Years ago, when I lived in Sutter Creek near the wonderfulness of the Fine Eye Gallery on Main Street, I picked up a book that I still read frequently when I need a little lift. It's called "Mostly True - Collected Stories and Drawings" by Brian Andreas. I was immediately captivated by the offbeat and endearing nature of his words. Seemingly nonsensical, the prose can be funny, sad, and always thought-provoking.
Mr. Andreas has been creating stories and art for many years and in most cases the stories are one or two sentences and the illustrations could be described as folk art. He calls his subjects "Story People." He also creates sculptures of his people out of scrap wood, metal and other recycled products. His work can be found in galleries all over the world. So far, I only own a couple of his books. I'll share with you some of my favorite passages and show you some samples of his art. But I implore you to check out his work online and you'll get a better idea of his genius. Click on the thumbnails to see examples of his art.
Presence of Mind: Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream & I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.
The Devil: I never met the Devil (yet) but I imagine it's a pretty scary experience, but then again I guess that's the point.
(Here's one that I printed up for my niece when she was young): Are you a princess? I said & she said I'm much more than a princess, but you don't have a name for it yet here on earth.
Geographer: I like Geography best, he said, because your mountains & rivers know the secret. Pay no attention to boundaries.
Laughter & Noise: There are lives I can imagine without children, but none of them have the same laughter & noise.
Deep Roots: When I die, she said, I'm coming back as a tree with deep roots & I'll wave my leaves at the children every morning on their way to school & whisper tree songs at night in their dreams. Trees with deep roots know about the things children need.
Secret Notes: He wrote secret notes to people he hadn't met yet. Some of them aren't even born, he said, but we live in a strange neighborhood & they will need help figuring things out & I won't always be around to explain it to them.
Father: I used to believe my father about everything but then I had children myself & now I see how much stuff you make up just to keep yourself from going crazy.
Discovered the Moon: When I first discovered the moon, he said, I gave it a different name. But everyone kept calling it the moon. The real name never caught on.
Unheard Music: Don't you hear it? she asked & I shook my head no & then she started to dance & suddenly there was music everywhere & it went on for a very long time & when I finally found words all I could say was thank you.
Spider Princess: If I was a spider princess, she said, I would spin webs of color of sky & catch drops of sunlight to give to children who watch too much tv & then everyone would remember to come outside to play. If I was a spider princess, she said, things would be different.
And one of my favorites: In my dream, the angel shrugged & said If we fail this time, it will be a failure of imagination & then she placed the world gently in the palm of my hand.