“Perspective” seems like a great word today. I’m watching snow fall in Ohio, wishing for spring, and dreading shoveling my driveway. For some reason, a poem my dad used to say every spring came to mind…
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
-- William Wordsworth
When I saw the end of the poem again, I understood why I was thinking about daffodils, and it seemed to make a perfect connection to “perspective”. I can think of myself as snowed-in, or as wonderfully untroubled by the outside world today.
When I decided to create this blog, I thought I would try to include something useful with each posting. Maybe being reminded that spring will come again and that there’s more than one way to paint a daffodil helps someone else who’s stuck in the snow?
The daffodil above is colored pencil and marker on construction paper. It was a doodle, and the fact that I didn’t mean to do anything useful with it probably made it better than if I were actually setting out to create an abstract daffodil for a client. I’ve learned to keep some of my doodles because sometimes I have a hard time being loose when someone tells me to be loose. This is the kind of thing that I will scan into the computer, then cut out the background in PhotoShop. I’ll then scan a clean page of construction paper and put my cleaned up, morphed doodle over it in a different layer. That lets me change the background color without changing the image. It’s easy at that point to keep the file until that magical time that I need a goofy daffodil in another piece and I have an impossible deadline to meet.
I can waste time doing this kind of thing, but it’s also a meditation time that I use to think about other projects. The fact that I sometimes get some gold out of the effort makes me keep doing it. Sometimes the hardest part of a project is getting started, and doing this kind of thing gets me going.
I messed around with this stuff today, and actually managed to create a post, so it wasn’t wasted time at all, right?