I could not
look at it from be
fore or aft
er, only
the angle of gone, dissolved,
empty, vanishing–

not just the
material thing
that had been
but what it represented–
a piece of myself,

never to
be recovered–and
here I am
left watching,
clinging to impermanence
like water and wind

“The Kick-About prompt of souvenir seemed perfect: my daughter had given me a small sketchbook, and every day I sat on my beach chair with my feet in the waves doing a drawing, and then writing a haiku to accompany it.  The sketchbook would be my souvenir.

On the last day of my beach vacation the ocean was quite rough, due to Hurricane Henri passing by, so I sat far up on the sand, where only a small piece of a dying wave occasionally brushed my toes.  Holding my sketchbook up to let the watercolor pencil drawing dry I was suddenly totally upended by a rogue wave that covered me completely. I stood up, soaked, clutching my pencils in one hand, but watching my sketchbook being pulled under and out to sea. 

I will replay that image in my mind for a long time, maybe forever.

When I got home, I channeled my emotional turmoil into neocolors, drawing from memory the ocean that was now fixed in my mind.  The sketchbook drawings were so much more beautiful though.  At least that’s how I’ll always remember them.”

For dVerse, where Ingrid asks us to attempt “writing your way out of a place of pain“. I drew it first, then I wrote.

55 thoughts on “Souvenir

  1. Wow, that sure is an event to make you go hm?! Sometimes I think there is a slight impishness to the universe and this is an example of it. So sorry to hear you lost your sketchpad filled with wonder. The song you chose to go with this is perfect. Never of this guy before but I went to youtube and am now following his channel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do think it was a not-so-gentle reminder. We all need them every once in awhile.
      I’ve had the cd with this song for 30 years, and it becomes more appropriate all the time. I believe, also, he is Dylan’s son-in-law, not that it has any bearing on his music. But interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. p.s. I was just reading today about Bono having a whole portfolio of song stuff and getting ready to record when the portfolio turned up missing. They already had the studio time booked to record and the producer was breathing down their necks so they had to wing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Frustration. I see it in your drawing. Good that you could let it into your art. And iny our poem
    “the angle of gone, dissolved,
    empty, vanishing–”
    Nicely worded

    Thanks for reading mine

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s a beautiful drawing though!
    To my mind, this incident you describe and your reactions to it, are a perfect example of how we cling to bits and pieces that possibly only become important once we’ve lost them. Like not being able to find that story you’re convinced was so much better than anything you’ve written since. The past becomes a fantastic place and the present often seems dull in comparison. You’ve kept all that was important. The trick is how to convince yourself.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It was definitely a lesson from the universe–one that keeps needing to be relearned. Who (including me) will ever look again at most of what I’ve created? And I keep making more…


      1. You know, that’s exactly what I’ve been mulling over these past weeks. I’ve written, revised, rewritten, polished and produced so many novels that I can’t make any better, and nobody wants them. I decided not to write anything new. It would be just more of the same ‘me’ that isn’t commercially interesting. I’ve taken the hint.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I can’t seem to stop making more. But of course a novel is an entirely different beast than a poem or piece of art. Perhaps we were better off when all art was anonymous and communal.


              1. There is, and the Green Party and some of the left wing parties here advocate it but I can never remember what it’s called. It’s about decreasing consumption and demand for unnecessary rubbish, and increasing production of what we actually need i(and often have to import from China because that’s the deal with them) in a green economy. The idea is always ridiculed, going back to the Middle Ages etc etc but it’s the only way to keep producing things, keeping jobs and everything else including the planet going.

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. Try telling some people to turn the heating down and wear a jumper indoors instead of tee shirts and they’ll tell you it’s an infringement of their personal freedom. I don’t think we can claim much of that these days.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. And when everyone does that, the whole world goes down the pan…oh!
                      Husband had an angry exchange with one of our three neighbours who have sprawling houses and shaved lawns carved out of agricultural land. Husband tackled him about filling in a ditch on his property because he wanted to make it nice and plat. Husband tried to explain that ditches were dug for a purpose, to direct run-off down to the watercourse and by filling it in, heavy rain floods the lane then flows over into our meadow and turns part of it into a swamp. The lane flooding gets the municipality out digging chunks out of our meadow in a futile attempt to drain it off. You have to think of the consequences when you mess about with hydraulics and generally, about the environment.
                      The neighbour’s reply, ‘We all do what we like on our own property.’
                      End of a beautiful friendship.

                      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, I remember very well losing about 90,000 words of a thing I was writing, and then, afterwards, trying to match the re-writes to the imagined perfection of the deletion. In the end, the only way to move on, was to allow myself to forget what I’d written originally, and let the writing process happen more naturally. I sound very sanguine about it, don’t I? I bloody well wasn’t at the time…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Clinging to the impermanence” That sums it up perfectly. I can imagine your pain, frustration, and anger at losing your souvenir. It was a record, but still an impression of what you saw and/or your mood at the time. I do think this artwork is beautiful! And were the watercolors truly more beautiful, or is that only how you remember them?

    Your account stirred a memory for me–when our children lost a bunch of their little people at the beach–the ocean took them away. They were so upset. It was a whole world for them that was gone forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was really angry, which now seems such an overreaction. And yet. I do think the original drawings had an immediacy which can never be recreated. But perhaps that’s the lesson.

      My daughters and I were just talking about their little people which they inherited from their cousins. It was definitely a whole world, one that also now exists only in memory.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “the angle of gone…” Says it all, really, and the fact that the writer’s perspective on experience/loss makes water and wind impermanent is powerful indeed, as of course they are but compared to us, immortal–to have that perspective, that shattering of norms, really makes the poem speak in its own voice, about how our bits and pieces of creation carry us forward even when we ourselves are gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So sorry about the loss of the sketchbook, but your thoughts here are truly profound and make me think of my own past experiences with loss in different ways. Maybe we are to enjoy the process and journey for what it is. Just the act of being creative is enough sometimes, maybe it permanently changes us if nothing else! 💞

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve lost papers and poems and whatnot, brilliant stuff (in memory) that, when I face myself, really wasn’t.

    Now, your art is brilliant, so that was a true loss, and your anger was right in the moment, as is your acceptance now. I admire your ability to turn the pen back on, to yet refract the light that went under. ~


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