For our prompt of “Gem” today, I thought about one of my sketches from last month when I drew my very first magpie. Not only had I failed to ever sketch one, I didn’t know that much about this bird. So, of course, I had to learn everything about them that I could in the few little minutes that I had. And, I remember reading about the stories that surrounded them regarding their propensity to steal shiny objects. This idea of magpies persisted for hundreds of years and became quite a popular notion in stories. More recently, scientists have discovered that this isn’t quite true at all. Indeed, not only do they seem to dislike shiny objects, they’re actually a bit afraid of them. They’re afraid of things that are new. Also, the color blue for some reason which was never fully explained. While it’s nice that after so many years, the magpie has been vindicated for being a felon, those stories still exist as part of something that can, many times, be even more interesting, known simply as lore.
I love folklore and enjoy hearing all of those stories. Some stories may be so wild that they’re just fun to think about and others have been around so long that we often don’t even realize whether they’re true or not. Our ability to tell and retell stories is one of the greatest features of humans. It was once the only way to pass down history, even if that history was a bit questionable as it was told again and again. That’s what makes lore so interesting. Sometimes, it can’t be proven or disproven and that creates a bit more mystery. And while facts are always wonderful, they’re sometimes dull compared to what our imaginations can conjure. This ability to invent ideas is quite an exceptional talent. And truly, it’s one every person possesses, not just an elite few. Like most things, the only thing that separates us is rarely ever talent, and more often just a bit more persistence.
And, I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but another week has zipped by once more and it’s already time for another lovely weekend. Not that I’m complaining, of course, as it’s my favorite time of the week. Yet, as we head into autumn and my absolute favorite time of year, I’m equally fine with the days passing a bit more slowly so I get to enjoy them properly. As many of you know the holidays come with food and gifts and fun traditions that Philippe, Phineas and I share. And I’m fine with taking my time and enjoying each precious moment to come. Though this year, things are very different and there’s much chaos going on as well. For me, the best way to deal with all of that is to simply focus on things that haven’t changed in years. It’s comforting to relish in those best bits of the past that were delivered in stories that I’ve heard since my youth. Stories that I don’t have to fact check, but can simply enjoy for what they are, like a myth of magpies.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine (Green Shade), Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? 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!