Another page from recent Sketchbook Project, “It’s Not About Me – Questions for a Nineteen Year Old.” The entire book is pictured in the Arthouse Coop Digital Library, here. I hope the link works. Sometimes I get an ‘in progress’ message.
Here is the facing page. It would be a good day to stay inside and drink tea. Unfortunately, there’s a four o’clock appointment on the calendar. We are right along the belt where it is difficult to predict the precipitation as rain or snow. It’s snowing now.
Originally, the question for these images was, “Where will you go when the snows come?”
“It’s Not about Me — Questions for a 19 Year Old” (Sketchbook Project, 2014)
“What will you carry” is a question that confronts all ages, of course. As my in-laws empty their house to move to a retirement community, the question is quite literal. Some of the things they will not be able to take are being divvied up among their children. And then, of those same items, we need to re-ask: “save, give away, throw away”? As I continue going room to room (now with a focus on the rat’s nest that is my studio), I am remembering an interesting novel on the topic, in which the protagonist had a hard and fast rule. Every January she surveyed her apartment and if she had not touched the thing during the previous year, she got rid of it (“My Year of Meats“, by Ruth Ozeki). That is more severe than suits me, but the question of maintenance is not: “Do I want to have to keep handling this thing to keep it clean and in its proper spot?” The answer, surprisingly, is often NO.
Young people ask “What will I carry” in an abbreviated way, using the dorm checklist as reference, and if they are reasonably nice, they let their mothers buy them some linens. Now that we know that D. will be going to college in Colorado (big HAPPY news of last week!!), the question gets asked with the logistics of flying in mind.
There are the less literal ways to ponder this, too. When I ask, “What will you carry” of my children, I say it with the deepest hope that they will carry forward many memories of caring, humor, and nurturance from home.
If it is true, as Gretchen Rubin says in “The Happiness Project,” that “[a]ny single happy experience may be amplified or minimized, depending on how much attention you give it,” then I want to figure out how to do this better.
Wouldn’t it be refreshing if a month-long break from blogging meant that great changes were afoot?! That at this end of the silent weeks, I had some crisp new approach to unfurl here and impress you all with?
Alas, I have no idea if the time-away has been fertile or not. Something is shifting, and as soon as I know what, I’ll let you in on it. But for now, I figured the best way back is through the concrete… with a visual journal, mostly from today.
tracking household efforts
writing daily pages; organizing some notes
wood for the fire I will build now that it has started to snow again
rosemary that is going inside a bird (along with lemon and garlic) — the oven creaking tells me it’s hot and I should go!
later I can stitch — the pain in my right wrist only lasted for one day this time (yesterday)
“It’s Not About Me – Questions for a 19 Year Old” (more on this soon)
this year’s Sketchbook Project submission (sent last week)
Just signed up for: THE 2014 SKETCHBOOK PROJECT. You can sign up too until midnight tonight. This wasn’t really a planned action. But there you have it.
The last time I participated, I really loved it. Including the part about having a deadline. Posted about making it: here. A flickr set with some pages archived: here. The last theme I chose was “Jackets, Blankets and Sheets”. Working around a theme can be as productive as having a deadline.
‘Course the second time I signed up I did not do anything. Even with a deadline. Even with a theme. Does that cancel out what I said above?!
Here are the 2014 THEMES:
Strange Neighbors / Borders and lines / A simple place / Accidents / Found! / Dudes and latitudes / To the last page! / First aid kit / Say words out loud / Paper airplanes / This list… / Atlas of… / Greetings from… / 32 Days / This is not about you / This is not about me / Undecided
Hmmm… so many intriguing ones. I like “This is not about me” and “First aid kit”… although, yesterday in writing class a prompt about finding a lost object was weirdly productive, so maybe “Found!” would be good.