If you’ve followed me on Instagram (@drlisachu), you’ve seen pages from my daily illustrated journal practice called “Before 10am”, which I’ve kept since July 2016…that’s over 150 consecutive days so far! I have kept a written journal for many years of my life, but only recently, in 2013, did I start playing with blank pages of a sketchbook, permitting not only words and sentences to appear on the page, but also colors, lines, shapes, scribbles, collage, and other experimental images. This liberating practice has led me and followed me through the daily routine of home life, to wilderness adventures in several national parks, and everything in between. This one new habit has changed my life by deepening my observations of the world around me, and slowing me down each day to reflect on what I have experienced. It has also given me an object to share with others, and a way of connecting with people around the world via social media.
I just returned from a road trip to Death Valley National Park, where I celebrated my birthday. While there, I learned that “Timbisha” is the Shoshone name for their home (which we call “Death Valley”). The word “Timbisha” refers to the sacred red color of the rocks in the area, and symbolizes the future, or the way forward. As Park Ranger Alexandra, a geographer who led a brief program in one of the colorful canyons in Death Valley, shared various theories on the formation of the canyons, she also said that many of the Shoshone stories of this place are stories she is not allowed to tell. Continue reading
Day 8: Geo-Mythology, Ranger Karen, and Lisa-Chu-rri Sauce
I am up before my 5:45am alarm again. Today’s breakfast menu is hash browns, scrambled eggs, sausage patties, and the leftover black bean and corn salad from last night’s dinner. I find out Mary Lou has never made hash browns from boxed or frozen potatoes…only by grating fresh ones.
“Trust me, it’ll work,” I say. We have picked up a carton of dehydrated shredded potatoes from Yosemite Lodge, and I am ready to go at them, testing my hash brown flipping skills on a larger scale than I’ve ever done before. The skillets we have are the size of backyard garbage can lids. The spatula is the size of a Kindle reader. Mary Lou is a skeptic all the way until the moment she tastes the cooked hash browns. Continue reading
Well, I am in love.
I stumbled upon a description of a new batch of images released by the Wellcome Collection in the UK.
Engravings and colored illustrations from old books continue to fascinate me.
And today, taking a look at medical and botanical images from as early as the 14th century, I am reminded of the importance of our curiosity throughout human history.
There are many special places along this small strip of California coastline I now call home.
One of them feels particularly special because I get to visit every two weeks as a volunteer goat milker. What began as a once-in-a-while opportunity has become part of the rhythm of my life. The rhythm of rising early on a Monday morning and driving south on Highway One. The rhythm of the seasons, the fog, the sun, and the changing colors of the hills on San Gregorio Road. The rhythm of cows and calves, of yellow mustard flowers, of the black earth freshly tilled, of the harvest.
What makes a place special, anyway?