Today’s prompt of “Blue Moon,” was strangely challenging as I wasn’t at all sure what to sketch for it. We ended up with this 3-color blue parrot who might just be perched on a bit of moon rock, but it’s mostly because I simply felt like sketching a bird today. The phrase once in a blue moon is used to refer to something that’s not likely to happen. It was originally used interchangeably used with the even more colorful phrase that the “moon is made of green cheese.” Both phrases were used as a synonym for any type of absurdity or seeming impossibility one might encounter. As for an actual blue moon, that refers to either the extremely rare phenomenon where the moon actually appears blue from dust particles in the atmosphere or the more contemporary version, which refers to the second full moon in a calendar month. The second version makes the phrase rather meaningless, since it’s not at all rare and would basically just mean something that happens once a month. I like the idea of an actual blue moon, one that last occurred due to volcanic eruptions from Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991. Something truly that rare is an amazing thing indeed, and makes the phrase much more important. But, today, a blue moon has been transformed into something rather commonplace.
What I love about the original version of the phrase is that is that it was completely impossible to know when the next actual blue moon would occur. It was not only rare, but unpredictable. I think many things in life can feel this way. From meeting that special someone who steals your heart to accomplishing something you never thought you could. Like gold, scarcity brings more value to something. Looking back on my most memorable times in live, I always remember the moments that created a singularly unusual experience. A memory of a time that felt unique in some way and hasn’t repeated itself again in quite the same fashion. These moments seem so valuable to me now as I get older. Not just the first time I ever experienced something, but indeed, the only time I ever had a particular experience. Each time, I promised myself I would do something like that again. But, promises we make to ourselves are often broken. For example, I’ve only been snorkeling on one trip I took and I adored it immensely. Yet, I’ve never once attempted it again. With so much to DO in life, it’s not at all surprising that events don’t always repeat themselves. There’s always something new and wonderful to try next.
Yet, as I happily rush forward looking for that next new thing, I have to wonder which of the previous things I should experience again. I’ve lived a life that’s gone all over the place including careers that, while related by creativity, seem almost foreign to one another. I have to giggle as Google has no idea how to define me. When I search for my name I’m a film producer who writes books. While this is true in a basic form, it’s not at all who I really am today. In truth, I’m a bit of everything I was and a bit of everything that will come next. I wasn’t one of those people who knew what they wanted to DO in life and pursued it with a singular passion. I’m a guy who just loves life and chases every dream it offers like a child running through a playground. Trying to define me is probably about as futile as attempting to properly define all of the various idioms and phrases we live with today. Life changes as we live it. While history certainly repeats itself, it does so in the most unique and striking fashion. It’s the same, but different. There are no real rules for what we should or shouldn’t try next. Just a phantom feeling of what we loved before and might like to head toward once again. And the good news is, we can make anything happen if we want to make it happen badly enough, even if the odds are only once in a blue moon.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Benzimida Orange, Cobalt Turquoise, 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!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!