A grateful heart: Random acts of art

A stranger shared this “random act of art” with me. For
Sacramento natives, it is entitled: “Madison + Sunrise
Redwoods, rocks, and palms.”

I looked up from my laptop to see a 50-something fellow dressed in an officer’s uniform sit down across from me. Ignoring his tall coffee, he set to work scribbling on a small, white piece of paper, eyebrows furrowed in concentration. I watched the quick flicks of his black pen and noticed that he occasionally gazed out the window and then immediately back down to his paper. I realized he was drawing.

While I pecked away at my dissertation chapter, I had to brush off a fleeting feeling of envy. Okay, a big, giant tidal wave of envy.

Writing is a lonely business. Most of the time I work at home and when the four walls start closing in, I trek to a nearby “coffice” (coffee shop office).

Somehow writing among people feels a little less lonesome. Until I notice folks enjoying their hobbies. People chatting with friends. Planning weddings. Solving crossword puzzles. Reading… for fun! And today, drawing.

Of course, one of my hobbies is to surreptitiously snap photos of interesting people and so I did. I snapped an image of the sweet drawing man for my collection and went back to work.

And then half an hour later, I looked up from my laptop to see the artist heading towards me. Without a word, he handed me the small white card and walked out.

Days later, I still feel entirely charmed by this wonderful gift, this random act of art. I am grateful that on one of my more lonely days, a stranger reached out and changed my attitude towards the world. Today, the drawing sits near my computer at home as inspiration and a reminder that I’m not alone, even if it feels that way in the depths of dissertation land.

In turn, I’m thinking of ways to share random acts of kindness of my own. Since I draw like a 4-year old, this will probably manifest as cups of coffee and being more helpful than usual. And speaking of, next week is Random Acts of Kindness Week. Check out this site for a bunch of wonderful ways to infuse kindness into your world.


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