Mindful writing about mindful drawing. In this short, poem-like, piece of mindful writing, I've attempted to describe what mindful drawing means to me, and what my process is about. I'm pretty good with words, but trying to describe a non-verbal, and often non-dual experience with the duality of language, of object and subject is a difficult, though very enjoyable challenge, in itself. Perhaps that's why I got so fascinated with the fact that drawing is both a verb and a noun. Anyway, I thought I'd share it here to mark the half-way point of the January 2018 Mindful Drawing 30 Day Challenge, and would love to hear how you experience mindful drawing too... if you can find some words for it.
A listening meditation Ask yourself, quietly, gently, patiently... Am I listening? Drop these words into the silence. Wait for the responsive stillness of the body. Am I listening? Wait quietly. Without straining. Hang there in the space between the words. Suspend everything but this. Listening is always a waiting. Am I listening?
I’ve just been visiting my family in Cornwall. A few days away made a little space in my head for writing other than the all consuming final draft of my novel. And as I sat in meditation each morning – and also sometimes in the afternoon too – short poems formed around my very vivid, direct experiences of the places I was in, the people I was with.
Sometimes, by the end of a writing day, I can feel like I’m nothing more than a brain that thinks, a pair of eyes (overly large) that stare at a screen, and two sets of fingers – glued to a keyboard. I get the image of some lamp-eyed creature, a writing lemur, perhaps, with prehensile fingers splayed over keys. If it’s been a particularly intensive session, then those fingers can be quite sore and achy too. Yes, like many writers, I suffer from RSI. And yes, like many writers, I can get so caught up in my writing that I forget that I have a body and not just a mind that writes. So how can mindfulness help writing bodies?
When we write we get up-close-and-personal with the contents of our heads on a regular basis. Indeed as writers, we’re doing what mindfulness meditators do. In fact you could say – since mindfulness and writing are both creative, flowing activities requiring commitment, creativity and a mind that’s focused, fluid and flexible – that writers are naturally gifted mindfulness practitioners. That’s the good news.