the ones made of metal and not the cheap plastic ones that are used until the fabricator makes the one you really need. I don’t want to be one of the parts on the other side of the clock. The lead singers, band members so to speak.

In the place I grew up I was taught that you MUST contribute to society throughout your life. Having been bullied in primary school and developing a low self-esteem I was always uncomfortable in any kind of spotlight. Going to college opened a door of acceptance. One that I never knew existed. Here were other people who thought like I did. Who saw the world in color theory and layout and design. Who could see brush strokes and light sources and shading everywhere. After graduation I was alone again. A little more respected now because I had this ability that most people found amazing. I saw it as common sense as I have been seeing the world through that lens since as long as I could remember. I was (and still am) amazed at their amazement.

Due to world events, I came to the High desert and found (again) my people. Those creative souls who saw the world differently and, not only accepted, but embraced different ideas and world views. Finding those souls lead to finding even more like minded people. I made true connections, friendships with people I had never meet in person. I hope to meet them in person someday. It is hard to describe, this feeling of belonging. The pandemic of 2020 and shutdown that lead to the separation of society once again cast me into the alone category. To be able to reconnect with my fellow creatives is lifting me out of that depression. It is hard to describe the loss of the feeling of belonging, of being important in some way. Like many I lost a job that I loved, was wondering how I fit into this new world where people were dying everyday. I lost a friend to that great sickness. Someone who embraced me when I came to this place I live now. Someone who talked to me when I was having a rough time, who made me laugh and always greeting me with a hug and the biggest smile I’d ever seen. I am not alone in this kind of loss, of either form. But to be able to touch another human being outside of my immediate household, to literally create something together with other like-minded people and share it with the world. To laugh and cheer and yes, even cry with others again. That is a gift and reminds me of the complex harmony of all those parts in the Grandfather clock (and even in the band) that make it work.

Lajos Egri once said “Immortality. We all want to be remembered: We want to do things that will make people say, 'Isn't he wonderful?”

Morris Night Crew: A group of creatives that stayed up all night long to create art and ways to help others in the community.

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