An Ode to Drawing
Entering the first week of spring, my mind often goes to clutter-clearing, spring-cleaning and having an uptick in energy and social activity. I was thinking I’d share an article about these things. Then over the past fews days I’ve been called to participate in other interactions. Some of which consisted of a lot of writing and commentary within an online forum I enjoy.
Rather than see this as interference in writing about my intended topic, I thought I’d share this story instead. Sometimes what I think I should do, and what I hear from other intuitive whispers, are two different things. (Do you ever experience that?) For this post, why not go with an intuitive whisper? Hope you enjoy this story.
A bunch of years ago I drew this church. It stood across the park in my neighborhood. At the time, I had just left a job. A job I really liked, but I was burnt-out and decided to leave. Feeling defeated and pretty low, I didn’t want to do much other than rest. I kept thinking “what am I going to do now?” I’d go to the park and sit there to quell my repetitive thoughts about the need to get back to work.
As I heard whispers of what I really needed, I knew not to push myself. So, I continued to get myself outside and go to the park. One day glancing at the church across the way, I took out a pad and pen and started drawing. 3 hours had gone by. It was very soothing. I stopped despite the unfinished drawing.
A week or so later went back to sit In the same spot in the park. I drew for another 3 hours with the same pen and I completed the drawing. It took 6 hoursrs to draw the a church I can see every day. The occasional thought of: “Shouldn’t I be looking for a job?” floated through my head, but the anxious feeling around it faded. It felt good to just sit there and be. The act of drawing didn’t feel like something to do; it simply felt like part of being. I’d get lost in the smoothness of a ball point pen releasing it’s ink. This minuscule aspect seemed to encompass me. Eventually my spirit would lift a notch higher from feeling low.
Months later, I showed my nephew (who was young at the time) the drawing. His eyes lit up and he said: “wow!” Then after a pause he asked: “Uncle James, can you dras me this picture for my birthday?” — and I was like, “This picture?!” — In my head I was thinking,” it took me 6 hrs to draw this picture, and I only drew it because I was depressed. And now I’m not, and I’m working, and…” Despite the abrupt inner chatter, only seconds of silence to his ears, I said “yes.”
When I got home I thought, “well, I can just give him one of the copies I made of the picture.” But I was like, “no, go try and draw it again.” I went back to the spot in the park, took out the pad and pen, and got to it. Nearly identical, at least to my nephew’s eyes, a second drawing was produced. This time it took only around 4 hours (ha, a new record?) I still remember his big smile when I gave it to him on his birthday.