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Cryptic Notes on Slips of Paper

June 24, 2024
The sketch is a fair goer from Earth’s World. I used the Kuretake AI Liner Brush Ultra Fine, and then ink washes. (Lined non-art notebook.) The pink is Montana Marker, the yellow lined paper below the main note is a standard Post-it® that I’ve torn up to make a caption. Don’t you just love collage?

As I wrap up my Patreon/RozInterim site my desk is layered with all manner of cryptic notes.

Some notes quote me back to myself. It’s my students telling me a quotation mattered to them, helped them turn a corner in their drawing practice. I’m always surprised what things hit and when.

Some notes remind me to pick up my allergy meds. (I really need to do that today when the store opens!)

Other notes outline ideas for future Patreon posts that now I’ll never write. Am I sad? No, maybe bemused. It’s difficult to understand what my life is going to be like now that I’ve stopped being someone who explains things to others. Or have I stopped? Can you actually stop doing something that is so ingrained in your very being? I haven’t really considered how else I might relate to the world.

The plan to brush up on evasive driving skills at a school in Italy, doesn’t look like it’s going to pan out—one of the requirements is “appropriate/comfortable shoes for driving.” So which is it I wonder? What is appropriate? I think my Salomon boots (Gortex lined of course) are comfortable shoes for driving, and appropriate, but are they? Maybe armored and security vehicles have closely positioned pedals that make these comfortable boots, just perfect for hiking forever in the zombie apocalypse and driving my Subaru Forester, otherwise inappropriate for evasive driving. 

But really who wouldn’t want a close-protection operative like me? I look so very harmless.

I digress. 

So some of this pond of notes that is cascading over the surface of my desk has been going into my journal. Don’t ask me why. Most could be tossed because their “use-by-date” has passed. 

Yet I feel compelled to save some. They speak to me in some way, through their inscrutability. I feel compelled to ponder them. I feel compelled to save them until something jogs my memory. 

Also I feel compelled to save them because they embarrass me privately (i.e., to myself, they cut chunks out of my organizational hubris and I feel I need that from time to time so I up my game in that area).

I’ve pondered quite a bit about the note on the above page spread. I finally feel confident that it means when I wrote the note (which we have no idea of when that was because there was no date notation on the sheet, and no other notes of a time sensitive nature that would help me pinpoint its creation date) that if I completed two page spreads in one of my active journals (leading up to 4.21.24 when it was pasted in my lined journal) I would finish that journal on May 26.

What I can tell you is I didn’t finish any of my journals on May 26. So that didn’t happen. I’m not sure which journal I was referring to. 

However, once I realized this was what it related to I did make a chart of the in-progress journals. (There are 6 of them right now. I added up the remaining pages in them and if I simply do my typical minimum two spreads a day routine then I’ll finish all these books well before the end of the year and no doubt begin working in others well before that as well. Probably just to be ornery.)

For some reason, shortly after writing that note to myself, it became unimportant to me to finish whichever journal I was focused on in that particular moment. Instead I jumped from book to book. So while no books got completed they all marched forward. Forward momentum is always great in journaling and your art practice.

I really need to stop writing to you and go sketch something.

  1. Reply

    An image of you driving an armored vehicle in a Mad Max movie jumped into my brain. It’s not that hard to imagine. I carry a pocket notebook around with me to capture ideas. It would be fun to use some of those in a journal collage. I have one note about a character in a story I started writing that says: “Gladys notices the pattern of her hair on the bathroom floor looks like a floppy-eared dog holding a bone.” Not sure where it goes from there but somewhere…

    1. Reply

      Maery the school I wanted to attend was for driving sedan type cars that have been armored for diplomats and CEOs etc. The types of cars you can train to do evasive driving and high speed chase in. So I could do the Rockford turn/reverse 180/j-turn maneuver among other things.

      But I think it would be fun to drive a large armored truck too. Though I cannot wear feathers because I’m allergic!

      Keep writing your story notes. They will open up to you as you keep track of them.

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