The Willow & War Blog


I have a friend who carries a pocket-sized book with blank pages. At any moment he will produce a pen and draw the scene immediately before him. Thin whipped lines, depth, vanishing points. He says it's training. His eye and hand take in the world and distill all life and time into a two-by-two canvas.

I remember a river with lamps along the bank, a horizon and maybe blue ink. He does this frequently.

But unruled paper terrifies me. My writing slants and I cant draw straight lines. So I learned to do this with words between margins. To see and take in worlds. Then sketch the words like maybe you can see what I see.

We hustle between doors and pass life like an old man is just an old man. When he is, in fact, the gnarled bygone spirit of a titan, tethered to a world he used to rule. Now a bent husk wrapped in a tweed coat, he musters his way to a pharmacy, intent on numbing his frailty, letting his past slip into fiction.

A sketch.

Quick. Honest. Imperfect. Incomplete.

Infinite words and worlds surround us.

And this is how we draw everything, with dirt and wonder.