Saturday, June 01, 2019
Notre Dame, lower Puna, Volcanoes, Fires, and Change
I draw often, but I find when I'm upset, I draw more...sometimes obsessively. I think it helps me work though things and process the feelings. It could be that I'm just an obsessive sort, but I like the prior explanation better, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it. 😄
The day Notre Dame was burning, like the rest of the world, I was in shock. I suppose I kind of take it for granted that the things I see that have been relatively the same for hundreds or thousands of years will still be there when I go back. Never take anything for granted. I could not stop thinking about it, and checking the news when I could while at work. I ended up making a drawing from one of my photos. It's very wonky and I totally lost track of where things were in relation to each other, but it doesn't matter. I channeled some of that nervous energy into making a little drawing in my book. While I drew, I thought about how we sat at the cafe on the corner across the street and drank mulled wine and sketched the cathedral. I'm sooo glad we did sketch that day.
Part of the reason I started sketching again (way back when my kids were still in school) was because when I sketch, I remember things so much better. I have to really slow down and observe the scene. Later when I look at a sketch, I can remember just how it felt to sit there: what the sounds were, how the breeze (or lack of it) felt, how the temperature was. I wanted to remember things more completely.
On my trips to Hawaii, I always made time to go swim in this warm pond, heated by the volcanic action beneath the earth, with ocean waves splashing over into the pool at one end. It was a special place. I made this sketch one year while I was there by myself. Then last year, a large chunk of lower Puna was covered over in lava from the eruption of Kīlauea. This place and the tide pools where I snorkeled, homes, one of my favorite restaurants for lunch, and other special places are now completely under tons of lava. Though I knew it could happen, I never really expected those places to disappear. I'm so glad I sketched while I was actually sitting there in the shade of the palms.
Of course, sometimes it's not just places that change. My dogs pass away with their shorter doggie lives. Some of my human loved ones have passed away too. My children grew from babies to teenagers to young adults and are now in their late twenties and early thirties. Homes are bought and sold and remodeled. My own body goes back and forth from thin to heavy. Towns and buildings change with the times. As the saying goes: the only constant in life is change.
I'm one of those people who is rather shy about sketching in front of other people, so I don't do it as often as I'd like. But now I'm going to try and remember to go ahead and sketch on the spot. You never know when things will change and maybe even be gone. Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero (Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow). Draw it today.