You’ll remember in fragments
What for me is a dream
Your recollection in pieces
Mine blurred at the seams
From each other we’ll gather
And contrive some whole
A form of this mem’ry
That is ours to behold
Whether with youth or with age
No mind can perfectly grasp
The minutiae of moments
As they slip to the past
So join with me here
In imperfect recall
Amid fragments and dreams
Let us treasure them all
I recently started reading the first book of the “Redwall” series by Brian Jacques. I had never read it before but have always been drawn to books in which animals are the characters. I decided to take a break from portrait drawings and do an illustration based on my mental image of the story.
This moment in the illustration follows the attack of Redwall Abbey, led by the legendary Cluny the Scourge. Cluny’s spy has recently stolen something from the Abbey which serves as a source of inspiration and identity-orientation for all within the Abbey. At this moment in the drawing, Matthias, a self-effacing yet fiercely loyal monk from the Abbey, is venturing to St. Ninian’s Church where Cluny’s army has setup camp to confront him. Along the way, he encounters Basil Stag Hare, a proud and elusive hare who offers his support.
I was first attracted to Jacque’s description of Basil Stag as a “patchwork” animal. I’m not quite sure what was meant by that word but it gave me the image of a somewhat rugged creature. I wanted to use this drawing as an attempt to draw some animals and portray the two figures from two different perspectives (head-on for Basil Stag and from behind for Matthias). I’ve also been spending more time adding background details to my drawings so this one provided many different elements for practice, including a distant figure of St. Ninian’s church, a dirt path descending over a foreground horizon line and continuing on into the distance, and various bits of forestry.
Amazing things happen to people in the presence of a child. Though this phenomenon is difficult to describe, you can’t miss it with your eyes.
My brother-in-law is a man of adventure whose world travels from the frozen mountains of Iceland to the hills of Florence to the vast wilds of Yosemite will someday make for an enthralling novel. A seasoned software engineer and mountain climber, he bears a broad and balanced palette of expertise in technology, wilderness, and culture.
He became an Uncle for the first time when my daughter was born. This is a sketch of the moment when, after months of anticipation and a long cross-country flight, he held her for the first time.
In getting to know these two as individuals, it strikes me that they both have a a knack for discovering what’s “out there.” My daughter will climb, burrow, and tumble through any physical space that’s available to her to quench her thirst for exploration. Hans could not be a better Uncle with whom to share that thirst. I can’t wait to see the adventures they’ll have together.
Until then, may their bond continue to blossom in that special kind of tenderness that exists between Uncle and Niece; the kind that begins at first sight.