on new years eve i could feel the shadow of reality creeping overhead. i knew i had 2 days and 4 hours more of having patrick to myself all day, without the hectic stress of work and other obligations. it looked as though he sensed the shadow as well,and looked a bit melancholy. when this usually happens i go into distraction mode, in other words i entertain patrick. i spend a lot of time thinking about food, plants, animals, art and other general silliness. i also spend a lot of time visioning our future farm. so i spent an hour regaling patrick on what type of animals, how many and what their names would be, when we finally had our little peice if land. monday finally came, and with it came p’s first day back after being on vacation for 2 weeks. i still had one blessed day before i returned. he seemed quite anxious about the mound of work that would be greeting him upon his return. so i decided to dedicate a large part of my day to cheering him up when he got home. i had been thinking about all of our critters for the past 2 days and had mentally constructed a drawing of them. so i sat down, pen in hand and began to draw. i didn’t want to work it out in pencil first, i went directly to pen. i feel like drawing in pen gives my work a sense of spontanaity that i often lack in my life. the images almost create themselves, no mistakes, no regrets, no perfection, lots of character. i finished my drawing, scanned it into the computer and spent a bit of time coloring it in photoshop. i then printed off a nice copy on watercolor paper and framed it for him. i kept it a secret all day, through a visit to the ymca, and through making dinner and the consumption of one taco. i wanted to remind him that when his life gets hectic and stressful and all he wants to do is have responsibility and obligation take a hike, all the important things were there in that picture. he and i and dry toast, apple core, chestnut and puddles and all the other critters are a team. and even if that vision of stacey’s edible managerie never comes to fruition, it’s really the idea and possibility of it that matters.