A number of years ago, I lost my maternal grandparents, in a whirlwind matter of days, while one held the door to the beyond for the other, and then they were gone from us. But they left a lifetime of things behind through which we sifted and from which we selected a few bits and baubles to remember them by. I kept ‘strange things’ like lists my Gran had made, or recipes she’d hand written. These were the things I loved best.
Today this lovely video (below) came across my virtual path, courtesy of my artist friend and fellow creatrix, Michelle Blades of Bird In The Attic Studio and I was immediately taken back to the wild time of sifting through the Grans’ possessions.
I’ve watched this video a number of times now and what stuck with me is that this was a distillation of the life of a loved one. And that how, for those lucky enough to have sketch-journals left behind by a loved one who’s passed on, life without them is richer for the existence of these books. Our possessions these days are less lasting than in ages past, but one thing that I believe endures, are people’s sketchbooks. Regardless of how ‘archival’ or what have you they may be. In my sketch book I have grocery lists and to do lists, and notes about what I find is beautiful. I have occasional diarized written entries to keep myself centered in a busy day-to-day life. And I have drawings and impressions and ephemera that mean something to me, sometimes in the smallest way.
Someday, these books may mean something to my kids, or my grandkids, like the amazing woman in the video above. My family may have the gift of reading about a time years and years ago, when I first became a mother, or an artist, just because I kept a simple journal of my time here on earth. How I wish I had a written record of my grandmother’s ‘sense of the ridiculous’ (she had one!) or my grandfather’s knowing of all things garden (never plant tomatoes until after the first full moon past mother’s day).
How do you keep track of your time passing? I’d love to know. Interested in learning more about my process of capturing the day to day in a book? Join me for a workshop! (deadline has passed, yes, but there are a couple of slots left if you are interested!)