Are you kidding me? I simply cannot believe adults would willingly jump on this new bandwagon! Do you remember colouring books when you were a child? I do. I loved them, whenever I could find a fresh page that had not been previously sullied by a lesser skilled sibling. I liked the ones with queens and crowns, fairies, anything that had lots of detail. I liked faces. Guess I've always been a people person.
It was a fun thing to do as I became more proficient at it, to colour in the lines and make a beautiful picture that was promptly forgotten when I turned the page. I was a child, and it was a form of play.
Staying in the lines
Well meaning parents, and sad to say, others in their lives, will praise them for being able to stay in the lines. Where's the creativity in that? No, give children any kind of paper, stone or object that comes to hand, and let them create; tell a story through their art, show you their lives and their loves.
Let it be glorious, let their hands be dirtied with all kinds of mediums, including mud if their thoughts are there. But please don't celebrate if they stay in the lines of a colouring book! It means only they are conforming to someone else's expectations.
Expensive stress relief
Obviously, if these books are becoming so popular, there's a side to this that may be valuable - and not only to Amazon. If it is such a great stress reliever it's a whole lot less expensive than a shrink. At the same time, it's sort of sad to know there is so much stress around. Could a colouring book be a long term solution, or is it a band aid?
The interesting thing I simply cannot work out, is, are these adults trying to re live their childhood, when things were safe and less complicated; a time when they'd be celebrated and praised if they could stay in the lines? Or are they saying, "see, I haven't learned a whole lot in my life, but one thing I can do is stay in the lines, and I'm gonna prove it to you!"
Fads come and fads go. I don't know if this is one of them, or whether it will endure. The thing about it is, like most things nowadays, it isn't being used as a recreational device to connect with young children, who might at the same time be doing their own colouring projects.
It's meant as an adult, solitary, absorbing escape from stress and reality, by engaging in a childlike activity. It would be the same thing as playing hopscotch. By the time you reach adulthood, you're presumed to have found other, more rewarding pastimes to keep you busy and occupied with your artsy side of the brain.
Is it regression to childhood?
Maybe you're feeling sick of people telling you it's time for you to self evaluate; feel your own pride in your life accomplishments, and carry them forth to help not only yourself to find peace, but to bring joy to others. Perhaps through these colouring books the old becomes new, and praise is remembered.
Of course once you become an adult, the bonus is generally speaking you've got lots of wonderful things to choose from: art, astronomy, beekeeping, gardening, tai chi, dragon boat racing, hiking, book clubs, writing groups, just to mention some. They're all absorbing, wonderful occupations of your time when you want to de stress, but they all include an opportunity for learning and sharing with others, t the same time passing on your knowledge to children. That's part of an adult's job.
I wouldn't have time to go back to childhood colouring days. For me, the acid test is, if this was my last day on earth would I choose to spend it colouring between the lines? In my case, not.
A timely reminder
Now, having come this far on my diatribe about adult colouring books, I'm amused to find I might have to eat my words, as they say!
For on the day of writing this, (my birthday as it happened) I received a very precious gift from a dear friend Maria Jordan of Marcoujor's Musings.com It arrived on the special day in a plain brown envelope, unassuming, carefully addressed, as her communications always are. That it arrived on this day at this time, despite the best heroic efforts of both American and Canadian post office attempts to forestall promptness at all times, is a minor miracle in itself.
A labyrinth creates changes
The thing about this labyrinth is, it's meant for you to follow the path, and in doing so you find a certain meditational calm peace within yourself, no matter what you choose to focus on in your thoughts. Another good friend Gail Sobotkin, has written extensively about labyrinths, even on a guest post here.
At one time I might not have been so disquieted about adults being immersed in colouring books. But present times and events make this a strange world, for all people. Poverty, millions of displaced people, climate change and every imaginable pestilence colour my thinking. Maybe it does for others too, and they choose colouring as an escape. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die . . . Wonder what the next book genre will bring?
I'd rather be gardening.
Thanks for the visit!
Wishing you a safe and beautiful weekend!