When I feel like it, I sketch. Often times though, even when I brought along my sketch book, set of pencils and pens anywhere, I had to have a certain mood to really want to sketch. Sometimes my hand was already tired from doing a lot of chores, that even when I set my heart to sketch, my hand seemed abstaining from doing anything. So I might ended up sitting somewhere with my sketch book open and blank page. But when those moments came, I could sit for the longest time to sketch. Who would want to care for the dirty dishes or unprepared meal anyway? (Wink).
These are three of my latest sketches and I intent to make as many as I can and create a sketch journal. But I know my limit and my mood, unfortunately. I did my first sketch after my kids, their friends from the music camp and their teachers had a picnic. I cooked some fried rice for them and the picnic went so well and everybody was happy. A friend of mine who also a mother of a student at the camp, and her daughter, and I kept on picnicking under the shadow of some trees at Yale Cross Campus after everybody else went back to their activity. We had a wonderful time chatting and after my friend and her daughter left, I did my sketch. My object was the building of Calhoun College. A few months back, there was a protest wanting the school (Yale) to replace the name of Calhoun College due to the character behind the name, John C. Calhoun, who was a statesman who believed in slavery. Calhoun was a former US vice president.
The sketch book that I use now is my second sketch book. It’s thinner and smaller than the first one that’s already full. The book has red cover. I fell in love with it when I saw it at the arts & craft store. I did my second sketch during our visit to the beach. We live quite near the beach and I promised my younger daughter and son to go to the beach when the weather became cooler one late afternoon. Summer has been crazy for us with several days of heat wave. So while my kids kept themselves busy by playing frisbee and walking to a small island that we could only reach when it was low tide, I sketched. Basically, I was left alone minding my own business. My sketch object was part of the Bradley Point that has several big trees with benches under them.
When one day I took my younger daughter along to find a “good place” to sketch, I told her to bring a book. At first, she was bored, but then she sat nicely reading her book and watching the people who passed by us. We chatted and laughed at some people who looked silly or did something awkward. We were sitting on a stone bench near Sterling Library at Yale Campus. The weather was fine that day. I decided to sketch the Harkness Hall because I wanted to learn again about drawing perspective. It’s been a while since I sketch or draw something in perspective. My skill kinda dull at the moment. By the way, I chose sepia colored pens to sketch because it reminds me of old photographs. I sure hope I will continue to sketch more and create another journal to share.
Battell Chapel is the largest chapel in the of New Haven in Connecticut. I’ve been to this chapel several times to see my daughters practicing with their orchestras and during their performances. From the outside, Battell Chapel looks like another ordinary stone building in downtown New Haven, the first planned city in America. New Haven became a city in 1784 and thrived because of Yale College, the 3rd oldest college in United State. Battell Chapel was established through donations of Joseph Battell and his family who dedicated the chapel as a memorial for the Civil War. The style of the chapel is High Victorian Gothic and designed by Russell Sturgis, Jr.
Alright, enough about the history and some facts about Battell Chapel. I love being inside the chapel admiring the glass works that are shown around it. The designs, motifs and colors of the stained-glass windows are stunning. I usually didn’t stay inside while waiting for my daughter practicing, but the last time the orchestra had a rehearsal, I tried to take as many pictures as possible of the stained-glass windows. My favorites are the windows that I’m putting first in this journal. Among the stained-glass windows that adorned Battell Chapel, one of them was created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the master of the stained-glass art (the last picture).
Dear old boyfriend,
I found your emotions typed neatly on a piece of yellowing paper.
I read the contents of your heart in the A-B-C’s of your unsophisticated language.
In those whirling-twirling, upside-down and lopsided world we called “our world”, I was yours and you were mine.
I listened to your relentless, unimaginative words upon words from your lips.
You whispered some nonsensical dreams that I didn’t mind at all. And I had heard them in the hundreds hours we shared. I have felt them through your fingers.
Then you came, and you have come, and you made me glad. You made me mad about you.
We spoke about life, though we must’ve sounded pathetic.
Did we have some memories then? Here and there, have you ever looked at them? Searched for them, deep in your mind?
Then, you remember. I, too, remember a part of us. The way we were.
I called you ‘my beloved’ and you let me. You let me.
I let you submerged in my ambiguity and I called it LOVE.
D. Yustisia 05/28/15
When you are in doubt, be still, and wait;
When doubt no longer exists for you,
then go forward with courage.
So long as mists envelope you, be still;
be still until sunlight pours through
and dispels the mists
— as it surely will.
Then act with courage.
–Ponca Chief White Eagle–
For my daughter, EVA.
By now, I should’ve had said that I dislike winter. Snow, more snow and some more to come. But even when on the three Mondays that we had snow storms, I enjoyed them nonetheless. There’s something magical about winter when I look at the snow when they fall. Quiet, almost in a hush, but as soon as I step outside the warmth of our home, I’ll feel it. The tiny prick on my cheeks, the small drop of wetness on my hair, the sudden cold on my skin. Living in New England means that our fall would be brimming with colors and our winter would be cold and white. Some days are harder than the rests. The temperature drops, the wind chills and unfortunately I have to go out. I have a choice to either complain about the weather or simply mum and absorb whatever is happening. On the days when there’s no school bus to pick up my kids, I took them to school by the city bus. After I dropped them off to school, I would later walk a round a bit braving the cold. So that I won’t feel depressed about this long winter. Then I took some pictures. I could hear my teeth were chattering and my body was shivering, but it’s just a stroll around the block. Well, not even. I could hear people exasperating about winter. They say winter is awful, but I see plethora of wonderful things about it. Soon, people will forget when the spring comes, about how awful this winter has been. Meanwhile, I’ll put on my gloves and winter hat for another stroll around the block.
There’s nothing bland about winter. The trees are leafless. The grass are brown. The wind is cold and colder. There might be some blue sky in between the gloomy days, and we rejoice. Oh, how we rejoice!! The shadows cast longer in winter. It seems they’re floating unwittingly following the sun, unsure if it’s going to stay shining or hidden behind the clouds. Then the snow comes, like an eternal promise. For there’s only one color exists in winter and it’s exuberant!
There’s nothing bland about winter, when you take a walk into the woods. The almost- frozen river moves in slow motion. The rocks sprout out between the icy water. A bird twitters calling out its friends, maybe it wants to know if the storm will come over. The yesterday snow laid out on the ground like a white carpet. With every step made, crunch of the dying leaves are heard. The woods fall solemn as winter wishes to stay for another day. Another day, before Spring arrives with its splendor.
Once upon autumn, a girl was standing under a gingko tree. She asked me,”Why are we here? It’s cold”. I told her, it’s such a beautiful Saturday morning and I didn’t want to miss it. “Let’s play with the leaves!” I said to her. The girl picked up two leaves and played with them. Then she crouched down, picking up some more. She was surrounding by the sea of yellow leaves, how pretty. I asked her to play around and be silly. The girl smiled, unsure, but she went ahead. She threw her arms above her head and the gingko leaves came raining down on her. I saw her big smile and it made me smile.
Enjoy the season, sweetheart! Embrace autumn!