Josh Farley’s The Creative News

Joshua Farley, Sophomore Contributor

Dear reader, 

In 2020, I lived a whole life in a year. If there was just one stretch of time that I would have to pick out and show someone what it means to truly be “human,” I would show them 2020 as the prime example of the experience of a life. It was a whole anthology of emotion. I believe that’s what life is: a long journey from one feeling of the next.

In just one year, I never expected to feel so many things: happiness, sadness, fear, confusion, anger, wonder, and love. They fused with each other in so many unexpected, and dare I say, unprecedented ways that I think will always interest me and inspire me. The world was vibrant in so many unusual ways when I was in it and feeling these things.

In keeping with that creative spirit of self-discovery is this new project, which I’m calling The Creative News. I knew that I had a serious need to write about what I was feeling in 2020, so when we got the opportunity to do some independent work in our school journalism class, I knew that this was my big chance to record my thoughts on last year. The result is this project, which is a collection of fiction that will hopefully serve as a sort of time capsule to the side of life in a pandemic that won’t make the history books: real, human emotion.

In terms of the writing itself, each piece captures an “atmosphere,” a sense of feeling that radiates throughout the world in certain times. I wanted to get onto paper my very abstract perceptions of these atmospheres, so I gave these very real events a very abstract portrayal. I’d like to record the sense of intrigue and emotion that goes to these historical details, so that no one can forget what it is like to be alive right now.

It was satisfying to construct these stories, as I got to relive a lot of the last year. While that did come with having to think about many dark times, doing so only increases my understanding and empathy in this strange, new world that we call home.

The stories themselves follow 2020 in chronological order. Originally, I had planned to write a separate story for each month, but when I sat down to plan out The Creative News, I realized that many months have so much in common and have stories that are so reliant upon each other, that it was much more appropriate to make consolidations in places. Therefore, the final layout of this anthology features nine pieces of creative writing, that I would best describe as “dreamlike folk-poetry,” chronicling the events of January, February, March, Springtime, June, Summertime, September, the Fall, and December 2020. All these times contained many atmospheres of emotion as I described before, so there was no shortage of inspiration. In time, I will have much more to say about this period in my life, as well as this period in the world at large.

I am very glad that these stories are complete now. I was incredibly worried that somehow I would forget how it felt to live in such strange times, and all those atmospheres of my life might go to waste. I feel very fortunate that this didn’t happen. It’s important to me that I and everyone else can hold on to their own sets of emotional atmospheres from the year 2020, and I hope that you find something to latch onto and relate with from my take on the year of the “unprecedented”. Most of all I hope you might read The Creative News and get some enjoyment from these atmospheres that mean so much to me. My main goal here is to make you think and imagine— I’m looking forward to all the creativity that’s going to come from these crazy times we’re living in. If you’ve written anything about it, I’d love to read it!

If you’d like to hear more about harnessing creativity to help understand the world around us, I have a podcast that I made with some close friends on the subject, which you can listen to here

I really hope you enjoy what I have to say, and thank you very much for reading!

Your friend,

 Josh Farley, June 1, 2021

                 

January 2020, “Smile”

February 2020, “One last walk in the city at the heart of it all”

March 2020, “Rained out”

Springtime 2020, “Finding the way”

June 2020, “Life is best lived when it is lived for others”

Summertime 2020, “Colorful days”

September 2020, “I’ll always be”

Fall 2020, “Thanksgiving”

December 2020, “Faith in the future” and a conclusion