Coloring Your Memories

When is the last time you sat down with a box of crayons and drew a picture? If you’re like me, it’s been awhile. My last post was about the budget information I found. In the same folder I found a crayon drawing I made five or six years ago of the backyard I played in as a preschooler. I decided to scan it in and write about it now. The picture wasn’t that vivid when I drew it. The scanner magically intensified the colors, much to my liking.

I had an absolute blast drawing that picture. I drew the willow tree with me in my swing. I drew the chicken house in the back, and put my sandbox under the tree. The sidewalk where I learned to skate is on the right, with the fence covered in honeysuckle. The clothesline is behind the fence to the right, and the mysterious storage room I was never allowed to explore is in the top right corner.

When I drew the picture, I relied on my memory. Since that time, I’ve found old photos that showed me some errors in my memory. My sandbox was not behind the tree, it was in front, to the left of the swing. With the help of the photos, I now remember that correctly. The willow tree still had all four trunks. I can’t account for the fact that even now, even after my father told me he’d never cut anything off that tree, in my memory the tree had two stumps where the third and fourth trunks were.

Whatever the realities of the “real” yard and tree, I had fun drawing the picture. I felt like a kid again, just drawing without any concern about creating a polished work of art. Actually, I intended it to look like a child’s drawing, as indeed it does. (I haven’t progressed beyond that stage — I did not inherit my mother’s artistic talent in this respect.) I love the result, and may frame a print of the scan, with all the vivid glorious color.

I strongly encourage you to buy a box of crayons if you don’t already own one, and take a coloring break. Draw like a child, with vigor and abandon. Draw something from memory and see what you come up with. When you come up with something you like, try scanning it like I did, and see if your scanner works magic with the colors.

If your picture doesn’t fit with a story you already wrote, write one to go with it. Pictures like this will add lots of life to your final volume.

Write on,

Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal

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