“Nature creates curved lines while humans create straight lines.”
― Hideki Yukawa
They’ve sprung up everywhere like Creeping Charlie, the loveliest noxious week I know.
Last week, I wasted more time than is healthy looking for a couple of good novels to take to the cabin for some light summer reading, which if we’re honest, is the only kind of reading one should do in the summertime. In two different stores, I couldn’t help but notice the rows upon rows of adult coloring books. The enticing cover art (mostly professional black line drawings with just a few sections of the picture colored in) made this artist’s fingers long for a bright colored pencil to grasp. Apparently, coloring has become the new hobby for grown ups. There are coloring clubs, and coloring/wine drinking parties, and special sets of fancy colored pencils in pouches to purchase.
I would guess that like me, most coloring enthusiasts loved nothing more than opening a fresh box full of pointy crayons, taking a long, waxy, whiff, and getting down to business when they were children. In those days, the pictures in coloring books were simplistic black line drawings of puppies and butterflies with an occasional princess thrown in for good measure. These new coloring books are nothing like the ones I remember. Beautiful botanical prints and mandalas on high quality paper have replaced the simple pictures that I recall from my youth. The challenge was always to stay within the lines back then. I was good at it. Really, really good at it.
For a second, I was tempted. Then, I kept moving.
Maybe we all come to that moment when we decide that we no longer want to stay within a lot of the lines that others have drawn for us. On paper. In life. I guess I’m there.
If you are a lover of adult coloring books, I’m happy for you. Maybe even a teensy bit envious, if I’m really honest. As for me? I will spend the summer doing coloring of a different sort. Every surface at the cabin seems to need either paint or stain. I will take a lot of reading breaks. If a little person happens to show up for a visit and it’s a rainy day, I’ll pull out the plastic bin full of coloring books and crayons I have stowed there for just such occasions and we will sit at the kitchen table and color. We will weigh the merits of different shades of blue for the sky and talk about whether the butterflies should be orange or yellow. Or maybe purple. Purple works. We may even talk about the lines themselves. Which ones matter.
And which ones don’t.