Art Director



As told by my little brother



My brother requires no aid in selling his propensity for attaining his various aspirations; so I will not focus on that here. Instead, I should like to share an anecdote from our childhood. Much of the memories I possess of my early childhood are wrought with having to circumnavigate through the ever-changing multitude of infantile fears. The one that maintained the firmest grip on my single-digit life was the fear of darkness. Sleep was unachievable, and I was under a self-imposed exile from the backyard at night. As the fear grew, I was beginning to think this was an un-winnable war. In desperation, I went to Shawn with my predicament, as his apparent self-certainty, and general lack of patience for my bullshit, made him the perfect weapon to utilize in my war on darkness. Much to my initial dismay he opted to give me advice: “face your fears.” It was a likely response and one I had heard time and again. It was his seemingly unorthodox application of this common axiom, however, that made me think he knew what he was talking about. He told me to go outside and stand in the darkness.

I walked out to the darkest corner of the yard with full certainty that something was going to devour me and that I was a brother to a madman. But as time went on the darkness became normalized and the fear slipped away. That night, the nightlight was rendered useless, my exile was lifted and adulthood was within my grasp.

The sentiments of Shawn’s advice have pushed beyond trivial childhood anxiety and transferred over to adult life. It’s not enough to merely approach your fears or repress them. One must immerse themselves in those sources of trepidation and uncertainty, to subjugate them entirely and in turn to obtain ownership of them. What this has meant for my brother is a complete refusal to believe that there exist any frontiers that are unattainable. It leads to an opening up to progress toward the conquest of deeper and more tumultuous seas, and any current achievements never make him hubristic, as he is already prepared to throw himself into a deeper and darker pit like the madman I once thought he was.