Day 19 of 31 Days in August
The Chronic Illness Collection of the PTSD Poetry Project
“Draw, Draw, Draw”
Parking always in high demand
Yet a vehicle pulled out so I could pull in
The time on the clock
Pushed my nerves into overdrive
I’m late I’m late
Oh now I sound like the rabbit
From Alice in Wonderland
I knocked on the heavy glass door
My body beginning to tremble
I should go back home
Go home where it is safe
I looked up to see the smile
On a face greeting me
Nudity, which would shock some
Is an easy thing to see
I look to find the moment
The curve which inspires
My pencils rattle in their bag
I select the two I want to use
I prepare them, roll my eraser
I take a deep breath and look up
I recognize the young woman
She startles for a moment
As she catches my eye
I smile as I find the moment
I am looking for
My hands begin their dance
Of taking turns
Quickly creating lines
Her body emerges
As I draw
I seek to see what makes her unique
I seek the small moments which come together
The curve of her belly below the navel
The wrinkles in the back of her heel
In this moment I see the entirety of her
Not normally seen day to day
I wonder what would happen
If we all walked around naked each day
And only saw the small beautiful moments
Held within each body?
August 19, 2016
Last night was figure drawing group. I was late yet was able to find a parking space rather quickly in the busy area this group is in. I had to knock on the door to get in as it’s locked during these sessions. I stood there a bit anxious about being late. Then the gallery owner came round and I saw him smiling at me. All my nerves settled immediately with the smile which welcomed me into the group.
This time it was a very diverse group of people, meaning there was a good mix of men and women. The last time it had only been men and one other woman. I was determined to do a good mix of pencil work so I could flex the left hand’s sketching ability. Since the brain injury I most often sketch and draw with both hands and this has bled over into other areas of life. Eating with either left or right. Grabbing a mug to drink with the left hand and not even thinking about it.
I get told quite often about an artist who had a stroke at 80 and began to draw after that. Comparing a brain injury with a stroke? Well I guess it’s not that far fetched in some respects. They can both have recovery long term so there are some similarities there. Plus the documented cases of people not being the same or having new skills is not uncommon. I personally always drew with both hands in secret so it’s not a skill which came out of nowhere.
But this? This is different by far. There is almost a call inside my head when I begin drawing and the hands work together to draw. Each does it’s own thing or works in tandem with the opposite hand. It’s a beautiful moment when I get into this particular ‘zone’ as artists call it.
Earlier this year I got a request to participate in a art challenge. It asked for artists to create a specific character entirely with their less dominant hand. Even down to the signing of the drawing. It had to be in color and live streamed to ‘prove’ it had been done with the less dominant hand. I was contacted and asked to do one which had two panels. One done only with the left hand, the right side only with the right hand.
It was a challenge but I finally got into my zone by trading off sketching with each hand. It took quite some time especially with the colored pencil work. But in the end I had a piece I was surprised to have finished.
I think the whole lesson here is we are more than we think we are. When we lose a part of ourselves we believe to be key to our definition of self? There is always a way to get back to a different version, perhaps a better version of ourselves.
What did the art challenge teach me? My creativity is not limited to one side of my body. I can create using words to evoke emotion from others and I can use both hands to draw or even trade off. All of these will create an emotion which is stirred in others and in myself. This stirring of emotion, is in the end, the key to what I am seeking. I learned so much from the mere short time it took to take part in the art challenge. What I learned from it was a valuable lesson.
Creativity? It has no boundaries.