As I sit here in Connecticut, among mounds of snow, I sip cinnamon tea and remember the feeling of driving down a bumpy road in the back of a pickup truck. The sun dried off my river washed skin as my friends swayed on the roof of the car, smiling and taking photos. We were still jet lagged but blissful from spending our second day in Thailand with elephants.
We saw magic in the hills beyond Chiang Mai. We met people who care for rescued elephants every day, people who shared strong bonds with these amazing animals. They lead us through the landscape and we followed the elephants, trudging through the forest. We observed their routine and climbed hills and bathed in rivers. The baby elephant played with the staff like a puppy until we all remembered, oh yeah, he's 400 lbs. When they were hungry, we fed them bananas and bamboo. Luscious, green hills surrounded us. It was a simple, stunning day.
As I move farther away from this day, my memories have become layers in my sketchbook, the pages are worn and the book is thick, stuffed with ticket stubs and receipts. It is a source of moments I want to remember and places I would like to revisit. When people ask how my trip was, I hand them my sketchbook, it's my easy explanation.
As I reflect on the contents of my sketchbook, I scan each page onto my computer. After visiting such a new and inspiring place, I want to share. I want my work to be accessible, not only in it's true form. Soon, it may just take a few new forms...