A Moleskine Morning
At the end of last week, I spent some time at my painted-baton-passing friend’s house. We were shooting the breeze and talked again of watercolor painting, which he does pretty much every single day. He showed me a Moleskine journal that had his first watercolor painting in it, and I said, “Do you have a lot of those journals going way back?”
He chuckled and responded, “C’mon. Let me show you.”
Next thing I know, I’m staring at a box FULL of journals going back to the early 70’s. Now I love stories, and my friend is just about the best story teller I’ve ever known. He’s seriously talented and experienced. In fact, for much of his life, he’s made a living from telling stories. I completely lost track of time as he began to pull out some of the tattered pages and began to read and show me everything from poetry to pencil sketches to paintings. I think we sat there for the better part of an hour, but I really don’t know. I can tell you this for sure... on one of the timeless days in heaven, I’m going to ask him to start at Volume 1 and just read the whole box to me.
It was wonderful. I listened to the story of his life woven into some timeless truths that are the story of mine. I got tears in my eyes several times. Sometimes, they were tears of thankfulness that God brings people like him into my life. Some tears were from a poem or story that impacted me—one of which I’ll show below. Other tears were honestly from some regret—regret that I personally haven’t written as much as I could have—for I was awestruck at how easily the words and pictures told the story of his life. I wish I’d journaled more in my earlier years. That said, I had no sense of jealousy or envy, because, for everyone, our stories are unique to us. I wish I had more journals, but I was perfectly content to listen to him reading his. They are part of his story.
One of the poems he read was beside a watercolor that simply said, “Scars.” Here’s the poem:
Good stories come from good experiences
Experience takes time — energy.
And sometimes flesh.
You bump, bang, scrape and
Bounce through life—BUT
scraping my own knees is a
better story to tell than
me telling about you scraping yours.
To me, that’s what blogging is about. It’s talking about scraped knees and stubbed toes and what we learn from our own stories that might impact, challenge, encourage, or change others. Because it does it to me first.
I’m thankful for friends like Michael.
I’m thankful for scars.
I’m thankful for stories. And storytellers. And stories yet to be told.