Wood Pile


I sat on the back deck to draw the gray-brown wood piled and ready for the chiminea. What drove me out here was a crazy busy day that had crowded out all illusions of peace as well as any significant time to create. I just needed to draw. Just sit for a few minutes and follow the contours of something, ANYTHING! Doesn’t matter what. Dull wood will do.

Two minutes into it, that familiar and delicious feeling of being drawn in came over me. The dull gray-brown wood was now a fascinating puzzle of shapes and mesmerizing lines meandering through bark and burl.


And then, a most marvelous thing happened. Color exploded in my mind’s eye as I drew the stack of wood. I could see its inner colors coming out. Yellows, oranges, reds and spots of blue crackling from within the wood, bursting to get out in a fiery display. I knew then I was seeing it as I would in the chiminea on a chilly autumn evening, perhaps that night.

How does this happen? How is it that in 10 minutes, maybe 15, of simple contour drawing, I am suddenly connected with a life-sustaining insight that it’s in the fires of an ordinary, albeit busy, life, that explosive color can be seen? How does it happen that in a simple act of creativity, beauty such as this can touch my soul and revive a weary pilgrim?


I honestly don’t know how it happens. But I do know that it comes through this daily practice of creativity. An everyday commitment to make something, anything, imbues an everyday life with beauty. My gratitude for this is unending.

I’m self-publishing again. Soon, very soon, a small little book outlining a simple approach to living an Artful Life, will be offered to you and anyone who might wish to live their lives in such a way as to see the beauty in it, behind it, underneath it, no matter how normal, mundane or ordinary their life may seem.

Till then, I wish you many moments of creativity, transforming dull wood into explosive fiery color!

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