I haven’t drawn with pencil in ages for some reason. I now see that was foolish, harmful and borderline sacrilege. A pencil is just so damn versatile and fun to use. I mean, you sharpen a pencil using a razor. And you blend pencil with your hands. How cool is that? Anyway, here are a few recent drawings using a little set of pencils I got last Christmas.
Raw Spirit by Iain Banks is a book about Scotch, but there are so many anecdotes and side-stories sprinkled throughout, it’s better described as a book about driving, cars, friendships, getting older, music, war, politics, Scotland AND whisky.
This bit from the book came to mind today and stuck with me:
…when you drive an old car (and in some ways here, the older the better) you drive surrounded by smiles and good humour. In an old car, unless you drive like an utter imbecile, you can generally forget about road rage. People will grin when they see you, they smile, they stop and look and sometimes they wave, and if not they make a digital gesture, it’s a thumbs-up, not a finger.
Part of this may be that an old car is seen as less of a threat, less of a declared, fully-paid up competitor in the day-to-day competition for road space and the battle to reduce one’s own journey time. But part of it, I suppose, is a kind of veneration we feel for the old in general, a feeling that they deserve credit for the fact that they’ve made it to here through all the trials, challenges and vicissitudes that might have ended their existence earlier and so should be indulged and given peace in gentle retirement. (Arguably, nowadays, people feel this more towards old cars that’s they do to old people, which is sad, even shaming.)
Indeed, the fact that any of us have made it this far, let alone well into old age, is worth a hat tip. We’re here, on the third rock from the sun! It’s crazy if you think about it.
Everyone has suffered and everyone has their struggles, let’s try to at least surround ourselves with smiles and good humour when we see each other shall we?
This week I saw the biggest, fullest, brightest rainbow I’d ever seen. It was a proper half circle, with none of those slightly weak colored gaps in it that you usually see in rainbows. Full color all the way around.
It was at the end of my run that it appeared, and I had to stop at the side of the road to pay my respects.
I was surprised. I don’t think I had ever seen one like it.
When I left for my run, and actually often on my runs, I see partial rainbows, as the rain and dark and clouds seem to be in a constant fight for control over the skies. After a mostly sunny run, the skies grew dark, and the wind and rain came at it hard for a brief time. The soaking sideways type of rain that I’m finding is typical here, but that makes you want to fight it, lean in a little bit and say, “I’m here.”
And then it all stopped, and then I stopped because I had this rainbow alongside me. It disappeared quickly of course as I started running again and sneaked looks back to see it fade slightly in one section, and then another, until it became fragmented and then barely visible. I didn’t have my phone or anything else to capture it with, but doubtless, it wouldn’t have mattered. You had to be there.