Connecting Dots

“Many times the wrong train took me to the right place.”

Paulo Coelho

I’ve been thinking about how things connect lately, and how life is sometimes like a series of dot to dot. Sometimes I wonder if technology is what causes me to move from one thing to the next in lightning speed, or if I just get bored easy.

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that I’m always munching on teeny bytes of information (like a smorgasbord) as I move through life, picking out as many things as possible without spending too much time on one in particular.

What I love about this habit is that it’s kind of like Coelho’s quote. Maybe it’s not the wrong train that I get on, but it’s the fast track. It’s always en route to some mysterious destination, and it always seems to take me to the right places (most of the time).

One example is my most recent dot to dot escapade. A while back, I enrolled in an online class and the professor’s name was Valerie Garcia. Something I like to do is check Rate My Professors to see what previous students said, or I just google the instructor.

When I did this for Ms. Garcia, the website came up–and she is a speaker, consultant, and encourager. Her topics seemed to relate to my class, in my own head anyway, so I signed up for her newsletters.

First, let me say that I just love her newsletters. They are fun, simple, informative and interesting, and she provides lots of little links to other fun and interesting things. Second, once the class started I realized that these two women were not one in the same. But, I am still a subscriber.

In one of her last newsletters she mentioned that she was reading the book “Hero on a Mission,” by Donald Miller. I searched for that book, of course, and ended up buying a copy. I haven’t finished it yet, but I made it to the end of chapter 3. In one of those chapters, Miller says that John Steinbeck’s “Journal of a Novel” taught him the discipline and joy of writing.

So… there I was, ordering a copy of Steinbeck’s book. Now, I had no idea what this book was, but it’s a series of letters he wrote just about every day while he was writing his novel East of Eden (another book I’ve never read). It is a fantastic read thus far. So much so that… yes… I bought and have started reading East of Eden. I want to read them in unison so that I progress in the book as he progresses in his letters “about” the book.

Anyway, somewhere in all of those dot to dot moves it hit me. It was like being on one of those quiet little trains that went on autopilot, and it took me to where I needed to go, or to “what” I needed to read. I really do want to write. And sometimes I forget and I need to be reminded.

Trips like that don’t always happen when you’re absorbed in goals, or following daily to-do lists to the hilt. Sometimes all of that planning simply causes us to forget our purpose. Dots connect when we’re spontaneous and willing to travel to unexpected places. Yes, we need a plan in life, but… like Coelho says, sometimes the wrong route takes us to the right place.

About the Image

The featured image is from something I saw on Pinterest. They should call it “Pinspiration.” Anyway, I’d love to know who the original artist was. One user mentioned George Callaghan, but I couldn’t verify that. Anyway, I did my take on it in Illustrator, as usual, but instead of lines I used dots. And let me tell you… it was a LOT of fun.

It’s interesting too, because I used dot art in one of my graphic design class projects a few years ago and I used what they call the blob brush. Basically, one tap gives you one dot. So, I took that brush and painted my design one “blob” at a time.

Well, here’s the thing about tutorials. I rarely look at them but when I do… I’m like “OHH… THAT is how you do it!” What I’ve learned since is that all you need to do is make the lines, and then change them from solid to dashed—then tweak some of the settings and… voila, you have dots!

I took the file to my BeCasso app without the outlines so that there wouldn’t be a bunch of black smearing, and I gave it a painted effect. Then I brought it into Photoshop and moved my dotted outlines from Illustrator to a layer over the painted image.

I like that the man is fishing. He looks relaxed too. I think that when you let go and follow the dots in life you feel like that. And then when you least expect it, and because the waters are so still… you catch a whopper.

That’s about all for now. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed! I put my ongoing story on low priority tonight, but I’ll be looking at that very soon.

Peace & Love to you…

“I was in the right place, but it must have been the wrong time.”

Dr. John