Monday, August 29, 2011

So THAT'S where that went...


Happiness can come from anywhere. A scrap of paper for scribbling something important is priceless at the right moment. Finding what I hadn't known was missing makes me feel abundant.

Color pencils are my favorite art tool, tied for first place with very fine point, permanent black pens, like Sakura Micron .005. They work well together. Yesterday, involved in the virtuous activity of trying to reclaim my life and indoor space from the brambles and nettles that had taken over, exiling me to a dusty corner, I discovered the box of shrink art pin leftovers also had clutches of color pencils. So that's where all the shades of brown went. No wonder I could never find the Peacock Green.

Depression, a life-long condition, can foster a specific sort of amnesia. We forget who we are, we forget what simple pleasures make us happy, we lose track of accomplishments or endurances and undervalue the challenging voyage we seem to have been shanghaied into. I am not complaining. Nor am I, to the best of my knowledge, depressed now or even in the recent past. I'm just saying...Actually, I'm expressing thanks for illumination, the wind that lifted amnesia's veil and reminded me about a body of work done with color pencils, though it is dispersed across continents and few of its components reside with me. But the tools still do: both the color pencils and the rubber stamps they brought to life.

If our history is tucked away in boxes, we (of a certain age) may forget some of the good parts. As I related the find of the pencils, the illustrated pins, to a wise friend, she suggested I assemble my rubber stamp catalog and line the 400+ images across a table top. We have a built-in buffet cabinet in the dining room that would serve well. Without visible evidence, I allow myself to assume that I have been absent-mindedly twisting my hair around my finger for the past 17 years, even though I have increased my stamp lines in this century, if not this decade...yet.

What I mean to say is that if I can find myself to be richer in much of what matters than I thought, the same is very possibly true for you. At the risk of sounding like a new-age sap, I confess to keeping, from time to time, a journal of gratitude. Daily, I speak out loud appreciation for the gifts of my life. As my reclamation project chugs along, I add to the list.

There is nothing too small to be acknowledged when it comes to being thankful. In fact, there is nothing small when it comes to good. Seeming evidence to the contrary, I have not become the old desert rat who buried her treasures in abandoned mine shafts or under anonymous boulders, then lost the map she drew so she could go back and dig them up. Part of me always knows where they are, it is just that the other part remembers so inefficiently.

Photo from funnychill.com. GOOD fences make good neighbors.



12 comments:

Melissa Green said...

Brava, Marylinn. A wonderful post, a joyful one. Let the reclamation begin anew, with the cobwebs blown away and holding onto those beautiful color pencils like talismans to remember what other treasures are buried, where that amnesiac, sleepy, depressed self would like you to forget. Hold tight to what delights you. And wouldn't you just love a welcoming gate like that in front of your house? I believe you've just made one of your own--all you need do is step over the threshold! xo

Penelope said...

Mm, edible pencils (but why won't mine ever point so sharply?) and .005! I thought my staedtler 0.1 was a mighty fine pen. I'm so glad you rediscovered them all. Draw on, Marylinn.

Erin in Morro Bay said...

If your coloured pencils were as big as the ones in the last picture - you'd never have to worry about mislaying them!
Erin

beth coyote said...

Oh yes, colored pencils!!! I went up and sharpened mine so I could doodle.

Thank you for the reminder.

X Beth

Robert the Skeptic said...

Colored pencils are indeed fun. I remember Crayola 64 as well, and having a new box of factory-sharpened crayons. I almost hated to use them, knowing they would eventually wind up as one inch nubs lying every which way in a cigar box. But new or old, they always smelled the same. A simple Joy.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Melissa - Thank you. There really is a specific amnesia related to depression, so selective, like accidentally hitting the delete button for the things you intended to save. And yes, that fence, such a gate or just a yard full of giant pencils. Let them wonder. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Penelope - They are as visually delicious as candy. And mine only become that pointy with a battery-powered sharpener, which gobbles up most of the pencil. Thank you, on I draw.

Angella Lister said...

i would love to see your rubber stamps laid out end to end. oh what a sight that would be.

i keep looking at that pencil fence, wondering at the arrangement of colors.

xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - But I might have some trouble rassling them into submission for coloring...do you love the fence? Zany is not a word we hear too often these days. It still has value. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Beth - There is, to me, a zen state produced by sharpening colored pencils. Then lining them up...Enjoy your doodling. Personal preference: any face receives a nice touch of blush. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - Just the fact that the aroma of crayons has not changed over all these years. You know it isn't just wax. Those built-in sharpeners have never quite done the job. Finding an edge, somehow, to color something narrow or small. It IS joy.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Angella - When I have gathered them all - my storage is not the model of efficiency I'd imagined - there will be photos. I, too, look forward to seeing them, together again. As to the fence, it may be simply what pleased the eye of the builder.xo