The world is her sketchbook, her, being my daughter. She has drawn since she could pick up a crayon, long before her brother (who is two years older) could. She taught him. She knew how to create instinctively. She has been capturing moments on paper, cardboard, the backs of children's menus, spare napkins, the empty spaces in her brothers' homework, driveways, anybody's skin, chalkboards, solid colored walls, the insides of cereal boxes, and in a pad she keeps tucked away in her backpack for sudden impulses since she was two. They are all blank canvasses that need to be filled with slices of life, spontaneous minutes that she wants to catch and hold close.

She watches people nowadays. She has finally overcome her fear of drawing them, afraid she would make them look ugly. She captures the little nuances that others don't see; the tired eyes, the freckles sprinkled across a nose, the wisps of hair floating about the forehead. Her left hand flies with deft strokes as she surrepitously catches others in moments when they are unaware. She doesn't want to spoil the image, change the mood she is trying to capture. It changes when they know they are being watched. Her subjects become wooden or fake. Her sketchbook is full of children on the bus. Some look out the window. Some talk to friends. Some are only a visual perspective of the backs of their heads, hair tousled from a full day of learning and play. It is her view of the world, a twelve year old's view.

I asked her to draw me something beautiful last week. She said she would when she thought of something. The next day I woke up to her sketchbook lying open beside me on the bed. She had "caught" her father and I sleeping spooned together in the wee hours of the morning. She captures moments.

I have finally figured out why I like so much of a certain writer's work. He conveys with a pen and lined paper, what she does with colored pencils and cereal boxes. They are the same. They paint the world in small snippets of frozen time. I admire them both.

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