The expression of love is uniquely individual and imperfect

FOLDED WISDOM IS A COLLECTION OF MORE THAN 3,500 NOTES A FATHER WROTE TO HIS CHILDREN EVERY SCHOOL DAY FROM 1995 THROUGH 2009. TOGETHER, THE NOTES ILLUSTRATE HOW ONE PARENT, IN ONE FAMILY, WITH TWO KIDS, GAVE THE EXPRESSION OF LOVE HIS ALL.

 
folded wisdom
 

As a trained artist, Bob Guest feels comfortable with a pen in hand and blank piece of paper in front of him. He sees not only possibility on the page, but a safe space where he can express his thoughts and be vulnerable to no one but himself.

While he was in college, his sketchbooks were filled with ideas for future art projects, thoughts on gallery shows he had seen in the city, inspirations from discussions with teachers, questions about his own life, and illustrations that accompanied it all. Years later, after marrying his wife Gloria and starting up their small-business together, he found himself turning back to the blank page as a place for expression as he worked on his most important job of all: raising his two young children - Joanna and Theo. 

So he began a dedicated morning ritual - every day, before the kids ran off to school, he would sit in the kitchen, draw, reflect, and write. He'd leave the notes waiting to be put into lunchboxes or back pockets on the counter every morning, of every year, until each of them left for college.

This writing and reflection grew from an inner-dialogue out onto the folded piece of paper, providing Joanna and Theo the opportunity to understand and learn from their dad's creative vulnerability and guidance.

 

Reading & Learning THROUGH ILLUSTRATION

 

When Bob began writing the notes, Theo was four years old in his first year of preschool and Joanna was seven starting the second grade. In the early years, he filled the pages with simple words and drawings - colorful communication that made a point of meeting his kids where they were: being kids.

 
 
 
 

READING & LEARNING THROUGH WORDS

 

As the years passed, the notes evolved and illustrations began sharing the page with more and more text. The notes evolved as the kids grew - filled with lessons on life, random thoughts about the weather, concerns about a particular family dynamic, and anything else that came to mind as he sat down after his morning walk, day after day.

 
 

Over the years, many of the notes vanished or were damaged thanks to messy lunches and unruly laundry piles. But Gloria, Bob's wife and Joanna and Theo's mom, collected the notes that made it back home. There was no filing cabinet or system for collection, but she thought of them as mementos worth holding on to, so she put them in shoe boxes stacked around their house. 

Surviving the daY

 
 

Now, twenty-two years after Bob started writing these notes and eight years after he penned the last one, more than 3,500 notes remain in the family's possession.

 
 

The Complete Collection*

3,514 Notes Penned Throughout

14 School years from 1995 to 2009

With more than 19,768 folds

Over 4,775 School Days

(*not surprisingly, all numbers are approximate)

 
 
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A SAMPLING

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