Often when I look through photos as ideas to draw, there are those that just make me smile… like the one that inspired this little gem.
Who is this middle-aged, bowler-hatted, suit-clad gent riding so elegantly but incongruously on cycle? Maybe a Mr. Chips professor on his way to class in what appears to be a school or college, muted in the background? There is a back story here…and the writer and artist in me wishes I could fully read it. I’m grateful the unknown photographer caught this lovely tree lit lane and invited me into his scene across the pond. I’d never have delighted in recreating in sketch, reveled in such dappled light as though I were there in person otherwise… this framed story moment.
It makes me wonder, in this stressed and work-worn world, what makes this man appear so free and young at heart? How can we revitalize, rejuvenate ourselves daily?
Could it be as simple as training our eyes to really see
the interplay of light and shadow,
take note of The Artist’s brush strokes, as it were?
This morning, steps away from the door of a local print and business store, I suddenly heard the even quicker footfall of someone coming up behind — someone apparently bent on beating me through. An urge to speed up my already fast walking, get there first, came over me (for if she were going to the print center as I was, and got there first, I might have to wait a long time). But envisioning a not to0 pretty collision, I acquiesced with a semi-loud sigh and let the woman now in front of me edge inches ahead.
Hm. She didn’t turn or even stop to hold the door open for me, on top of her as she must know I was.
That’s when I really took notice of her. “I think that’s my good neighbor,” I suddenly realized, in shock. “Yes… it is! And she didn’t even recognize me as she pushed past!” (A twinge of my own guilt at how I’d almost tried to outrun her echoed back.) Not wanting to embarrass, knowing how easy it is to be sort of myopic as we move about in the world, I simply went on in behind her without speaking…
Still, it gave me pause.
How much do we miss every day because we are in some inexplicable rush, or time and care-worn?
Are we not meant to see so much more than we do? Do we simply pass by with eyes unseeing as God sets a table before us?
As I sketch more and more lately, I find myself… looking for the luminous.
That’s why this scene tugged at me immediately – a quiet, sundappled portrait of love between an elderly man and his collie, out for a stroll in an English wood. He reminds me of the actor who played Santa Claus in Miracle on 34th Street, the same elderly charmer as a character in classic Lassie films of the ’40’s. But he isn’t. Just an anonymous man caught forever on this radiant path who – cane and stooped-stance aside — somehow resonates young at heart to me.
I’m struck by this thought — I think there’s a photographer, artist, writer, wordsinger born into each of us, meant to notice such scenes, imprint them on our souls, trace the secret messages within Maybe not always with a physical camera, a paintbrush or lines on a paper…though it may be. But more with a spiritual hunger for uncovering and somehow holding close the shining bits of majesty and story, hidden in plain sight…but seemingly so elusive.
For it is those “bits” that limn God’s Presence in deeper lines, draw us closer to the heart of Love and ring within us the sound of a child’s carefree laughter once again — like cottony white clouds sailing light and shadow over our heads and inviting us to soar.
As little ones we knew it as wonder.
The way the light shimmers and dances through the leaves to set this moment between man and dog in an almost movie director glow… the warmth of the man’s hand on his collie’s head. The adoring uplift of the animal’s eyes to master… the simple stage of an unpolished and somewhat wild glen…
Only, being but babes just beginning life, our understanding was also immature, and as such, unable to fully unfold the marvel. Then.
What of now?
What if we take those Psalm-selah moments and look for the luminous? Like detectives, questing for clues…
Search expectantly for hidden treasures in peaceful moments softened in pools of unexpected reflections…
Remember and cherish the stories of us, family, friends over generations…
Take time to listen to a seashell story or two…
Revel in the gleam of clean, pure white…in clouds, in sea foam, in sweet girl dresses…
Make time for cozy… Steep in the Spirit’s fresh breezes…
And as we do, let us share the wonder of such discoveries,
speak of them to one another
to build each other up
in looking for the luminous
and revitalizing a youthful spirit!
And…banish forever… words in our own mouths, calling ourselves old.
[He] satisfieth thy mouth with good things;
so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:5, King James
© Pam Depoyan
A summer’s worth of Pen and Ink and Pencil drawings, mine.
ONE OF THESE DRAWINGS ESPECIALLY RESONATE “LUMINOUS” TO YOU? 🙂
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