Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Friday, 19 April 2013

Sketching, and the mysterious Long Tails

It's difficult for me to fill a sketchbook or notebook, and yet I LOVE good quality, unusual stationery. This means I have a few notebooks (mostly little ones) knocking around, barely touched. I know of at least two fellow bloggy friends who have the same weakness :)

Sometimes it is an inexpensive little thing to get in the name of retail therapy. I had a go at making a few notebooks myself a few years ago. Bob T Bear has filled one of these with the addresses of his blog friends. He uses it for his Xmas card list. An 8inch Bear is therefore better than me at filling notebooks.

I mention it today because this week I have picked up a lovely Moleskin sketchbook that I bought last February when I began (but failed to finish- again! There, see?!) an online portrait course. Unsurprisingly it had only about 8 pages used in it. One thing I had recorded was Scooter's passing. I stuck in a small embroidered piece of aida next to that page. It has "love" written on it, with the "L" as a decorated, illuminated letter. I left the book in the shelf after that.

I'm using it again now. A few sketches, thoughts. And when I've been tearful and upset I've written how I feel, and written TO Scooter too.

It is already quite nice to look back over pages, even the sad ones. So I hope I can keep it up. Well, I suppose I shall keep it up for as long as I need it, and that maybe that's why these books end up unfilled.

Am I the only one that has books with 90% unused pages in them??!!!

I've dug out a couple of books for inspiration too. One is filled with 1000 photo's of journal pages. The other is about wet-on-wet watercolour. I'd like to paint some Long-Tailed-Tits, a beautiful, cute faced little bird that I associate with Scooter. At big milestones in his illness, that last summer, they came to our garden and settled in the tree above him.

Just 5 days before he passed, I was walking back from the shop with some treats for him. It had not entered my mind that I was so close to losing him. As I walked I cut through a little tree-lined alleyway, and suddenly heard the song of the Long Tails. It was a treat, at first, to see them again. I stopped to watch them, smiling. It was lovely. As I walked on a feeling of panic and dread came over me, so slowly. By the time I was home I had already formed the thought that they had returned to warn me, ME- as it was not in the garden with Scooter this time - that his time was coming.

Some weeks later, Luvbug and I were talking about a strange incident with the Long Tails, when they had gathered with their young in the tree over where Scooter lay sleeping, recovering from a seizure. I was kneeling next to him, with a shawl over him to keep him warm. I thought I was losing him then and there. I looked up at the birds in a low branch over us. "Look, Scooter!" I whispered, "Look; little angels have come, to see if you're ok..."

This was the first strange occurrence with them, and the eve of a very bad day of seizures for Scooter. It was during the following week that I figured out it was low blood sugar that caused the seizures, and got the vet to confirm it with a blood test. From then on, we fed him little and often, -every few hours, even through the night- and I added honey to his water. He enjoyed the summer, staying quite strong for another 6 or 7 weeks....

Anyway, when we were remembering this, we said, "But why Long Tailed Tits?" and it suddenly hit me- Why, because he has such a long tail too! Even vets had commented on it. "Is this tail ever coming to an end?" one said, as he came out of his box.

So anyway..... journalling to get things out, and maybe a colour wash with the Long Tails.... hope so.

**** *** **** *** **** ***
Love, tea & cake, Helena


Feronia said...

Beautiful and amazing observations, Helena. Nature has so much to give us and show us :)

Angel and Kirby said...

Note books can be great therapy. You can write, sketch, doodle or paint your troubles away

Found art blog said...

Wow.... what a lovely story about the birds!! And I have a collection of unused sketchbooks too...!

Ginger Jasper said...

That is so beautiful and I am sure the little birds are a comfort. I think it is a good idea to use those books and writing and drawing is a good therapy. Hugs GJ x

Julie said...

I am very bad at using sketchbooks and then not filling them too, Helena. I think that's a great idea to have a sketchbook for words and paintings to do with your thoughts of Scooter. Xx