One morning last week, I made this drawing in the early hours. I usually write before dawn, before anyone is up. These journals do have doodles and drawings woven in and around the words. But on this particular morning, I pulled out my somewhat-neglected-of-late sketchbook…and drew.
It didn’t matter WHAT I drew…just that I put pen to paper to render the lines of something, to whirl around on the page rather than in my head. I’ve said that life has been full-tilt lately. The past month or so I’ve worked furiously to make a school Art Show happen, there’s been the normal everyday concerns and activities of a family with three kids, and two dear ones in our small congregation being laid to rest. The last, just this past weekend, was a four year old boy. Sadness, grief, exhaustion, concern, fretting, weariness, confusion, mingled with moments of joy have bubbled up and over in what felt like a very long month.
As I sat with my three children in the little boy’s funeral service, my husband conducting the service, I turned to my youngest in the first moments of singing. Her eyes were brimming over and red. She asked me if I had a pen.
Towards the end of the service, she showed me the bulletin. She had drawn all over the backside of it…flowers, people, seahorses, mermaids. As I nodded, she whispered to me, “I got out my sadness in drawing.” It didn’t matter WHAT she drew, she just drew.
Just like our EDM leader, Danny Gregory, who filled sketchbooks in the wake of his late wife’s paralyzing accident…It didn’t matter WHAT he drew, he just drew.
Just like my mom years ago, who experienced horrific events, found herself unable to write in her daily journal at all. She picked up a paintbrush for the very first time and she painted. It didn’t matter WHAT she painted, she just painted.
My husband loves to ride a bicycle. He and his cycling friends often encourage one another to “leave it on the road.” This is exactly what happens in creative endeavors…we’re leaving it on the paper, on the canvas, in the yarn, in the clay or whatever it is you like to make. Somehow, our emotions get appropriately “left” on the page. Not bottled up. Nor exploding in harmful ways. Expressed. It doesn’t even matter the final product of that expression…just that we engage in it.
In the midst of all of this, someone posted THIS VIDEO on facebook and I watched with a joyful brimming. Please watch it. It is beautiful. I hope it will inspire you to get out your emotions in some creative way…
P.S. The above drawing was colored with the actual crayons in the box. My apologies for the photo of it…taking pics of your sketches at 6 am does not give optimal lighting!