Upon Opening…

the box was full of happy.
I found that saying on the back of a pack of Korean tissue in high school. I think about it from time to time. It always makes me smile.

This week’s Illustration Friday prompt kept finding me back at big hollow boxes. When I think of boxes thoughts of presents are never far behind.


You know that scene in ‘Splash‘? The one where Tom Hanks hands Darryl Hannah a blue box wrapped in a bow and she huddles it to her chest and is so happy with it? He has to explain that you open it. That scene is me in a nutshell. I’m the kid who would much rather have a box to shake and play with. Imagining what was in the box was a long process. On my birthday or Christmas, opening them was always kind of a let down. Their potential was dead knowing what was in them insured it was over. The fun was in having them all wrapped and stacked and raring to go.This week has been widely reflective for me. I spent the week camping with about thirty teenage girls. It was shocking for me to realize that I’m an effing adult! It’s scary. It was weird hanging out with girls who are suddenly so young to me, who have their whole lives laid out in front of them.

Their futures are so mailable. It was a tad overwhelming. I talked to them all week. They were all jealous that I was a working artist. I was constantly being told how cool I was, how they wished I was their sister, how emo-punk my drawings were, (wasn’t that a compliment from the nineties?) I left jealous of the infinite abyss of their futures, and their unmade choices.
They were thirty perfectly wrapped boxes. I was open and so exposed. So while I was thinking about hollow boxes, and choices, and gifts, and wide and wild expanses I started thinking about the gifts we’re given, and the gifts that friends and lovers offer us, the gifts we give. Some gifts are hollow, others are full of life and passion. As always, while I thought, I sketched.


Listening to right this second: ‘The Love That You Had’ – Tracy Chapman

3 replies »

  1. Love your post. There really is nothing like an unwrapped package to bring a smile to my face (especially if it's for me!). Life really is a gift. Thanks so much for your comment yesterday. It also put a smile on my face! Have a great day!

  2. Lovely drawings of exciting boxes! Thanks for visiting my blog πŸ™‚ You asked about 'Hen weekend'. It used to be called a Hen Night where a bride-to-be would have a last night out blast with her female friends before the wedding. My daughter, of course, doesn't do things by half so they all had a WHOLE weekend of it! πŸ˜€

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