Most of what I consider as my bursts of creativity have come in what one might call crowd conditions. I seem to write (and edit… and manage others) in thick office, photo shoot, meeting and show situations surrounded by people. That has been the deal since I started in publishing in the mid ’70s.
And… until March of 2020, that was the deal for this one-time art director and long-time editor-in-chief you know. But it has now been a full year and a half of just me in my basement surrounded by a wall of vinyl LPs, well-worn music instruments and issues of print 20/20s from these last 20 months. No live contact with any of my edit team, our advertising managers, my publisher, my relatively new cohorts at WebMD and the countless faces I would pass during my lunch walks around our NYC office.
Back in the day, I would literally “think out” this whole editor’s note on my railroad and subway commute. I would get into the office and scribe the words on computer as the rest of the Jobson team started up their day of face-to-face meetings and the numerous daily encounters that resulted in the print and digital missives we are tasked with as the lifeblood of our gigs.
Currently that is not the case. It’s just me pounding away on a keyboard and then you basically thumbing through our print mag or opening up one of our increasingly numerous digital e-blasts all focused on this “vision” thing we do.
And although I still love my gig… THIS… in its current situation of isolation… is not the thing I signed on to do at the start of my career. This communication from a point of isolation is not really me. I’m basically a “people” person, and I MISS MY PEOPLE.
I’m hoping this being cut off from contact ends soon. We are in the midst of a bi-annual double issue month that has always been in celebration of twice-yearly trade shows where we all come together and gear up for a new season of the opti-world in all facets. I’m sensing that scenario has potentially changed forever in numerous ways but the critical aspect of face-to-face is chomping at the bit. We all need each other and our “service” to optical (whatever it might be) will always have an element of encounter we thrive on. And that sense of connectivity will always extend to the people we serve, delivering a realm of better vision and enhanced healthcare. And this product 20/20 strives to always enhance… this delight that is eyewear and sunwear… is something we all love seeing on the faces of those loving what a great pair of eyewear can do in adding clarity and cool, and a nearly undefinable sense of well-being to our lives.
As I’ve noted through all of these years and certainly right now… I look forward to seeing you soon.
• James J. Spina