The Upper Hilltop Pathways
Story & Media: Ben Rubin
A young boy made his way down to see what I was up to, and shared with me a toy he'd made from a plastic bag and string. He was clearly having a lot of fun whipping it around, but became fascinated with my sketching.
My watercolor kit was a game-changer. Everyone wanted a turn, and the pen was completely forsaken in a frenzy of color. My conversations with the flock of kids consisted only of gestures and pictures, but lasted over an hour. Eventually, when 6 or 7 kids began to crowding around the pages and wrestling over the brush I decided it was time to go.
The families on these stairs seemed to relax and accept having a visitor sprawled out in front of their homes, and with their children, only after noticing that I was drawing in my sketchbook. Furrowed brows quickly became smiles when I raised up my book.
Sometimes sketching is both an excuse and a passport to spend time in a space that might be hard to experience otherwise. More than anything else I have with me on my trip, my sketchbooks continue to skip over language, age, and cultural barriers and connect the dots between me and people all over the world.