doodle by andre: in the still of the night

deadheadE VERYTHING IS POSSIBLE,” a dear friend I have never met keeps telling me, and all of us. “To see it, though,” he reminds, “you must first believe it.” Good advice for life, and also good advice for making a garden, no? That friend is Englishman Andre Jordan, now the mad doodler of Lincoln, Nebraska, whom this week I want to really celebrate bigtime: Andre just earned his green card, the latest whirl in a whirlwind year that included meeting and marrying the woman of his dreams, publishing a memoir, buying his first home, and adopting a dog (named Pickle).

No, I have still not met Andre, though we’ve been in contact for more than a year. But we grow a little closer every week when the latest stash of doodles-in-progress arrives, and I get glimmers into the thought process that is behind them, just like I did when I read his memoir, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.” (There is no better book to give your shrink; it should be on the curriculum of psychoanalytic institutes and departments of psychiatry in teaching hospitals and schools of social work, I swear. Insurance companies should mail it out to all patients using mental-health coverage, so they know they are not alone.)

Some weeks there are multiple versions of a doodle in my inbox, and we email back and forth or have a Skype call and figure out what we think. Mrs. Andre gets a vote, of course, and usually we have a unanimous verdict in favor of one incarnation or another of a drawing. I am sharing the backstory on this week’s with you, which came to me as triplets, each just slightly different (some with distinctive, perhaps English, spellings of the word “pruning,” above). What do you think? Did we choose right?

Perhaps because I have had a wild year of evolution, too, of first-time experiences and risk-taking change, I was really moved by Andre’s recent story on A Beautiful Revolution, his personal blog, where he recounts the tale of how he doodled his way out of depression and into dreams-come-true. Be sure to read it, please oh please, and also to welcome him even more emphatically than ever in the comments below to our American, and gardening, family.  Yes, Andre and his bride are gardening. Apparently we are rubbing off on him, too, not just the other way round. Everything is possible.

  1. Johanna says:

    Oh, Andre, congratulations on the green card and all the positive changes that have come to you over the past few years. It is so hopeful when one has dark days to know there’s a light at the other end of the garden row, and if we keep weeding our troubles away (or ignoring them until they shrivel up!) we can get there. Your story is wonderful, and don’t be too concerned about the “snip snip snip”, those little scissors couldn’t hurt you much! xoxo

  2. Balsamfir says:

    Andre, Congratulations on the green card, I think. Definitely congratulations on the new life, to you and your wife, congratulations on the amazing cartoons, or should I call them poems.

    PS the newest version of snip snip is my favorite.

  3. TexasDeb says:

    I will add my congratulations to those expressed by others and say “Welcome (officially) to our crazy corner of the world!”. If doodling and gardening provide paths out of the blues then let’s start stocking pharmacies with pencils and pads. And gloves and trowels. Stat!

  4. Tammy says:

    Welcome, welcome Andre. Congratulations for surviving the red tape to get your green card!!! Margaret has quite a difficult task picking the “best” doodle each week, as they are all wonderful.

  5. andre says:

    morning all. Thank you for the kind words. Especially you Margaret. It is a real pleasure to know you.

    It’s amazing what a tiny seed can eventually become, isn’t it?

  6. becky nielsen says:

    I Love these doodles – and especially the last version of the snip, snip. Had an experience like that once.

    Congratulations, Andre. So happy for your sharings, via doodles and words.

  7. Charlotte Cantrell says:

    Way to go Andre! Keep on doodling!
    It keeps you sane, and makes other people wonder, whats going on in your head ! Tee Hee Hee !

  8. Dawn says:

    Dear Andre,
    Congratulations! I would write a longer note, but I must hie myself to Powell’s posthaste and find myself a copy of “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.”

    xoxo to you, the Missus, and Pickle!

  9. Margaret says:

    Thanks to all of you for putting in even more love and affection than I can conjure on my own for our dear friend.

    Welcome, Becky. So glad that you have joined us on this special day of celebration…sounds like you are in the right place. :) See you soon again.

  10. Lee (a.k.a. Riveted) says:

    Doodle away…the illustrations (and captions) are beyond entertaining and are most certainly illuminating!

  11. Susan says:

    Congrats Andre, welcome to America. I love your doodles, you have that British humor that I grew up with and miss. So happy to hear about Pickle, I have a friend who has a rescued Pitbull, they have so much to give, your life will never be the same, nor are my Thursday’s.
    Thank you

  12. Heidih says:

    Congratulations Andre and thank you for all the smiles through your doodles. I like the version posted best- I can see the questions asker’s face in my mind- utter puzzlement crossed with strange scenarios bombarding his brain. I might have sunk into the black hole this past year were it not for my garden.

  13. Margaret says:

    Welcome, Lee (a.k.a. Riveted). Yes, Andre always catches my attention, plus makes me ponder. Funny how he does that with what at first seem to be such simple drawings. Appearances can really be deceiving.

    Welcome, Heidih. The garden is a place of light, isn’t it? I am glad it’s been supporting you; I know that it has seen me through some very challenging times.

    I hope to see both of you again soon.

    And PS–Yes, Dawn, I’d like to see Pickles, too. We shall have to pester Pickle’s mother and father on that score.

  14. Rosella says:

    Congratulations, Andre, Mrs Andre, and Pickle! How wonderful for all of you that you are starting your new lives together. With a NEW Green Card! And a NEW House! So much to do, but I hope you will still have time to do your doodles for all of us!

  15. Brian G. says:

    Well, you are almost one of us, no going back now. Absolutely no returns after 60 days and article must be in unwashed and unworn condition so don’t spill anything on it.
    Your ‘Eskimo Woe’ doodle is the best.

  16. Fred from Loudonville, NY says:

    I have a friend who vacations on Nantucket Island yearly. My friend stays with an older gentleman that she, and her family have known for years. The older man has a nice house, she has told me, with a lawn, bushes, and trees, around it, but NOT to much when it comes to flowers. Many times, when she has awaken in the morning, there are bouquets of fresh flowers placed here and there, in the old man’s house. She started to wonder???? The old gentleman had a habbit of taking late night walks. He would snip a flower here , and a flower there, from gardens on his mid night route. When she asked him, he told her “He was MOON LIGHT GARDENING.

  17. Linda P says:

    Congradulations for your green card house and new life here. I love your doodles, and your humor. My x was English and the scenario is sweetly familiar. We are antique dealers ( waxing floors tonight too) and the interesting thing is I’m wondering if that old career is what made you depressed?! (going through similar issues now after 35 odd years in it! I am particulary keen on visualizing what will be as you say and am definate about it’s truth. I have not utilized it in a while so thanks for reminding me….. happy doodling!

  18. andre says:

    I used to be an antique dealer. I loved it but found the pressure of finding new stuff each week quite draining – but that was not how my depressions began.

    I was born with pneumonia and hooping cough and spent the first 6 months of my life in an incubator. My therapist would tell you my fear based depressions began there.

  19. Margaret says:

    @Andre: Well, now I know a little more about the origins of Astronaut Boy, I suspect. (Quick: What’s the capital of New York?) I am afraid of so many things; I think sometimes it’s how I know I am alive. :)

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