Colors and Doodles: Reflecting on #VOWscribble

Recently I’ve become enamored with paper. Or rather, in paper that I’m not traditionally interested in. I’m a journal addict, the collection of 12+ unused tomes under my bed is a testament to that. Nor have I been spending as much time wit my planners as of late. Instead, I’ve been researching and making preliminary scratches to my very own tarot grimoire.

And in Doodling. Be it Zentangles or mehndi, I’ve been trying to find my own flair.

I recently read an article about Melania Trump’s Instagram feed. How every person has an eye and a voice in their photography… even if they are untrained snapshots. It got me pondering about my own photographic voice. Because a photographer I am not. But if what the article’s author says is true (and my gut affirms it is) then surely I have my own eye for other artistic endeavors… even if I don’t classify myself as particularly artistic.

I have a strong voice in my writing. All my blogs sound like me (probably because I read them all aloud prior to posting). Even my work reports sound like me. But all drawings, painting, designs I craft feel distinctly one thing… bad.


But that article and my ruminations on it have got me spinning that perhaps I just need to output my art. And these damn doodles that have captivated me so. On Saturday (or was it Friday?) Josh and I went to an art fair with a henna artist. I thought ‘I like how that looks’ so for SCRIBBLE I gave myself permission to try… sans judgment.


The image above isn’t perfect. As you can see, I smudged the ink in several places as I shifted the notebook around. And my inner critic chastised myself. Told myself it would be an embarrassment to share. There are elements of the design that work and elements that I flat out dislike. But the essential thing is I just completed it. That I allowed it to be imperfect because it’s for fun. It’s a new hobby. And it’s as inconsequential as tossing into the recycling bin.

Scribbles on #VOWscribble

I read this quote the other day, which I posted to The Vow Venture’s IG feed:

“When I write notes in my journal, I am just trying to scribble down as much as possible. Later on, I decide whether to follow some of those first impressions or whether to abandon them.”

And yesterday, as I came to our site to digitally pen my #VOWscribble post, I lived the those words. I sat down at my laptop and, as Hemmingway put it, bled.

Out of me poured years of bright red pain, feelings of unworthiness, unfulfilled wishes, disappointed expectations, projected standards, soul-deep jealousies, recent revelations, broken relationships, and immeasurable loss.

And then, when it came time to publish it, I just couldn’t. Not because they were first impressions or even initial reactions, but because, as Kristen Tippett once wrote:

I think that the truth of that poem is not about true things or things that happened, bur rather in the question are we not of interest to each other….Are we human beings who are in community, do we call to each other? Do we heed each other? Do we want to know each other? To reach across what can be a huge void between human beings….I crave knowing them that deeply. And so it’s most intense with one’s beloveds, but I think it’s a way to move in the world. And if we don’t do that with language that’s very, very, very precise–not prissy, but precise–then are we truly knowing each other?

The thing about scribbles, is that I believe they have the power to save our sanity, but as I have learned all to well and all to recently, words make worlds…or destroy them. And sometimes we should take what we can from our scribbles and then let them go–unfinished, untyped, unpublished, and unsaid.

I will not stop writing my story or speaking my truth, because, as Krista Tippett also wrote, we crave truth tellers, but I will let those scribbles go, because they need reframed and reexperienced from a different angle so they can be of service to someone or something. Not just blood pooled all over a very expensive laptop.


Be sure to catch Lin’s #VOWscribble post. (Coming soon!)

Catch & Release (i.e., #VOWcapture)

This post was supposed to be something different, but as the VOW Venture and its predecessor project have so often have taught me: such is life.

Catch-and-release is a fishing philosophy (and sometimes an enforceable law) and a method of conservation.

But sometimes, especially where I am, right now, I wonder if hooking a fish–capturing them–just to let them go isn’t a kind of sport we regret someday.

And obviously this is about more than just trout; this is about life and how we treat people.

All I know is I have some things to say, so here’s to writing what happened and