What comes to mind when you think of Boston? Walking the Freedom Trail? Eating cod with baked beans? As far as I can tell, these are things that Bostonians rarely (if ever) think about doing, unless they have tourists coming to visit. I could be wrong.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t worthy tourist attractions in Boston. There are. But having lived here 22 years, I see much more interesting threads in the fabric of my adopted town. In my South End neighborhood alone: the local grocery store, the community garden, the artist studio buildings, the Spanish tapas bar, the post office, the sandwich shops, the homeless shelter, the hardware store, the dog park, the vintage cookbook store, the super-modern new house in the midst of a block of 18th century brownstones, the fire station, the bilingual pre-school, the doggie bakery, the bus stops. The fountains in the park, the park bench sleepers, the belligerent dog walker with her massive herd of canines. The red brick sidewalks, the parking spaces, the cherry blossom trees, the seagulls. The old man in the red, white and blue jacket who rides around on his bicycle shouting “Hallelujah!”
This little neighborhood alone is so full of wonders.
I’ve been imagining a coloring book of this town for a while not, and not necessarily for children. Recently I started working on some line drawings from my perspective of life in downtown Boston. About a week ago I was excited to see a Huffington Post article about coloring books for adults that noted some of the benefits of coloring in:
“Psychologists told the Huffington Post that, by engaging multiple parts of the brain, coloring allows us to focus on the lines, movements, and colors in front of us, use our imaginations and be creative, and de-stress.”
Apparently, this idea has caught on. Coloring books for adults are becoming insanely popular. Two adult coloring books by Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford have been selling out online. Since I read that article a week ago, I’ve seen stories about it almost every day!
Read Huffington Post’s New coloring books for adults are good for your health.
To me, this makes so much sense as a de-stressing practice. You can be simultaneously creative and meditative, engaged but relaxed, and not have to figure out a design because it’s already been done for you. Just color it in, however it pleases you.
Can you see yourself coloring in?
This is my new project. Right now, however, I’m going to draw myself a bed and a soft blanket and crawl in it and go to sleep. Goodnight, friends.