Happy New Year, 2015

It is hard to believe that I've been posting to this blog since August of 2013. It feels like I have only just begun this journey. What started as a experiment to make myself write and sketch, has taken on a life of its own. It amazes me how many people visit even though I make little effort to promote the site. And I am humbled every time someone stops me to tell me that they enjoy reading it, or how they have shared it with friends, or how much a particular post has moved them. To ring in the new year, I've decided to update the blog template. I hope you like the new look.

My first blog entry was a sketch from my notebook of a cicada. (link to that post: http://dsborden.blogspot.com/2013/08/and-so-it-begins.html). Those of you from 'round these parts will recognize this little native, whose song transports me back to long summer days from my childhood... innocent, carefree days, before life got complicated. I chose that cicada sketch for a couple of reasons. First, it was already in my sketchbook. Second, this little creature has always fascinated me... especially the way it emerges from its shell. It reminds me of a Buddhist story:

A monk comes to a river that is too deep to ford. In order to cross it, he builds a raft, which takes hours. As soon as he finishes, he uses the raft to skim across the river. On the other side, he straps the raft to his back. He reasons: It took so long to build, and he may need it again, so he figures it would be prudent to carry it with him. As he walks, the raft starts to weigh him down to the point that progress toward his destination slows to a crawl. While taking one of his frequent breaks, the master comes upon him. Being on a road in a dry plain, the master inquires as to why the monk is carrying a raft. The monk tells the story of the river and explains his reasoning. The master tells the monk to discard the raft. Now that the river is crossed, the tool that was so critical before has become a burden.

Let it go.

The cicada knows this story... and every time I see one of their shells clinging to a tree or wall, I think: let it go.

This blog has become more to me than just a way to make myself sketch and write. It has become about crossing rivers and leaving rafts behind. It has taken years of trekking to get to this place. Years of hard work, sacrifice, and heartbreak. Years of raft building. I have found that reporting those stories here has allowed me to tap into their meaning, use them for their power, and leave them at the river's edge. And if sharing my stories has helped anyone outside of myself, then it has all been worth it.

sketch by David Borden of a cicada with its wings fully extended
Cicada ready for flight

Link to information about cicadas at Wikipedia:

To you, all of you, I am grateful for the support, well wishes, notes of thanks, and pledges of solidarity. I wish you all peace and happiness in the new year. 2015 promises to be full of wonder and excitement as I leave rafts behind.

Please feel free to leave comments or send me an email at d@dsborden.com. I appreciate the feedback, and your enthusiasm has been the energy that keeps me writing and publishing.

Thank you.

P. S. I should really think the amazing Charlotte Gullick (whom I don't get to see enough anymore) for encouraging me to blog in the first place.

#cicada #Texas #Austin #Buddha #summer #nature #sketch #flight #LetItGo #sacrifice #inspiration #heartbreak #optimism #joy

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