poetry • art • marriage • momhood • faith

Laying it all out…

Though I was on the newspaper staff in middle school, did layout for my high school year book, and worked on my college’s art & literature annual for three years, until recently I never fully appreciated the artistic merit of a good layout. Perhaps that would have been beaten into me more if I had taken more than one graphic design course in college. (One semester of typography — better known as “how to xerox sharpie-drawn letters” or “where to find the best copy machines” — was all I could stomach.)

Lately, though, I’ve been doing more and more layout. Most of that stems from working on Shakespeare’s Monkey Revue, but I’ve also been doing a fair share of layout at work too: I’ve been working with HR to get our overdue Employee Handbook printed. While the layouts aren’t exciting or unique — nothing like layouts for a commercial magazine or newspaper — the fact remains that a good layout allows the content to shine. Likewise, if the layout does not compliment the content, or if it is poorly done (typos, misalignment, etc.), it distracts & detracts from the content.

Then I got to thinking… isn’t that a wonderful metaphor for people? Sometimes we get to be content, but sometimes we’re “just” layout. When we’re layouts, if we strive to be good layouts, we’ll compliment the content we’re in the presence of, be it our significant other, our children, our coworkers, our friends. And while it’s not as glorious to be the silent partner, there’s something humble about doing it well.

* * *

In other news, I heard back from Kakalak earlier this week! I had a poem accepted for publication (“Late but not running”) and a piece of my artwork received an Honorable Mention! Once the book is in print, I’ll make it public in my Shakespeare’s Monkeys library. 🙂

2 Comments

  1. Chucka Stone Designs Chucka Stone Designs
    March 1, 2008    

    First of all YEA for your being published again, that is so fantastic 🙂

    On metaphors…you make such a great point that sometimes the silent partner is just as important as the one everyone notices. Content & layout is a great analogy to relationships because without the layout the content is just a big old jumbling of words that have no purpose or direction. But on the other hand if the layout is too showy the content may never get the appreciation it deserves either. Balance is so very important 🙂

    Great post, I was missing reading your thoughts lately!

  2. Ginger Ginger
    March 3, 2008    

    hey, congrats on kakalak!! that’s fantastic!

    i really like the layout/content metaphor too. it reminds me of my boss…who is awesome. when the office has a great month end close or gets a fantabulous score on an audit she’ll break the news and when we all give her congrats she says, “you guys do it all…i just make it look pretty.” that fits perfectly.

    good stuff julie…peace…

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torch bearing quietly

I will not act out, will not
yell or curse or slam doors,
will not make a scene -- you
do not deserve such a chance
to make an example out of me
to be proven right since you
are not. Instead, I'll stand
at this street corner, raise
my hand high and clench that
light which yet remains. It
will burn brightly, quietly,
fiercely before fading as I.

Then I'll be gone but found.

©JAC 2005

Poetry by Julie Ann Cook!

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Love Like Weeds
by Julie Ann Cook
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