Tag Archives: drawing

Frazzled llama & some doodles

My art life is in transition, it seems. I almost closed this blog recently, feeling like I did not produce enough content to keep it going.

This is quite ironic. I am the Scribe, after all, and now I laugh to myself as I remember why people hire me to run their business social media campaigns and to write articles for them. They just do not have the time.

This has been a bit of a struggle, until I realized that the real struggle was my resistance to accepting my own pace. This is precisely what I have decided to do.

Well then, the llama is no longer naked. Next, a little trim here and there, a face and that basket saddle. Sometime earlier this week, I practiced three more tangle patterns.

There are many thoughts on my mind. I could voice an opinion about many things I witness, about the news, about the ridiculous behaviors of humans, about inconsiderate people… the list goes on. I keep coming back to the same conclusion: The trick is to not form an opinion at all. The trick is silence. Live and let live. The trick is to decide if my own actions are at peace with the world… and with me.

Often, I think it is that simple; all of us just paying attention to our individual behaviors and deciding how to act in each instant, asking, “Is this worth doing? How does this affect my neighbors?” and so on.

Sometimes, I am able to stop my thoughts in their tracks and to completely step out of a frustrating situation, even as I stand in the midst of it; even while others stand in the midst of it, foaming at the mouth. After a while, I look back and realize that I do not feel that sense of being sapped of energy for having participated. A lot of our actions are just that, draining.

We learn many things in school. We learn facts. We learn to accumulate knowledge so we can embark on a career, but we do not learn how to communicate and how to listen. Maybe school is not the place for this. Maybe the only way to learn this is by trial and error; through living and stumbling and trying to live a bit better each time we get back up.


The Library of Souls

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day. I had been cooped up for the week. The roads are no longer covered with ice. I needed to drive.

Roderick and I used to go on random rides on the weekend. Once, we ended up in Port Henri, New York. Drove through town, just to see how it looked. Bought a pastry and coffee at a sandwich shop and took the dog for a walk at a roadside stop that had caught my attention because a young beech stretched out from a slope, calling to me. Another time we ended up at an Indian Motorcycle collector’s house in New Hampshire. Roderick had been given a sidecar and felt compelled to perhaps find a suitable host.

My road trips do not take me to such distant explorations. I am usually happy just running errands. I had not seen my friend Natacha, who owns Brown Dog Books & Gifts in Hinesburg, since well before Christmas, so that is where I aimed the car. I like that somewhere along the way I pass by a house Roderick built years ago. He has left his mark.

Natacha was visiting briefly with some customers and friends, so I walked around the shop and landed upon an irresistible find: A Tangle Art Meditative Drawing Kit. I used to illustrate stories and draw animals and mystical figures. I don’t think I have drawn a thing in over 20 years. This will provide a good starting point to reacquaint myself with pen, paper and colors.


The things we set aside, or leave behind. We live full lives yet our stories are never complete; even entire chapters are set aside, never finished. But if we tried to finish every single detail, we might never start the new chapters that bring us to the true depth of our story.

I know little of my parents’ stories and even less of my sister’s. It seems that not even two centuries ago we had an altogether different appreciation for and knowledge of the stories of our siblings and parents. Our stories were multi-generational then.

These thoughts cross my mind as my father-in-law slowly reaches the last moments of his last chapter. It may be days now. Heather, his daughter, has been at his side most days, wondering what each skirmish means and unable to decipher the bits of words he might utter. There is nothing left to do but wait. An original story and so many chapters, dwindling away, just like that.

Generals, artists, inventors and presidents have stories written about their lives. Come to think of it, even people who do despicable things end up as characters in best-selling biographies.

Perhaps everyone who ever lived should have a small book written about them, not just the famous people, so that the world would have a library of short stories about everyday humans. We all play a role in the ongoing story, after all. It could be called “The Library of Souls.”


Gentle Warrior – PS MacMurray – 1986