Rapturously Absorbed in Thought on a Sunday Morning

Sold my first reproduction of this seashell and algae watercolor!

Drawing a Shell on Sunday

Drawing a Shell on Sunday

Sunday drafting table

Sunday drafting table

Contrasting the man of true religion with those who, with jealous privacy, would fain carry on a secret commerce with the gods, he says:–

“Haud cuivis promptum est, murmurque humilesque susurros

Tollere de templis; et aperto vivere voto.”

It is not easy for every one to take murmurs and low

Whispers out of the temples, and live with open vow.

Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

Intriguing that I think and post these matters on a Sunday. Decades ago, I was in the pastoral ministry, and when I left it, I was admonished that Sunday mornings would prove dreadful for me, waking up with no place significant to go. Not true, as it turned out. Though much in my life has changed since those days (and whose life hasn’t changed, evolved throughout the years?), two things remained: 1) I possess an active inner self, that I sometimes label as Romantic. My feelings run deep, and I clear out as much time as possible in my daily life to find a quiet sanctuary for reading, reflecting and writing in my journal. In former days, I found inspiration only in the Bible and commentaries; now I find it in literature, art, philosophy, music, nature–in a myriad of sources. And every daily pause for those reflective, private moments is worshipful, an act of prayer. 2) I still have to express these important matters of the heart. I used to do that one day a week before a congregation, later I did that five days a week before students, now I do it daily through a blog and encounters with people I meet in the everyday world. It is still a religious odyssey filled with daily discovery and expression. And my life thrives on it.

This morning, after spending a satisfying span of time in communion with Thoreau through his astounding words, I looked up at a drafting table flooded with the morning light, selected yet another sea shell from my Laguna Madre days, and set to work rendering it with a differerent set of pencils: a #2 Papermate Mirado Classic, a 6B Staedtler Mars Lumograph and a third pencil I have not picked up in years: a 9B Grumbacher Woodless pencil, and then an 8H Derwent pencil for scribbling indentations into the surface of the paper, and then skating softer pencils over the top to reveal the scribbles. I don’t know how long I spent lingering over this shell, because I was listening to amazing guitar music by Leo Kottke and just swooning over the sounds emerging from his slide guitar. All I know is that a significant amount of time has passed, and I still have chores waiting, so I guess that I will now tend to those, refreshed, energetic and in the mood.

Thanks for reading.

I draw in order to explore.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

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6 Responses to “Rapturously Absorbed in Thought on a Sunday Morning”

  1. Laura (Createarteveryday) Says:

    Beautiful work, and I admire your multi-layered life and history!


  2. Xraypics Says:

    Thankyou so much for this David, I wish we lived closer and could sit and talk together, there is so much in your writing, and your art that resonates with my thoughts and impressions. Time changes everything, the feelings so close to one’s heart at one stage evolve and take on new meaning. If like yours the mind is complex and rich, the evolution becomes an amazing journey. So I thank you for sharing your thoughts.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Tony, you are one of those creative, affirming spirits that helps keep me going. Today was too full of “busy work” but it had to be addressed, and only now do I get down to the studio in the waning hours, and open the blog for a look. Thank you so much for what you wrote. I wish I could just pop over to your country and stay a few months–I know you and I would have waves of meaningful converstation concerning things that really matter to us. I sent you a “shout out” in a recent blog post, because you really gave me encouragement in the texts appearing with some of my art, and I had my photographer friends down south send the images back to me so I could post them (nutty me–I didn’t photograph the three pieces individually, then drove 8 hours home without them). Thank you again for everything you bring to this world.

      Liked by 1 person

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