a doodle

13 10 2005

Last week George sat at the dining room table and created a black-ink-and-colored-pencil birthday card for his mom. When I glanced over his shoulder at the lettering and layout, a whole herd of good memories stampeded through my brain.

Way back when, George used to draw and paint a lot. Mostly ink and watercolor or ink and pencil. Some of his art was realistic, but much of it appeared to be the results of a pent-up, whimsical imagination bursting the dam and overflowing onto a page. Lots of pictorial metaphor interspersed with indefinable images that seemed to dance to a music all their own. Poetry in pictures.

He’s much more reserved these days. But in the margin beside his beautifully lettered birthday greetings, I spotted what looked sort of like a pedestal–except it was tiny at the bottom and wide at the top. A vase-trumpet-cannon thingie rose out of it, facing straight up. From its opening shot stars, squiggly lines, and lightening bolts. It was very signature George in style. I pointed at the sketch and smiled.

“That?” He seemed a bit embarrassed. “It’s a doodle.”

“I love it,” I said. “You know, our kids really didn’t stand a chance. They had to be weird.”

“That’s not such a bad thing.”

“Oh, no! It’s not a bad thing at all. I think it’s wonderful!”

As much as I loved the doodle, the portraits he drew of me, Jacob, and himself were even more priceless. He practiced them on a separate sheet first. The basic sketches were stick figures, but he gave them unique features. “Yours gets a cute button nose and knobby knees,” he said. Stick legs with knobby knees? It was a little scary how much she looked like me.

But the funniest one was his self-portrait. “I think I’ll give myself a square head.” He drew the practice sketch, and we both laughed.

“It works,” I said.

“I’m gonna use it.”

The final drawing on the card depicted three entirely recognizable Damoffs in stick-figure form. If you ask me, that takes talent. Especially when one of them has a square head.

Some folks may wonder why I write stories like this in my journal. I think I do it mostly because I want to remember the simple reasons why I love the people in my life. There will always be a plethora of reasons to feel sad or frustrated or angry, so I like to hang on to the moments that bring simple, unalloyed joy.

Yeah, and just so I don’t forget, I read this phrase in Job 30:4 a couple of days ago. ” . . . And whose food is the root of the broom shrub.” Read that out loud a couple of times, and see if you don’t want to get up and dance. I think I could live off a diet of words and chocolate.

And the occasional doodle.


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39 responses

13 10 2005
allenb

Supermodel,

Thank you for sharing your simple joy with us. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d LOVE to see some of those drawings sometime. They sound truly wunnerful!

A

13 10 2005
allenb

Supermodel,

Thank you for sharing your simple joy with us. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d LOVE to see some of those drawings sometime. They sound truly wunnerful!

A

13 10 2005
allenb

Supermodel,

Thank you for sharing your simple joy with us. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d LOVE to see some of those drawings sometime. They sound truly wunnerful!

A

13 10 2005
kathrynlena

i cant imagin your kids (or at least the one that i know best) as anything but weird. in fact, i dont think i would like him half so well as i do if he were “normal.” what is normal anyway? other than boring.

13 10 2005
kathrynlena

i cant imagin your kids (or at least the one that i know best) as anything but weird. in fact, i dont think i would like him half so well as i do if he were “normal.” what is normal anyway? other than boring.

13 10 2005
kathrynlena

i cant imagin your kids (or at least the one that i know best) as anything but weird. in fact, i dont think i would like him half so well as i do if he were “normal.” what is normal anyway? other than boring.

13 10 2005
Anonymous

Special, not weird

Weird is a word invented by uninteresting people who never smiled outside of sneers and whose only form of laughter was snickering, they sat around speaking of bland things and got fat on tofu, they watched their calories like hawks but were still obese, and never knew the joys of chocolate. Therefore I discount the word weird out of hand (if I didn’t I would always be depressed because thats what everybody calls me, weird and strange). And a super shout out to doodles, I love em. I think you and your family are awsome.
Evan

13 10 2005
Anonymous

Special, not weird

Weird is a word invented by uninteresting people who never smiled outside of sneers and whose only form of laughter was snickering, they sat around speaking of bland things and got fat on tofu, they watched their calories like hawks but were still obese, and never knew the joys of chocolate. Therefore I discount the word weird out of hand (if I didn’t I would always be depressed because thats what everybody calls me, weird and strange). And a super shout out to doodles, I love em. I think you and your family are awsome.
Evan

13 10 2005
Anonymous

Special, not weird

Weird is a word invented by uninteresting people who never smiled outside of sneers and whose only form of laughter was snickering, they sat around speaking of bland things and got fat on tofu, they watched their calories like hawks but were still obese, and never knew the joys of chocolate. Therefore I discount the word weird out of hand (if I didn’t I would always be depressed because thats what everybody calls me, weird and strange). And a super shout out to doodles, I love em. I think you and your family are awsome.
Evan

13 10 2005
furiavriel

math is fun!

if i was half as weird as you are i’d been one fourth as weird as i am now.

l.l

13 10 2005
furiavriel

math is fun!

if i was half as weird as you are i’d been one fourth as weird as i am now.

l.l

13 10 2005
furiavriel

math is fun!

if i was half as weird as you are i’d been one fourth as weird as i am now.

l.l

14 10 2005
Anonymous

This post took me back to about 25 to 30 years ago and seeing at Jeff F.’s home Christmas cards that the Leftwichs’ sent out that had drawn family portraits.

Keep on,

Craig.

14 10 2005
Anonymous

This post took me back to about 25 to 30 years ago and seeing at Jeff F.’s home Christmas cards that the Leftwichs’ sent out that had drawn family portraits.

Keep on,

Craig.

14 10 2005
Anonymous

This post took me back to about 25 to 30 years ago and seeing at Jeff F.’s home Christmas cards that the Leftwichs’ sent out that had drawn family portraits.

Keep on,

Craig.

14 10 2005
Anonymous

Of course, you were just a baby in those pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚

Craig.

14 10 2005
Anonymous

Of course, you were just a baby in those pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚

Craig.

14 10 2005
Anonymous

Of course, you were just a baby in those pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚

Craig.

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Aw, thanks, A. I wish you could see George’s drawings, too. His mom loved the card. She said she smiled all day. ๐Ÿ™‚

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Aw, thanks, A. I wish you could see George’s drawings, too. His mom loved the card. She said she smiled all day. ๐Ÿ™‚

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Aw, thanks, A. I wish you could see George’s drawings, too. His mom loved the card. She said she smiled all day. ๐Ÿ™‚

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Exactly. “Weird” isn’t an insult by my definition. It’s another word for interesting or delightful or unique. As a mom I feel abundantly blessed. I mean, who wants boring children?

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Exactly. “Weird” isn’t an insult by my definition. It’s another word for interesting or delightful or unique. As a mom I feel abundantly blessed. I mean, who wants boring children?

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Exactly. “Weird” isn’t an insult by my definition. It’s another word for interesting or delightful or unique. As a mom I feel abundantly blessed. I mean, who wants boring children?

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: math is fun!

As you know, “dork” is another complimentary word in my lexicon of labels, Math Boy. I think you’re ready for the ADC.

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: math is fun!

As you know, “dork” is another complimentary word in my lexicon of labels, Math Boy. I think you’re ready for the ADC.

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: math is fun!

As you know, “dork” is another complimentary word in my lexicon of labels, Math Boy. I think you’re ready for the ADC.

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: Special, not weird

You can be special if we can be weird. ๐Ÿ™‚

True, some people use the word as an insult, but I like it. Weird is strange or bizarre, which I suppose can be good or bad, but to me it mostly just means different. Artistically original. Individually creative.

Being bizarre on purpose just for effect is something else entirely. The kind of weird I like is very unselfconscious in its expression. Most of the people I like best in the world fit this description.

Be you, Evan. Don’t let anyone depress you with narrow-mindedness. But try to be patient with people who just don’t speak your language. And by all means, enjoy lots of chocolate. And doodles.

Thanks for saying nice things about my family. Your family rocks, too. ♥

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: Special, not weird

You can be special if we can be weird. ๐Ÿ™‚

True, some people use the word as an insult, but I like it. Weird is strange or bizarre, which I suppose can be good or bad, but to me it mostly just means different. Artistically original. Individually creative.

Being bizarre on purpose just for effect is something else entirely. The kind of weird I like is very unselfconscious in its expression. Most of the people I like best in the world fit this description.

Be you, Evan. Don’t let anyone depress you with narrow-mindedness. But try to be patient with people who just don’t speak your language. And by all means, enjoy lots of chocolate. And doodles.

Thanks for saying nice things about my family. Your family rocks, too. ♥

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: Special, not weird

You can be special if we can be weird. ๐Ÿ™‚

True, some people use the word as an insult, but I like it. Weird is strange or bizarre, which I suppose can be good or bad, but to me it mostly just means different. Artistically original. Individually creative.

Being bizarre on purpose just for effect is something else entirely. The kind of weird I like is very unselfconscious in its expression. Most of the people I like best in the world fit this description.

Be you, Evan. Don’t let anyone depress you with narrow-mindedness. But try to be patient with people who just don’t speak your language. And by all means, enjoy lots of chocolate. And doodles.

Thanks for saying nice things about my family. Your family rocks, too. ♥

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Nice try, Craig. But I’m afraid I would have been whatever age you were, so unless you were crawling over to Jeff’s, I wasn’t just a baby. ๐Ÿ™‚

Jeff complimented Mom’s card once, and she fell in love with him. She still draws those cards every year, too. I’ll have to ask him if she sends him one.

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Nice try, Craig. But I’m afraid I would have been whatever age you were, so unless you were crawling over to Jeff’s, I wasn’t just a baby. ๐Ÿ™‚

Jeff complimented Mom’s card once, and she fell in love with him. She still draws those cards every year, too. I’ll have to ask him if she sends him one.

14 10 2005
jeannedamoff

Nice try, Craig. But I’m afraid I would have been whatever age you were, so unless you were crawling over to Jeff’s, I wasn’t just a baby. ๐Ÿ™‚

Jeff complimented Mom’s card once, and she fell in love with him. She still draws those cards every year, too. I’ll have to ask him if she sends him one.

15 10 2005
jaezesse

Dad is cooler than anybody!

15 10 2005
jaezesse

Dad is cooler than anybody!

15 10 2005
jaezesse

Dad is cooler than anybody!

15 10 2005
jeannedamoff

True

“True as it can be.”

15 10 2005
jeannedamoff

True

“True as it can be.”

15 10 2005
jeannedamoff

True

“True as it can be.”

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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