(bluebell sketch, AW, April ’13)
Douglas Malloch (1877-1938)
A Crazy Quilt
And what is life? A crazy quilt;
Sorrow and joy, and grace and guilt,
With here and there a square of blue
For some old happiness we knew;
And so the hand of time will take
The fragments of our lives and make,
Out of life’s remnants, as they fall,
A thing of beauty, after all.
During my childhood, when I felt the need to draw an elephant, a rhinoceros or a hippopotamus I would use my stencil toy. Each yellow disc had wavy lines cut into it. The disc was pinned down through its centre and rotated clockwise. Each wavy line was traced with a pencil. All the wavy lines miraculously added up to a sketch of an African animal.
I’m not going to suggest that all our random experiences, decisions and relationships contribute neatly to a clear outline of a beast. I’m going to suggest that many of our journeys are complete in their own little groove. Some were dead ends that we do our best to forget. Some were grooves that we choose to re-live in our memories.
Chet Baker, borrowed from Youtube: