Thursday, November 24, 2011
There's no doubt about it, I'm a sentimentalist, especially when it comes to kids, animals, and holidays.
My first love was comics. I had a pencil and drawing pad wherever I went. From Star Wars X-Wing Fighters (request from little brother) to Get Well Cards (parents and grandparents) to Doodle-covered homework, I drew every chance I could get. Over the years, my love of comics allowed me to put every memory into its own magical panel with a bright, cheerful flower right in the middle of it.
The first comic strip I drew was called The Bomb Family. It was a story about a family who lived underground in their cellar. It was a parody of how my own family had an underground cellar filled to the rim with canned food, candles, ammo, blankets, tons of stuff in boxes, and board games.
As kids, my cousins and I used to play hide n seek, but no one would venture into the cellar alone unless they had a buddy. We only went "down there" when we were on a mission to retrieve a board game, which we'd promptly bring right back up and set-out in the formal dining room (on family gatherings, no one ever went into this room, so we had it all to ourselves for games, gossip, and hair braiding marathons).
My focus on art gave rise to other interests as a teenager, namely writing, and almost instantaneously, the thrill I felt in art transferred to the written word. Poetry and literature took language to an almost indescribable height of perfection, while simpler wording found on the back of a cereal box, in a textbook, or in an inscription had a comical elegance to it.
Recently, I took up drawing again, starting over with Stick Figures, who have magically come to life with their sleek, carefree circles and lines, antics and practical jokes. And to my dismay, have recently run off to join the Occupy Movement.
This morning, I sat in my library thumbing through my books. My U.S. Navy Pirate Combat Skills book caught my eye this morning. When I opened it, one of my Stick Figures was drawn there, egging me on in the margins, pointing his finger under a drawing of hand-to-hook fighting, saying (in a speech bubble), "You could totally knock this swashbuckler off his balance!"
He's right! I am familiar with hand-to-hook combat techniques (I read about them in Chapter 2), plus I think I'm totally ready to level the playing field and neutralize my pirate foe so I can continue on with my mission:
Today, my mission is to celebrate life and love with my family while paying homage to loving memories of family gatherings from a time long-since passed. A time when you woke up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, bacon, eggs, and pancakes.
to the joyous memories of celebratory laughter, to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade playing on the little TV in the kitchen, to kids laughing and playing outside, and to happy (drunk) grown-ups gathered together for the holidays.
Memories of holiday gatherings have evolved and changed over the years, but the tradition has remained forever linked back to my early childhood memories in the states where my little family became larger than life, just like my all-time favorite comic hero, Snoopy!