Petting the Black Dog

Searching for shows I haven’t watched (it’s getting harder, isn’t it?), I found Flowers—a very odd, very dark British comedy about family dysfunction, depression and madness.  It’s a total HOOT!  Plus, I love Olivia Coleman in whatever she does.

Anyhoo… this is the second or third time I’ve heard depression called The Black Dog as in “when the Black Dog is on him…”  It’s a delicious descriptor.  Littermate to the Hound of the Baskervilles.

So, I’m petting the Black Dog a lot lately.  He just seems pretty content to snooze on the rug indefinitely.  Gratefully, the amphetamine I take gives me a few hours of oomph before he crawls into my lap.  Here’s one of the things I’m doing with that time…

A while ago (who can keep track of time now), I made some little art journals with all the cup sleeves saved from my coffee excursions.  I sent them off to arty friends, but kept one for myself.

I’m turning it into a love letter to the coffee shop.

The drive-through is one of the few places I can talk to a live person without wearing a mask.  They are kind and funny, and they give me delicious succor.  I know I’d be lost without that little bit of contact and a way to pamper myself.  Making a journal seemed like a fun and different way to thank them.

I colored the pages by adding a few drops of ink to wet coffee grounds.  I made little pockets out of arted-up coffee filters to hide little treasures like this repurposed gum box.

Mostly, I’m making little collages, incorporating pictures I’ve taken of the shops (drive through and sit down) and the staff.

I’m working in miniature, which I love.  Laying down this poem with itty bitty letters saved from magazines took a whole day.  But the result was so worth it.

Expressing thanks helps shove the Black Dog off my lap for a while.  And working in miniature keeps my mind distracted from his whining.  Any relief, no matter how brief, from his weight and stinky dog-breath is a blessing—a chance to breathe and maybe take a sip of something yummy.

I’ll be making more of these little blank journals in the not-so-distant future, so if you’d like one, let me know.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Catherine Cheng, MD
    Jul 06, 2020 @ 14:13:40

    Brilliant use of paper cup holders, Sandy Sue!
    Inspiring!

    Reply

  2. Writer Lori
    Jul 07, 2020 @ 04:41:53

    Your inventiveness and boundless creativity never cease to amaze me, Sandy… xo

    Reply

  3. Littlesundog
    Jul 07, 2020 @ 08:30:38

    Wonderful post, Sandy. Your creativity is outstanding here… love the poem mini. I’d never heard of “The Black Dog”, and I like it.

    Reply

  4. kirizar
    Jul 24, 2020 @ 14:31:42

    The gorgeous little booklet has what looks like a quotation by Beth Wren. Is that a nom d’ plume or are you quoting someone else? Either way, I absolutely love your miniature mind scapes.

    Reply

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