I did something yesterday that made me smile and made me proud of myself. I drew a labyrinth. So what you may be thinking. And maybe it does deserve a “so what”, but it’s what I learned from it that’s important.
I think it was two or three days ago that I stumbled upon a document with instructions for how to draw a labyrinth. I was happy to find it because some time before that I found a Zentangle challenge that required drawing a labyrinth and I had no clue about how to do it. So I gave up on the challenge. Then I found the instructions.
The instructions looked straightforward so I decided to follow them. About ten minutes later, when I hadn’t successfully drawn a labyrinth, I was extremely frustrated and ready to quit. But being naturally stubborn I kept trying. I lost track of how much time it took me to finish drawing the lines that finally resembled the tidy example on the instruction page. However, I wasn’t satisfied with mine so I put it aside instead of completing the challenge, which is to fill the labyrinth with Zentangle patterns.
Yesterday after writing in my gratitude/art journal I went back to the page of my imperfect labyrinth to fill it in with Zentangle patterns. The first thing to do was set the pencil sketch in ink with my black Sharpie pen. I looked at my wobbly-lined labyrinth and decided that I needed to straighten the lines so I grabbed my ruler and found circular items (a small juice glass, a teacup, and a small bowl) that I could trace to draw the rounded edges. The center starting points I had drawn were skewed so I used my ruler as a guide and drew nice, neat, straight lines along its edge. But then, even with the pencil sketch on the page, I felt the same confusion I had a few days before when I tried to connect the curved lines to create the labyrinth’s path. My mind couldn’t – or wouldn’t – visualize the right direction(s) to draw. Thanks a lot brain fog.
I stopped. I took a few deep breaths. Then I really looked at the page and the lines. I finally was able to see where to make the connections to draw the lines. I didn’t need the ruler. I didn’t need to trace anything. I drew the labyrinth within minutes. The best part about it was that it wasn’t perfect. For a few moments I was able to let go of my need to make something perfect. I was smiling. Then I was laughing. I understood the point of the exercise.
It was about letting go and freeing my mind of anything but drawing those lines. I was able to let go for a brief time and it felt good. I didn’t move forward with filling in the Zentangle patterns. I didn’t feel the need to and I just wanted to hold on to sensations that I so rarely feel since my illness arrived: contentment, satisfaction, pride, and pure joy.
U2 – Beautiful Day