Or at least that is what I used to think. Until I remembered how for my first married birthday I asked for charcoal and a figure drawing book and took myself off to the cathedral in Lausanne to be alone and draw - only to end up on the steps in the sunlight quietly sketching nothing much, but so loving the feel of the soot on my hands and the reverence of just enjoyment.
Or the writing class I went to when I was scared spitless and had hardly any brain matter left from sleep deprivation and babies (let alone any words grown-ups used that I could easily recall.) Or the oil painting class I struck out and bravely took (and left in tears more than once) when I had two toddlers at home and was starved for creativity. Or the running coach I worked with when I was by far the slowest and most intimidated person on the track. (Really.)
I knew somewhere in me that art and running and writing were all connected. I just couldn't exactly explain how if you'd asked me.
Slowly - over the years - I began to notice more and more how much my body and creating were linked. I imagine that should not actually be a revelation considering how much of life stems from our bodies to begin with, but to me it was (and still is) just that: a revelation.
The voice deep within our body is directly, directly connected to the voice that gives birth to beauty through our very own hands, mouth, eyes and words.
There is so much more I want to write about this - how my relationship to myself, my physical self, has opened up a whole new depth of understanding truth and intuition, courage and choice. And how that is unlocked or cultivated, what a process of creation is like and how it can be something I take responsibility for. How it really, really isn't the end goal but the journey of listening that is so alive and vital in making art.
All of that is profound and new to me. I am learning so much. And I have one new, little step I want to share here.
Our art group went to a figure drawing class this week. And we found out days before that the model would be nine months pregnant. When I heard that I actually teared up. It seemed so right with all I have been learning.
I was not at all sure what to expect but I had determined ahead of time that if I did only one thing it would be to enjoy the process. I have never been (in my estimation) good at figure drawing, but I love it and I wanted that to be what I focused on. I also knew what I wanted to use to draw based on how it felt to my fingers and I knew I wanted to use a lot of colour.
So I was listening (new for me) but I was not at all sure I wouldn't feel mortified by the outcome. And I decided (sincerely) not to care. It took my husband's response for me to think maybe it was okay to share what I did. (There will be - drawn - nudity if you prefer not to see it. )
I really enjoyed it and loved being with the friends I was with.
This is a figure sketch I did in 2004.
These are the sketches I did this week.