Werner Herzog is an artist I admire, for his ingenuity and work ethic, but mostly because of his art. See his series DEATH ROW PORTRAITS if you want to get a glimpse inside the man who has the uncanny ability to get people to confess their darkest depths. And then he reveals how even the most monstrous souls have the capacity for light.

Also, his birthday is September 5th, and so is mine. Perhaps this is a good omen for the course of my creative energy and where it will ultimately go. I’d like to believe it, at least.

Aside from Mr. Herzog, there are many other people I admire: Neil Gaiman, River Phoenix, the parents of Jessica Huse, Brandon of HONY, Jesus the man, the doctors in Liberia fighting Ebola, the parents of Michael Brown, the Assyrians in America protesting the injustice being done unto their people in Iraq.

Lists can have the effect of trivializing but that is not what I mean to do here. I mean to shed light on some of the good in the world when so much of the world sheds light on the worst. There are more people I admire who I don’t even know. They work like ghosts, touching things for the better but leaving no trace of themselves behind. 

It is hard to be a giver and receive nothing in return. It is the ultimate act of selflessness; no one is watching. No one is there to return the gift by providing accolades. 

Such givers are my friends. Many have generously lent me their souls and agreed to shackle themselves to the first, painfully awkward drafts of my projects. They do this for nothing in return. They do this knowing it will be full of mistakes and confusion and maybe it will even be really, really bad. Still, they do this for me. It is a favor that I can never return to them, so I must seek other ways to repay them. 

My hopes are that some day they will receive great joy in some tale that I craft. I do not think this is a bad goal to have, to affect people with your art. 

I want to contribute a way to navigate darkness in the world. That is why I love stories. That is why I make them.  

Thank you, friends. There are so many of you who are too good to me. I continue to be indebted to you.