Now that last month has finished I am feeling that my life is getting back to a sense of normality and there is a sort of symbolic closure on the March/April madness. Despite this feeling I am not totally at ease as I know that there are many in Japan and of course all of the world who do not have the comfort I feel but life hasn’t stopped for anyone and jobs have to be worked and home lives have to be maintained. Before and during Golden Week I heard a number of my friends went up North to help with the clean up and volunteer in the aftermath of the earthquake/tsunami. I admire their action and wish I could have gone as well but life and work required something else of me. I wonder what the world would be like if more people did not have the burdens of daily life, financial needs, and simply the things that cause us the stress and busyness of life. Would we help those in less fortunate places? Or, would we become more materialistic and become more like the grasshopper in the children’s story of the grasshopper and the ant?I guess this is kind of heavy thinking but these types of thoughts enter my brain and in difficult times it’s hard not to think of such serious or heavy things. I like these thoughts though and enjoy talks over a beer or scotch trying to find some answers to them but when I am at home I don’t want this type of heavy thinking to control my mind. So I have been trying to find new outlets for my energy and recently have found two. The first is a strictly vanity motivated focus on gaining weight and lifting weights but the send is a renewed interest in my drawing and illustration. This is something that really gives me an outlet for my stress and I find that it gives me a sense of accomplishment and self-worth which, at the end of the day, everyone needs.I have brought some of my illustrations and digital art to Stageline but just to give some people a view into what I am doing here are a few of my recent pics I made. I don’t create these pics for money or have even been taught professionally how to draw or create them. It is purely a creative self taught activity and maybe one day I will learn the specific skills to build on what I am learning and know now.銀座校インストラクター MIKE