Endings & Beginnings

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. How some things end and other things begin. How an ending here makes way for a beginning there. Like how my sketchbooks, whose filled final pages give way to a fresh new book in which to pour lines and colors over the coming days and weeks.

Like how my back deck garden, with pots that used to be filled with a riot of pansies, had to be overhauled with summer blooms that can withstand the heat.

Final page of sketchbook below.

Or like how beloved clothing from years-gone-by can be cut up and added onto to make it wearable, accommodating a “new” body, that might just be here to stay for a while. 😳

Sketchbook completely filled…Ohuhu Mixed Media, 11″ x 8″, 62 pages front and back.

Like how seasons, years, and days end and another one begins.

Life is full of endings and beginnings. Some are intentional. Some just happen on their own. Some are agonizing and actually take a long time to come to an end or to begin. I could give a few examples from my personal life right now, but some are painful and I haven’t yet figured out how to write about these things.

First page of the above sketchbook.

One thing is certain…these endings often bring not a little sadness, and quite possibly a whole lot of grief. Even something as silly as a sketchbook ending brings a tinge of wistfulness as the final page is filled and the need to find another book in which to drawcument life, becomes necessary. Remembering a younger, more fit, pre-surgeries’ body can cause a sigh even as you excitedly add fun fabrics to reshape old clothes. And barely blooming pansies pulled out of the potted soil can make you wince even if you’ve got flats of gorgeous summer flowers waiting to be planted. These endings are nothing in comparison to such things as moving house, changing jobs, or deciding that a loved one needs care beyond your own abilities.

Final page spread in above sketchbook.

Gardeners understand these things and seem to have a capacity, at least in their gardens, for understanding the benefits of endings, both volitional and circumstantial. They know when a plant needs to be uprooted or transplanted. They take weather disasters in stride, and wildlife encroachments (voles eating roots, bears bending trees, beetles eating leaves) are an opportunity for experimentation with possible solutions. Though a gardener may be saddened or frustrated by these things, they nevertheless know that where something ends, a new beginning awaits.

First page of new Ohuhu Mixed Media Sketchbook. Inside front flap. I love the paper in this sketchbook!

I am holding onto this as I tend the garden of my life and creative world. I’m approaching endings with curiosity as I begin a new sketchbook and find a sweet mouse introducing herself right on the very first page inside the cover! I comfortably wear my “expanded” wardrobe as I draw; and I clip remaining pansies for small bouquets in the house…a way to extend their life just a bit longer after their roots have been tossed. I’m pinning down gratitude with every stroke of my pens and brushes as I draw new places I have opportunity to visit. I’m also watching expectantly for all the possibilities this new mouse might bring, indeed has already brought with her joy over simple things.

It seems to me I have a choice…to either dwell in the land of Endings or go bravely forward into the Field of Beginnings. One must fully engage in the endings, not glossing over anything, in order to grasp all the goodness of a new beginning. But once that new page is turned, we can move forward with hope and courage, drawing upon the daily moments life brings us and exploring new possibilities. This Sketchbook Life teaches me this with each page turned, every line drawn, and all the marks and colors laid down whether for good or not-so-good. Endings & Beginnings are part and parcel to the creative life. I’m showing up for it. And that’s about as much as anyone can hope for. 💖

8 thoughts on “Endings & Beginnings

  1. Theresa Raker says:

    Exactly! Every school year ends and yes, it is sad. At the same time I am happy to see it go and know that I tried my best with them. Some days were better than other days. Twenty-eight endings and in August, a hopeful beginning…..just like the seasons. Always sad, and happy at the same time. Things always change and we go on. ❤ Thinking of you often.

  2. Mary Ellis Brown says:

    Wonderful, profound reflection on change – so true and so helpful! I love your drawings – what a gift! And I love Rosie – she’s adorable! I’m looking forward to watching her move through life! T!hanks for sharing your gifts with us!

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