Friday, July 26, 2013

This moment. Begonias.

All day I have had a stress headache from thinking and analyzing.  I have been trying to stop but those of you who know what it's like to have your brain really run know that sometimes you can't just think, "Stop! Calm down."  I was at work all day and tried to find moments of stillness.  Moments where I could try to give my brain space to relax. I tried some mindfulness meditation.  I tried looking up calming landscapes.  I tried reading about calming the mind.  By 5pm my head was aching, spinning and oh so congested.

What do I do the moment I get out of work? I call someone.  My sister, Bel, one of my best friends.  We talk and its great but when she says I have to go its ok because my head still hurts.  The moment she hangs up I realize that I am totally and completely alone in this moment.  For the first time in a long, long time.

I've had my son for the summer and when I didn't have him I was working.  I was never just with myself. I wasn't texting with anyone or waiting on texts, I wasn't chatting with someone through Facebook or gmail, I wasn't reading something, I wasn't trying to be "productive" or "healthy." There was no agenda for the moment I was experiencing.  It didn't have a name and was staring me straight in the face.

What I wanted to do was throw something at it.  Write! Clean! Yoga! Run! SLEEP! But I caught myself.  I said, wait.

What if I just stared at this moment and breathed it in, as may Acting 1 professor, James Rice, would say.

What if I just looked at it straight in the face, in this moment, and said, I see you.

I let my eyes fall on the potted begonia plant in front of me.  I took it in.

Not with any kind of message or purpose or thought.
Just breathing it in. Begonia. Pink. Leaves.
Breathing out.

After a few moments, I felt a shift. My soul, not my body, not my brain, released. Just a little.  A little tension, a little bunched up stress that was being held in my soul, released.  In that moment of alone-ness and just-me-ness, I let go.

It was like easing into cold water.

Like, "Here we go. Yep. It's cold. It's water. Cold - water."

I wanted to stay in this present moment but watch it move.  So I decided to draw.  I took out my sketchpad and a pencil.

I breathed into each stroke. When I wanted to erase something, I cleared away more tension. I felt like I was sketching and stroking away my anxiety, my fear and my sadness onto the page before me.  Sketching it out and turning into something...for me.

Because it's for me, it becomes something beautiful, out of nowhere.  It doesn't matter what it looks like anymore.

As I start to look at the drawing it doesn't become a representative of what doesn't work or what looks "bad" but what it meant to me - emotionally, spiritually and physically - to create it.

Expression doesn't have to be public. Expression, of art, of thought, of struggle, can just be for you, too.  I'm making this public to encourage the personal, the individual, the private pursuit of expression. Of connection. To yourself. Through art. Through expression. Through experience.

We are here to connect. To ourselves first and foremost because we live in a world where connection to the self, by and large, is not encouraged.  But also, to the world around us. 

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