Traveling at Home

While we are at home day in and day out, I travel the same roads over and over. I add variations now and then, but mostly it’s the same loop past fields of soybeans and corn, past woodlots and overgrown meadows, past neatly trimmed front yards.

But as poet and farmer Wendell Berry writes, “Even in a country you know by heart, it’s hard to go the same way twice. The life of the going changes. The chances change and make a new way. Any tree or stone or bird can be the bud of a new direction.”

An old friend recently reminded me that traveling at home presents opportunities to turn the small and modest into the infinite and boundless. If only we are open to the journey.

Here are two takes on my recent travels at home.
Tips and Techniques– If you like making maps when you travel, why not create one to commemorate the places you travel every day? Add other elements from your daily experience to round out the page: a landscape view and a closeup or two are good ways to complement a map. You could also add a compass rose, title, or legend. 

The Day in the Life page is a specific assignment I do about once a year. The idea is to do a sketch every hour of the day, but no sketch should take more than five minutes. Not only is this good practice for working quickly but it is also a nice way to record the ordinary things and moments that fill your days.

11 Comments on “Traveling at Home

  1. Todays drawings/ideas are so uplifting. Your sharing is so comforting to me. And challenging.

  2. I love the quote! I’m into quotes. And this holds true for me especially this year. I’ve been looking much closer to everything in my yard. And logging it in my journal per your suggestions. I’ve implemented the map idea too. Thanks for the ideas. Of course I love the artwork.

    • Hi Erica- I was hoping this would resonate with others who are also at home more than usual this summer. I’m glad you are using your journal to explore and look more closely!

    • I recommend deciding the night before that you are going to do it. It’s best to wake up and start, otherwise, you’ll get busy and there will never be a perfect day to do it. It’s fun!

  3. What a great line – “The life of the going changes.” I read the next line as “the changes change and make a new way”, which also works, right? 😉 The open road sketch on the 2-mile loup page is a nice, unexpected addition. Thinking about that, it seems to me that it’s a kind of a scene that is photographed far more often than it’s painted, so I like seeing a painting of it. And what a full day that was! (Love the “oops!”)

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