Somebody doesn’t want me to work on my meditation-through-drawing-tiny-flowers experiment.
Is this a peek at growth or abandonment? I can’t decide.
At home tonight, the faded red-orange cover of an old sketchbook — tucked away in the garage behind a stack of boxes — caught my eye. I hadn’t looked through it in more than a decade, maybe even two. I picked it up, hoping I’d experience some sort of connection to my old self. You know….back when I was optimistic and excited and young and didn’t need glasses in order to see.
Looking at these yellowed pages today, I remember losing all track of time, getting lost in the details of seeing and interpreting. I went through a period of fascination with faces, especially eyes. The fine lines in the iris…the sparkly catchlights. I studied closeups in magazines, my own reflection in the mirror, my friends, my dogs, my pony. My best resources were photographs and my own reflection, though….staring intently at friends and animals, I learned, can freak ’em out just a tad.
Here’s a portion of a page, circa 1984. I’ll resist the urge to critique it. How good or sucky it is, is not really the point. The point is that I loved it so much that time itself vanished. Four hours seemed like ten minutes. Poof.
I still get lost in time today, but never while sketching. Nowadays it’s when I’m writing or exploring with my Nikon or immersed in a cool project at work or learning something new. Is it sad that I don’t sketch anymore? When I moved on, was I listening to my heart or was fear keeping me from the pursuit? Did I run from my bliss or did I follow it?
Me, announcing to my nearby cubemates: “Geeesh, I’m going blind working on this survey.”
:: crickets ::
Me, considerably louder: “I didn’t mean that I’m at my desk masturbating, by the way.”
:: crickets ::
:: uncomfortable cough from the cube next door ::
I just love a good collaboration with a fellow artist. Feel free to borrow this image if you need to illustrate a hermaphroditic runner suffering from penile elephantiasis. Who is permanently erect. And has accidentally superglued his hand to….er, himself. And is apparently quite elated about his situation.
(Why do I love to start posts with the word ‘so’? I’m on the verge of annoying myself. I’ll bet ‘real’ writers and professors and other smart people gather on their verandas to sip expensive wines and laugh heartily at dimwitted bloggers who aren’t capable of expressing themselves without using dull, ineloquent transitions. And I’m sure they badmouth the cretins who carelessly use apostrophes where there should be quotes. And start sentences with the word ‘and.’)
(Hrrrmpff. Damn wine-sippin’ fuckers.)
(Yeah, so there’s another unfortunate habit. Shut up, I don’t care what you think.)
I’m going to start a little creative project. Verrrrry frequently — my fear of commitment and general laziness won’t quite allow me to say ‘every day’ — I’m going to post a peek into my world. Maybe it’s a fleeting thought. Maybe it’s dialogue with a lunch bud. Perhaps a photo of a sparkly dogwood tree, a shockingly inappropriate drawing, or a page out of my non-virtual, actualrealworld journal. Let’s see what happens.
Kickin’ it off is something you will see stuck to my refrigerator should you be invited to visit my monkeylair. It lists five promises I made to myself around seven years ago. Five promises born of angst within situations and an environment that just wasn’t compatible with ME. I’d allowed myself to become too influenced by what other people wanted of me, and I was fed up. I crafted these promises based on my own inner voice as well as inspired writings by Joseph Campbell and Bucky Fuller. I hung copies everywhere, and did the best I could to live by them.
Within months, my life had hung some exciting and promising curves, just like my roadhugging Mini on those fun mountain roads. In the process of shifting my stuff around, these simple black-and-white promises ended up packed in a box…. where they languished until late last year.
(I’m pausing while you stare in amazement at the implication of that last sentence. Yes, I hear your brain working on the math. Go ahead. Let the notion carry you to its logical conclusion. It is true. Last year…..I was cleaning.)
I display those personal promises again, this time on that special place o’honor in homes across America. Nowadays it serves as a warm reminder that I do have power to affect change, and — more importantly — as a guide to stay the motherdamnfuck on course.