All posts tagged: happiness


I want to be a clockmaker. But I want to envelop Father Time in a lullaby, thereby gifting minutes—or possibly hours—to people who dare to dream. Extra moments, for the mind to run free. It would be a magnificent clock indeed! Methinks five large hands, each one unique in design and whirling past Roman numerals—some missing, some cockeyed—with a tempest’s energy, in opposite directions. Fashioned like the grandfathers of yore, my clock would bewilder all eyes that looked upon it, propelling the expected into the realm of the unexpected, thus removing one’s mind from the linear passage of time and gently placing it into a nebulous and seemingly never-ending moment. Yes, I want to be a clockmaker. I want to give the gift of time, which is the creator of dreams. © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.

The Mad Hatter | Joe Blend | Illustration


beneath the hat…truth rich minds…deep hearts…playful steps We’re all a little mAd! — The Mad Hatter, from the Tim Burton interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, was an odd bloke to say the least. Definitely odd…and bizarre, a bit disturbed, and certainly loony. But he was also a passionate artisan who had a kind heart and good soul. Mad is a word that has multiple definitions, but I think the best one of all is that which implies being carried away by enthusiasm. Which you could also read as a playful passion for life. So, in that sense, all of us—to some degree, in some way, at some point in time—are a little mad! Illustration and writing © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.


I once made my own toy, when I was a kid. I did so in order to participate in an adventure I knew others were experiencing. — Money was tight when I was a kid…at least for a period of time, long enough to prevent me from obtaining one of the most coveted toys on the market at that point: Voltron. There were three versions of this mechanized force for good—gladiator, warrior, and lion—and I eventually owned the first two. But before that blessing was bestowed upon my young imagination, I owned none. And during that period of none, the version I wanted most was the Deluxe Lion Set. We can all relate to being a kid who doesn’t get what they want. Especially when others in your neighborhood had what you wanted. That’s how my Voltron period began. But instead of focusing on the problem, I committed to a solution: I made the toy I couldn’t have. “Let me tell you that my level of patience as a kid was apparently, and significantly, more …

An Extension of Waves and Time | Joe Blend | A 2-oz. Read


life, priceless purpose monuments to moments remind us always love each breath The artwork below was made using a black Sharpie marker, a Ranger white opaque pen, a Precise V5 Rolling Ball extra fine black pen, and a sheet of paper from a Moleskine journal. The piece was then copied in black and white using an HP copier. The artwork and haiku are inspired by “Beyond Waves & the Notion of Time,” my journal post about the importance of the journey. © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.


I’m a 44-year-old adult who doesn’t know how to swim. Naturally, I’ve never had a desire to surf. But that didn’t stop me from watching Under An Arctic Sky, a documentary about arctic surfing that’s directed by photographer Chris Burkard. It was, generally speaking, an interesting documentary. And I’ll grant you I was somewhat surprised by my curiosity toward this film, at the outset. However, it was the last 10 minutes or so that produced the real gem for me: the notion of the journey as being more important than the product of the journey. That concept gave me a good reason to reflect because, as someone who is creative on a professional level, I find it too easy to focus on the outcome…that final product, an anticipated portfolio piece, a new “thing” to share. The problem with that perspective is simple: it neglects the journey. In a journey, the substance isn’t found at the end: it lives in each of the moments experienced within. And those experiences—an engaging conversation, a magnificent view, or even the next phase of …


Writing and drawing are practically twin siblings. They’re two peas in a pod, from the inception of a flickering notion. That’s because words are nothing but lines—curved, straight, connected, and otherwise—brought together to help us digest another person’s thoughts. And drawing helps us see those thoughts as if we could peek around the corners of someone’s mind and observe the still frames for each idea. I’ve always known how to draw. I took several formal drawing courses in college, and my graphic design background helped me determine how drawing could be used in my creative writing. But it goes beyond lines. Both writing and drawing require form and function, because a word that doesn’t make sense will tie our brain into a knot; and a thoughtless collection of scribbles will force our brain to discard the subject altogether. That means each word of a sentence must be strategically chosen, just as each line of a drawing must be applied with care. One serves the other, a back and forth between our mind’s eye and our mind’s heart. …


The best ideas are born from a desire to ignore convention and embrace instinct. It is a move toward fresh and exciting possibilities instead of forcing fresh and exciting upon what already exists. Speak with your voice and people will hear you; mimic someone else’s voice and your tribe will keep walking. © 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.


A coffee a day will keep the crabby away. That’s because countless observations have revealed coffee’s ability to help maintain personal balance, focus, and outward contentment by eradicating all malaise of the attitude. From the element of caffeine to the abundant flavors and their complimentary nature to a variety of settings, coffee is, without a doubt, medicine for the soul. DIRECTIONS: Consume one 8-ounce cup of black coffee (no sugar) within 30 minutes of your morning alarm’s cheery chimes. Additional cups may be consumed throughout the morning as needed, with or without food. Warning: Do not exceed five cups in a 24-hour period. Please consult a physician if, after consuming coffee, you experience heart palpitations, day sweats, or nonsensical babbling. Consuming no coffee at all could result in fits of irritation otherwise known as the Jekyll-and-Hyde Effect, an unpredictable malady affecting those around you by rendering the lottery a safer bet than not getting yelled at. If you discover that your coffee supply has been depleted, find the nearest coffee shop posthaste: do not eat, do not stop for …

The League of Librarians | 2-oz. Read | Blog


Deep in the nooks and crannies of society lives an organization, a dedicated movement, defined only by the unique ability of its members. I discovered the organization years ago and began to follow them, studying their every move. They have no handshake nor do they wear any sort of identifiable insignia. What’s most peculiar is they do not occupy a joint headquarters or secret lair but instead use their homes or public spaces as a base of operations. Despite that public presence, they operate in whispers and nudges, although they always use their abilities for the greater good. These extraordinary citizens—these devoted individuals—are known as the League of Librarians. The League of Librarians has been around for as long as stories have existed. It was formed in the distant past by the first person to ever tell a story. Regrettably, the League’s archives have no record of this person’s name or background so it appears that his or her identity is lost to the ages. Members of the League have a single magical ability: to …

Humanity | 2-oz. Read | Blog


Social media tried to connect us. And before that it was computers, which followed landline phones and so on. And those technologies were successful, to a point. That’s because they hurt us as well. Those achievements gradually lowered us into a virtual reality that, over time, evaporated what it means to be human. You see, digital is fake. It’s 0s and 1s that, with the help of light and electricity, create objects and experiences we recognize from the physical world. We think we’re pressing keys, we assume a notification is tantamount to a human voice, and we decide that pixels mimic bricks. It’s an elaborate magic trick—”smart” stuff—because what we’re participating in is nothing more than a series of taps on a flat screen. Remove the bells and whistles, turn off the light, and cut the power, and what remains is a flat surface that is no more magnificent than a table top. But most listen to the dings and pops; many are glued to the glow; a multitude refuse to cut the cord. And …