My collection of sketchy, daily Moleskines dates back to 2006. They all share a common trait…empty centers. In the summer months I don’t spend as much time drawing/writing/creating in my Moleskine. There are other things to do.

Continuing the scribbly lined tree theme for the year.

While I slowly cooked my breakfast this morning, and listened to the latest edition of The Economist, I did a little illuminating. Some might call it doodling, and that is not a wholly inaccurate description of the activity. However, this was doodling with intent after self-assessing my annual habits.

This one is the closest to.a doodle of the them all. It was wonderfully meditative creating the little loops…leaves, bows, who knows?

I also made a conscious choice not to go farther than the pen work on these. I’m giving my overburdened/distracted/outdoorsy future self a chance to play with watercolors later. Yep, I’m making coloring pages for myself.

Faint lines of perspective visible.

The garden club I belong to (Four Seasons Garden Club) plants a tree each year to celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Day. We plant each one at a school in the area, so the kids can help with the planting. Fun is had by all.

Here’s how Arbor Day came into being according to the History Channel:

The modern idea of an arbor is more of a garden structure for shelter and/or plant support.

My sketch taps into a memory from my childhood of our elm-lined street. Everyone’s house had one or two elms on the parkway. Their canopy covered the street in a cathedral of moist, verdant shade. Blistering summer heat never penetrated that shield, and raucous winds were caught and mitigated by the high branches and leaves.

The monoculture planting that created this beautiful effect showed its inherent weakness when it was devastated by Dutch Elm disease…one by one the trees came down.

A smattering of new trees (more varied for greater resiliency and to address individual’s tastes) were planted. Volunteer trees that grew in convenient locations were left alone to flourish where they sprouted.

The neighborhood was never completely restored.

The strength of a tree is in a forest.

Years ago in the living arbor of Door County

A single tree can provide some shelter, but for a true arbor you need the forest to envelop you.

On the day Daylight Savings Time begins.

I finished today’s illuminations with a return to a bit of doodling. These were created by outlining a petterned glass candleholder that lives on my kitchen counter. I offset it a bit and partially outlined it again. Do we think this will likely end up with a clock face? Not only possible, but probable.

Enjoy your weekend!

Flashback 2006

I’ve come to a decision about my old Moleskine notebooks…I’m tearing them up for use in my new Moleskine and altered book.

There is too much stuff in my life, and I feel too precious about things. With all of the fires here and there, I’ve frequently found myself reflecting on what I would grab and what I would leave. I would leave a lot. Why do I live with a lot? We just accumulate things. I

also find the clutter more distracting than I used to. I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking that I need to get rid of things. I’m angry when I need to clean and there is stuff in the way.

I pulled a Moleskine from 2006-2007 off the shelf and ripped out the pages I like and the rest is gone. These particular pages are not that great, but for what I was creating at the time, they are not too bad.

2006 was 15 years ago—that’s really strange. It feels like it was yesterday.

In an odd twist, the first two spreads of my 2022 Moleskine calendar now feature a tree sketch.

Peace of mind & cohesion of thought.

Happy New Year!

The absolute last day of 2021. There are a lot of posts saying goodbye to one year and hello to a fresh start. Thinking in those terms can be helpful for drawing a line between the mistakes and troubles of the last year and the possibilities of the new year. There is nothing inherently wrong with that type of thinking. It is just a mistaken construct (the end of a calendar year) applied to another construct (the linear passage of time). 

We will have all the same troubles in 2022 that have been unresolved for the last year, five years, 10 years, 20 years, and on back. Everyone knows this.

When we draw that imaginary line, maybe we are trying to take a break from the angst associated with all those difficulties that chase us through life. For at least two days we want a salve for our troubled minds and hearts. We want to carve out a couple of days where we can be at peace and hopeful. Instead of being hopeful on our own, we would like the rest of the world to occupy this space with us.

We’ve collectively agreed to recognize the calendar and time zones, so in a rolling volley across the world we celebrate the turning of an arbitrary page…a calendar page. It is really a magnificent collective effort by a majority of humanity. There’s hope in that, and reason to celebrate another Happy New Year!