And Then I Gave It Away

I found a little plastic bag at the bottom of my book shelf the other day when I was rummaging through my pile of supplies for the next print. In the bag there were some japanese paper, and about 7 prints of an etching that I did back in 2005. They are each about the size of a bookmark.

"So What" , Etching on paper

"So What" , Etching on paper

What was very interesting was at the back actually:

"So What" , Etching on paper, invitation

Obviously these prints were used as party invitations at the time. My college roommates and I probably invited about 20 people, that means I probably made about 30 prints, which means I inked, printed  (with a giant Takach press) and dried 30 times, cut out the invitation text 20 times and did hand lettering of each guest.

I can’t remember who “San” was. It might have been “Sam,” or “Satoko,” I made a mistake so that’s why this one is still here.

That’s a lot of work for a party invitation. Upon realizing what this is, a strong feeling came into my mind,

“What an idiot I was! Why the hell did I spend so much time and effort on this kind of thing?! I can’t remember any of the guests and they probably don’t remember me either, let alone how the invitation was made.”

But then I realized, this is exactly what I’ve been doing all my life and what I’m about to do right now! I’ve made all kinds of stuff and giving them to people around me and god knows if they know what they are, what they mean and where they go eventually.

That’s the thing about giving. When you give something away to someone, no matter if it’s a print, a song, a poem, a lesson, an advice, an URL of a cool video, a kiss, a meal, a napkin to wipe away tears, some money, your heart, you just really need to let go of it, and let it go on and have its own life (or not) with the recipient you’re giving it to.

Any expectation of appreciation would just rob you of the simple pleasure of giving. Maybe the ultimate reward of giving is the fact that you’ve got beautiful things in your life that are worth sharing.

So maybe I’m an idiot with lots of beautiful things in my life that are worth sharing.

Maybe I’m not an idiot after all, sharing these things with people.