Gouache Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Painting People Sketchbook Pages

No Stopping the Seasons…or the Arrows of Time

Can't Stop Trees, ink and watercolor
Can't Stop the Seasons, ink and watercolor

On my walk to Peets Coffee and the bookstore today I saw so many things along the way that I would have liked to sketch. But I was feeling tired and under-caffeinated so I made a mental note to take the same route on the way back to sketch them.

It struck me as ironic to see a sign saying “STOP” beside a tree (above) with leaves that are changing colors and falling. We can’t stop the seasons, time keeps steadily moving on, the days get shorter, and I’m so aware of each passing day being one less to do all the things I want to do.

As I wrote that, I pictured myself with a quiver of arrows that represent my days, and each day I select an arrow and shoot it from my bow…and that gave me an idea for a sketch….

Arrows of Time, ink and gouache
Arrows of Time, ink and gouache

And that made me wonder which is better:

  1. To carefully select the daily arrow (of time) and aim to make sure the day is spent intentionally, doing the things that matter;
  2. To be adventurous, pick an arrow at random and shoot without aiming and (as my old yoga teacher used to say when instructing us to take a seemingly impossible pose) “just see what happens” — let each day be its own adventure.

UPDATE: Diane Patmore just left this most wonderful comment:

“Perhaps that sign is telling us to stop and look at the tree?”

That snapped me right out of my melancholic meanderings. Indeed, the only way to slow time is to live in the moment, and enjoy it as it’s happening! Yes! Stop and look at the tree; appreciate its beauty and the color of changing leaves. Accept its reminder that change is inevitable and resisting change causes suffering.

Breathe in the wonderful October air and be grateful to be breathing at this very moment. Ahhh. I feel much better now!

P.S. The book I bought was Imaginative Realism by James Gurney that I read about this morning on Making a Mark. It’s an excellent guide to illustration and art in general.