On sketching, however badly, instead of smoking

When I did give up smoking, it was in deference to my beloved husband’s request that I not. I really, truly enjoyed smoking. It is bad for one, no doubt, but I found that what I missed most about smoking was the reason it gave me to stop and just hang around outside for a bit.How many excuses are there, now, simply to sit quietly by yourself and watch the world go by. Now we must stand. At our desks, no less. If we are outside, we must be walking, hiking, going, getting that exercise, being well. OR ELSE WE DIEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Nobody expects all of that one of when one is smoker. Nope. When one is smoking, everybody assumes you are a self-destructive fool and leaves you be, free to idle away a few minutes with your cigarette, before you extinguish and they all rush up to you how mussssssssssst change. It’s all so marchy-marchy and productive that it is exhausting.

Not that smoking is good, because it isn’t, but it did create a nice armor around me from conversation. Go away. Let me sit here and be.

Sketching for me became a way of creating a reason to sit, outside, by myself. Sketching is not a social exercise, either, except for the people who ask you what you are doing and, now, the security guards who push you around in the name of “security.” Me and my little sketchbook might bring down the USA Bank building. It could happen. Hey, some of those pencils are *sharp*.

I am not a particularly adroit sketcher, but I do it, nonetheless, as a means to steal time and energy away from the relenting do-do-do and go-go-go pace of life in most cities.

Of particular interest: fanciful gates, cats, flowers, and transit–anything that rewards the act of spending time, and looking, looking again, and looking again.

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Go stand at your own desk.