My Favorite Place

Day 9 - Sleeping Fox Illustration Watercolor - Doodlewash

Today we went to the an afternoon show at the theatre with friends and then came back to our place and had pizza and salads. I still hadn’t sketched anything yet for our prompt of “favorite place” and had no idea what I would choose. I asked Philippe and my friends to tell me about their own favorite places for a bit of inspiration. And, as it turns out, they were just as perplexed as I was to answer this question and it spawned an interesting conversation about what makes a place a favorite. The universal conclusion was that it simply depended on a singular moment in time and what memories were evoked. Though there may have been an amazing trip to an exotic location, on a particular day, simply being in your own home with a cup of coffee and nothing much to do at all could feel equally amazing. The one common trait was simply that feeling. A sense of quiet, warmth and comfort that seems beautiful and rare. Philippe remarked that if he were to visit a special place all of the time, it would become too ordinary and no longer rank as a “favorite” place at all. This felt rather true also. As I thought about my own favorite places, bits of dreams came to mind and memories I had almost forgotten. Nothing concrete, just that feeling of being impossibly content.

After my friends left, I had just a very few minutes to quickly doodlewash something that reflected what I’d learned. So, we ended up with a fox thoroughly enjoying a spot on a tree trunk that seems like a perfect fit. Our dog Phineas also has spots like these in our house. We’ll find him curled up there with that look of pure contentment. We also like to imagine that he’s done amazing things in his head while laying there. And since we like to talk for him we imagine him saying things like, “You’ve read my book right? It’s titled Good.” Since we don’t curl up in a ball for hours during the day, we’re totally certain he thinks, “You don’t know good.” Being only a dog, we imagine his book simply has the word “Good” printed on every single page. Though ludicrous to be sure, there’s something profound about a book like that. What if life were just that simple? Understanding what “good” feels like and going to that place whenever possible. While Philippe and I are making up these stories about Phineas and giggling about them, I have to pause sometimes to consider them more. Perhaps I should remember to take a page out of that book Phineas wrote more often.

Many times in life I find myself being rushing about, trying to get things accomplished and often forgetting why I thought accomplishing them was so important in the first place. Other times, there are dreams that burn in my heart that I rush towards, but they always feel just out of reach. This act of rushing in various directions is certainly not as relaxing as simply finding a spot and resting there for a moment. My fevered mind rarely ever lets me rest like this. But, I spend much of my time fighting anything that feels like stasis and constantly pushing forward. Yet, when I stop to consider those places I enjoy most, my mind floats back to the quietest of times. Whether they were on a beach, while the waves rolled gently in the background, or sitting in our Paris apartment enjoying a bite of baguette. Nothing ground-breaking is every actually happening in these moments. They’re perfectly mundane, in truth. But, they give me that feeling that’s nearly impossible to put into words and feels like pure magic. It’s in those quiet moments that I realize I’ve finally found my favorite place.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Benzimida Orange, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Sleeping Fox Illustration Watercolor - Doodlewash


Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Lisa 4 years ago

    Great essay! And excellent little fox. It took me less than ten seconds to come up with my favorite place. Beaches in general, and Lake Superior beaches more specifically, and most specific of all, a public access beach on Lake Michigan about five minutes from the house where I grew up. It has room by the road to park two cars, and either side of the trail to the beach has lots of poison ivy growing, but also thimble berries which are these very soft red raspberry like fruit that are only good to pick and eat because they are too soft to even hold in your hand. You walk down the trail fighting mosquitoes at certain times of the year, and suddenly you break from the woods and the lake spreads out in front of you in all of its moods. I’ve been body surfing, and swimming, sitting around a beach fire with hot dogs on sticks, walking and collecting stones and driftwood. We always called it the private beach because very few people knew about it, or went there. Now that you have jogged my memory, I think I’ll tell my family that they should scatter my ashes in an off shore wind right there.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕That’s such a beautiful memory! Loved the way you wrote about it… I was right there with you! (well, I wasn’t so I was a bit jealous for what I was missing! hehe). Sounds like your favorite place indeed. Glad I helped bring this memory back for you! I’ve not thought about where I would want my ashes scattered… now I’ll have to consider that.

  2. Sharon Nolfi 4 years ago

    I doubt Phineas would be happy to hear that he is “only a dog.” On second thought, he would laugh at your foolishness! After all, you and Philippe are “only humans,” with all the limitations that implies.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      haha! So true! Phineas would be well and truly offended by that remark. Let’s hope he doesn’t read this blog! 😉 And I do think being “only human” comes with far more mishaps in the end! lol

  3. LoriCtoo 4 years ago

    My first thought was Disneyland, but then I also love being in my home. Two completely different atmospheres! My ultimate dream would be to live “in” DL. Your little fox looks so content.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 hehe!! YES!!! To live in Disneyland would be amazing!! I just saw photos of my niece and her family at Disneyland Paris today… they live only a train stop away, so it’s almost like they live in Disneyland. I’m so jealous!! hehe

      • LoriCtoo 4 years ago

        Ohhhhh! I would take that too! Lucky dogs!

  4. smzang 4 years ago

    Charlie says,”What if life were just that simple? Understanding what “good” feels like and going to that place whenever possible.”

    Maybe it really is just that simple, and that’s why it is so hard for us complicated humans to be content.

    You have managed to convey that feeling completely with the blissful look on the face of the fox.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 Yeah, I think we have a lot to learn from animals. Life is only as complex as we make it and we seem to go out of our way to make things complex! lol

  5. Jodi 4 years ago

    I so so so agree! As much fun as adventures an new experiences are exciting, there is nothing like that favorite spot in my living room where the couch is broke in just to me. 🙂

  6. June Hadaway 4 years ago

    A great story and a beautiful fox. I have to agree with you, Phiilippe and Phineous….a comfortable, relaxing place is always a favorite place. 😊

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕Yes, so many places can be a favorite when we have the right state of mind!

  7. Sandra Strait 4 years ago

    I love your fox all curled up in contentment. I have to say that I have no doubt about my favorite place and it couldn’t be more ordinary because I spend too much time there. It’s my recliner chair where I do most of my artwork. I have my most used art supplies within arm’s reach, and a place for a cuppa coffee or tea, and my laptop as well. Beaches and mountains and rivers are wonderful places to visit but I’m always glad to come back home to my chair.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Yessss! I love that! Your place sounds like mine, which was actually the edge of the kitchen counter, but it was impossibly messy at the time so I couldn’t bear to sketch it! 😊

  8. Anita Sinha 4 years ago

    Nice doodlewash….I also like spending some time alone…in my balcony garden watching pigeons, ants, flowers and sipping some green tea….

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Anita! 😃💕 Yeah, I love my alone time… it’s a great time to reflect on life.

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