I love copying my kids’ drawings and writings into my diary. Copying seems like a mindless activity when you first start out, but by the time you’ve finished your copy, you usually learn something about the thing you’re copying and/or you discover something of your own.
While I copied the poem, I noticed how he writes his lowercase a’s and how he forms the letters starting from the bottom. I thought about Emily Dickinson’s envelope poems and about how the size of the paper we write on affects what we write. I thought about how quickly kids move towards parody with their own work, and how here I was, again, making a copy of a copy.
When I copied the tablecloth, I noticed that the original pattern could become a skull or some kind of death mask.
When I copied the exploding earth, I wondered what was with the teeth, until I realized they were exploded parts of the poles.
Copying is a way of paying closer attention.
Side note: I find it interesting how whenever I post something “dark” that my kids make, strangers assume that they’re “dark” kids. They’re actually quite cheerful kids… it’s called “imagination,” man!