For our prompt of “Penguins” today, I opted for this little trio of emperor penguins featuring a baby with his mom and dad. I remember back when I was still shorter than my parents, and I had so many dreams of what I would DO when I got big like them. Now, of course, I realize that growing up is well overrated and I’ve been avoiding it my entire life. I’m not entirely certain what baby penguins dream about, but as always, I like to imagine it’s very much the same. Today was a rather stressfully busy day and, when I went to sketch, I suddenly started stippling. Making little dots proved to be quite a wonderful stress reliever, but also meant that I had to make them with lightning speed in order to finish it in my tiny bit of sketching time. One would think this would only stress me out further, but art always has the opposite effect. A few hundred dots later, created in record time, I felt rather awesome! Yep, it was all my inner child once more. That kid can DO anything he sets his mind to doing. So, yes, even though we must grow old, growing up will always remain a choice.
Years ago, I remember being told by someone in a work meeting that I was “acting like a child” after I was giggling with a coworker. This person was one of the serious types who’s smiles are more feigned than genuine and always seem like they take a great deal of effort, bordering on pain. In other words, the type of person that is driven to the very brink of insanity in the presence of someone like me. The fact that I responded to the intended insult with a cheerful, “thanks” didn’t help much to win favor. There are some people I’ve met who were so incredibly serious that I never actually heard them laugh. This is very disconcerting for me as I can’t imagine a life without laughter. It barely feels like living at all. Obviously, we never met up after work as we had so very little in common, but I sort of always wanted to meet them after hours. I was so curious to know if the seriousness was just a facade or something inherent and immovable in their personality. Surely they would find something funny in the safety of their own world, but I could never prove it. Perhaps, they had actually grown up, after all.
These days, I still get in trouble for giggling during meetings. But, seriously, there’s a lot of silly things that happen in meetings that I find impossible to ignore. And, I have this habit of always trying to make people giggle when we meet. It’s how I know we’re alike. Not that they appreciate my jokes, of course. I just like the sound of someone’s laughter. It’s like listening to a person’s soul. I can then see them more clearly and enjoy our time together even more. Maybe we don’t have all that much in common, or like penguins, look quite similar, but there’s always something there. For me, the greatest connection we could ever share in this world is simply joy. That’s so simple, it’s almost ridiculous. I’m sure the serious people would scoff at such a view. There are so many problems in the world and so much strife, after all. It’s not like a smile is going to solve any of it, they might say. But, when my happy meets your happy, I truly believe that something magical occurs. There’s a little blip of hope that gets added to the universe. Maybe that’s completely naïve, but I’ll never really know for sure, until that very last breath, when I grow up.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Photo Reference: Christopher Michel. 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!