Dad’s doodles

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I heard THIS STORY on NPR on my way to work earlier this month and was fascinated.  Why?  First of all, I’m a cognitive therapist, so stories about the brain and ways to improve attention and memory interest me.  But on a personal level, I’m a doodler and my dad’s a doodler.  And what the story said applies to us perfectly.

I remember as a child watching Dad doodle during the sermons in church.  He made cards.  Recently, I found some of those cards, which he sent to me while I was away at camp in the late ’70s.  They are awesome.  I visited Dad yesterday and took those cards to show him.  He told me that it was long time until the minister realized he was drawing and not taking notes!  No reason to be offended, though.  He was paying attention, which as a doodler, I knew.  I doodle each week during a 2-hour staff meeting, which I find interesting, but could get dull if I didn’t have something to occupy me besides listening and waiting for something to say.  I need something else to focus on so my mind doesn’t wander.  In fact, I find that my attention is well-focused on the meeting.  I had been concerned that I look inattentive, as I doodle, but when my supervisor (a neuropsychologist) commented on it and what’s known about attention and doodling, I thought I was doodling among those who understand.  Now I routinely bring colored pens to meetings, just so I have good tools.  I look forward to meetings, wondering what I will create – mostly geometric shapes and flowers.  They aren’t very creative, but are a repetitive pieces.  I’m no artist.  But they occupy me and make me happy.   Sometimes I use the patterns in colleague’s clothing for inspiration.  My doodles remind me of my dad’s flowers. 

Now for the rest of the flower show – My dad’s doodles.

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Before posting this, I asked my father if it was okay for me to post photos of his cards on my blog.  He asked what the implication of this would be and I said, “oh, people will just see them and maybe comment.  I think they are interesting and want to share them.”  He said, “what if people place orders?”  To which I replied, “then you’ll be very busy!”  The cool thing is, I can make more cards out of these now.  I asked him to keep his eye out for more cards for me to scan.  I think I will remake the cards for personal use.  It just feels right to keep using my dad’s cards.  One more thing, notice the ground the flowers are growing out of?  That is the electrical symbol for “ground.”  My father did some electrical work with his father.  All his flowers are grounded.  🙂

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8 Responses

  1. those are really unique flowers. i bet your dad is honored that you want to keep them “alive” so to speak

    i saw a report on CNN about doodling helping you concentrate. i shall no longer chide my daughter for doodling!

  2. these are ultra cool!

  3. These cards are just incredible! I love the story about the ‘electrical grounding’- would be a cute little thing to write up on the back when you start getting these published. Seriously.

  4. Very cool. I’m sure your dad will be very impressed if someone wnts to buy some of his cards.

  5. Those are cool. And I like how they are similar and yet different.

    I am a huge doodler and I like to copy what other folks do. This is an interesting one to explore.

  6. I had no idea that the cards sent to me from Uncle were born in church. I love the reason for the “ground”. Didn’t know that either!

  7. Those are some really cool doodles. Impressive!

  8. Those doodles are awesome! Really, really awesome. Makes me want to go and grab a pen and paper.

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