While drawing this driftwood, I held my childhood in my hands. On family vacations to lakes in Canada, we collected driftwood on the shores and then displayed the wood at home. My mom in that era decorated our living room starkly, with modern, hard lines and in black and white. The silver gray driftwood somehow softened the room, and I could touch and play with the driftwood all I wanted, unlike other items in the room.
I began to wonder if this piece of driftwood was from the Hudson River near my apartment now or if it was a piece that I took from my childhood home when I left it. I couldn't recollect where I picked up the wood, but it was from somewhere in my life.
I thought about my childhood and family and home and lakes and cold places and the beautiful effects of moving water on the surface of wood, and I held bittersweet memories of passing time when I held the wood to draw it. The light colors of the piece reminded me of white birch trees under bright skies and against light snow - snow with an almost sandy crust from the dry winter winter wind blowing across it - in our front yard
"This wood," I thought, "is softened and polished by the cold, rugged northern lakes, just like I am." I sighed and felt poetic as I drew.
My thoughts were interrupted. "Oh, you're drawing the desert wood I gave you."
"Desert wood? What are you talking about. This is driftwood from Lake of the Woods. Or maybe it's from Rainy Lake. It might be from the Hudson, but anyway, it's driftwood."
"It's desert wood. I gave it to you last summer."
"Are you sure?"
"I picked up the wood out west on my camping trip. I gave it to you and you said it reminded you of driftwood, except for the colors on the tips held the color of the western sun. You said the wood made you want to visit the desert someday."
"Oh," I said. I pulled out a brighter color and finished the drawing.
Desert wood. Colored pencil and number 2 pencil in Moleskine sketchbook.