Working in Tandem

Modu likes to draw, and while he is not professionally trained, he has been able to create some beautiful work. On the wall in the lunch room in the Nessima Camp of Catania, his map of Africa is a featured image. To the right of the map, he’s added a proud lion, a towering giraffe, and a stately Baobab tree. He is quite good.

Together we sat at the table sharing our love of drawing. He drew an alligator. I drew a dragonfly.

Then we tried an experiment: I drew a squiggly line and asked him to make a picture out of this. He’d never played this “game” before, and it was quite a challenge. He couldn’t readily think of any option that might complete the picture. So, I asked him to draw a line, and then I finished the drawing adding some eyes, a nose, and a mouth. His squiggle became a man’s face.

We tried again. I turned Modu’s jotting into a car. I gave him another simple line, and he turned it into a box on top of a truck. He wrote the number 32, and I turned it into a man with glasses. I wrote the same number, and he turned it into a starling.

Finally, we returned to the original, complicated line. We studied it together for a few minutes. Even I found myself stymied by the nonsense image. And then inspiration hit. Modu picked up his pen and started to draw. In a matter of seconds, he’d turned a meaningless form into an original, creative image.

It was a flash of inspiration and a quick sketch, but a perfect example of cooperation and creativity. The image might not be gallery quality, but in my judgment, it wins an award any day.

An Open Letter to Kroger

 

An open letter to the management of my local Kroger:

Dear Madams and Sirs,

This missive is a formal protest: On the afternoon of October 31, 2017, I walked into my local Kroger with the hopes of picking up some candy to hand out to eager children on Halloween. I noticed something odd as I walked in the door: the pumpkins that had festooned the entryway since July 4 were no longer present. There were no plastic cat skeletons or scary tombstones. That should have been my first warning.

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