I came across an old sketchbook while I was cleaning the garage. The cover was battered and worn, covered in stickers from early 2000’s punk bands. As I flipped through the pages, some loose pieces slid out and I adjusted the book to catch them.
The drawings showed glimmers of potential, as well as plenty of anger. Some pages were purposefully torn to create an effect for the drawing. There was every sort of medium on those pages, graphite, charcoal, oils and watercolors. Quite a bit of sharpie. The paper was never meant for those mediums and it was a mess.
Later that night I found another sketchbook tucked in a box. Moleskine. Everything in its place. The drawings had an engineering feel to them, created with a ruler and a drafting pencil.
I have sketchbooks all around the house. And that begged the question in my mind – what if you only got one sketchbook?
That lead me to another thought – what if a sketchbook could stand in for a metaphor for life? You only get so many days. You only get so many chances. And we all start out blank (from different places and with different quality of binding and paper), but we all get paper.
Then I thought about if each page was like a relationship. Each person you meet is like a new page. Some just have rough sketches, never again revisited – but the memories are there if you tried to revisit. And other relationships are masterpieces. Meticulously crafted with love and care. As more time is spent with the piece a comfort is built but also a fear at messing up something you have invested so much time in.
It might get pulled from the notebook and hung on the wall. Framed. But then it grows dusty perhaps – overlooked. Until you move it to a new wall, or a new home.
Ok, I admit – this metaphor has many problems. But I like the feeling it gives me when I think about the infinite possibilities contained in a few hundred sheets of blank paper. We only get so many days and only enough time to develop meaningful relationships. And it never hurt to live life a little more artistically.