To A Mouse ~ Art Journal Page

This week’s prompts for the Documented Life Project were to use writing and more specifically the phrase “words with friends”.

If you have followed my art journalling for long enough then you will perhaps have noted that I do not particularly write in my journal.  I certainly do not write anything overly personal.  I suppose I use blogging if  there is anything I want to express in a more public way but otherwise I am very private.  The idea of recording thoughts and feelings in a journal does not appeal to me.  I did actually maintain a journal from when I was about 10 through to my mid-teens.  However, as my sister could tell you (since she was sneaky and read my diary) all my journal recorded were my thoughts on current affairs, global issues and reviews of books and movies – nothing personal.  This week’s challenge, therefore, was not – on the surface at least – a comfortable fit for me.

The friends bit also had me stumped.  Writing about or even drawing my friendships felt too personal for a public forum (I share my pages on the DLP’s Facebook page as well as on my blog) especially because, having moved so far away from all my close friends, it is a more emotive subject for me, a vulnerable topic.  I decided, therefore, to be a non-conformist and ignore that second prompt entirely.  That decision made inspiration easier to come by.

Sunday was Burns’ Night, a traditional celebration of Scotland’s national poet.  We marked the evening as best we could – including a small glug of recently sourced Irn Bru, Scotland’s other national drink.  As part of that, I read ‘Address to a Haggis’ and ‘To a Mouse’.  Ping!  That was my inspiration.

I drew the little field mouse on the wheat stalk with coloured pencils and then sketchily outlined it with black gel pen.  I then used the gel pen to write the text of the first verse of the poem on either side of my drawing.  Yet again, I just used my own handwriting for the text but, following the typography lesson with Joanne Sharpe that I undertook as part of the Life Book course, I felt completely OK about doing so this time.

Week 4 - Words

I managed to find time this week for some of my “own” art work so, if you want to see my Zombie Woodland Creatures, head on over to my art blog – Pict Ink – to check it out.

Burn’s Night

Today is the birthday of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet.  I have celebrated Burns’ Night every year of my life as far as I can recollect.  When I was at Primary School, we used to get haggis, neeps and tatties and a glass of Irn Bru for school dinners.  When I was in Halls of Residence at University, I recited ‘Tam O’Shanter’ as part of the evening’s celebrations.  In a later year at University, I helped organise a Burns’ Night supper.  It is part of my culture as a Scot to celebrate Burns’ night and I also happen to love Burns’ poetry quite independently of any patriotism.  Around the globe, the Scots diaspora will today be piping, slicing into steaming haggis, reciting poetry and singing songs and quaffing whisky.  Unfortunately I will not be among them.  I totally brain-farted and left it too late to research where I might get my mitts on some haggis and some vegetarian haggis here in America.  So tonight  I will still read some Burns poems to the kids but Mr Pict and the boys will be having spaghetti bolognese and I will be having some other type of pasta.  I’m sure Rabbie would have approved.

I have lots of favourite Burns’ poems, depending on which mood I am in, but right now as I type this blog this one is top of the heap.  It is actually a beautiful song as well as being a lovely poem so if you are not familiar with it I recommend you go and find someone singing it on YouTube.

 

 

Green Grow The Rashes

Green grow the rashes , O;

Green grow the rashes , O;

The sweetest hours that e’er I spend,

Are spent amang the lasses, O.

There’s nought but care on ev’ry han’ ,

In ev’ry hour that passes, O:

What signifies the life o’ man,

An’ ’twere na for the lasses, O.

Green grow the rashes , O;

Green grow the rashes , O;

The sweetest hours that e’er I spend,

Are spent amang the lasses, O.

The war’ly race may riches chase, –

An’ riches still may fly them, O;

An’ tho’ at last they catch them fast,

Their hearts can ne’er enjoy them, O.

Green grow the rashes , O;

Green grow the rashes , O;

The sweetest hours that e’er I spend,

Are spent amang the lasses, O.

But gie me a cannie hour at e’en ,

My arms about my dearie, O;

An’ war’ly cares, an’ war’ly men,

May a’ gae tapsalteerie , O!

Green grow the rashes , O;

Green grow the rashes , O;

The sweetest hours that e’er I spend,

Are spent amang the lasses, O.

For you sae douce , ye sneer at this;

Ye’re nought but senseless asses, O:

The wisest man the warl’ e’er saw ,

He dearly lov’d the lasses, O.

Green grow the rashes , O;

Green grow the rashes , O;

The sweetest hours that e’er I spend,

Are spent amang the lasses, O.

Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears

Her noblest work she classes, O:

Her prentice han’ she try’d on man,

An’ then she made the lasses, O.

Green grow the rashes , O;

Green grow the rashes , O;

The sweetest hours that e’er I spend,

Are spent amang the lasses, O.