In this incredibly troubled world, I was lucky enough to be able to take three days for travel and drawing.
Nearly every second of that time, I was acutely aware of the many tragedies currently unfolding on our fragile blue planet, and acutely aware of the great privilege to be able to have the peace that drawing can provide. Over all three days, I carried both worlds with me simultaneously. I think we all did. There were about 40 of us in attendance, with Martha Huggins and Molly Hollibaugh from Zentangle® as our teachers. I'll post a few of the results over the next couple of days.
This was the title of the workshop. (Yes, there was lots of Edith Piaf singing "La Vie En Rose" in the background) M&M discussed the importance of looking for the good in life, no matter what is happening. And we all know there is a LOT of misery, horror, and fear happening at this moment. The point is not to ignore any of that or pretend it is not happening, but to carefully look around for moments of rest , of peace, of something beautiful despite everything else going on. Without these, what hope do we have? Without these moments of rest, we cannot go on. With them, we can begin to see and think clearly and act effectively.
A "warm-up tile" from the first evening.
It can be nearly impossible to find a way to cope with life at times like this. So many people I know are exhausted, angry, disillusioned, terrified, and feeling helpless. I cannot and do not ignore that nor any of the existential threats we face at the moment. Yet who can function with any measure of wisdom or compassion in such a state? We must all try to take a moment whenever we can to recognize both the possibilities AND the limitations we face. And then find a scrap of inner peace and sit with that until we can un-clench.
Any healthy thing that can give us that moment is precious. Drawing is one thing that does it for me. Music as well. Speaking with friends. Helping someone who needs help.
In order to be functional, I need to do this in small moments throughout the day so that I won't get lost in discouragement. We all need some way of doing this--desperately. I am fortunate enough to be able to occasionally stop and just draw for a while. I know that others on the planet who are being bombed or shot at do not have that luxury right now.
I do it both for myself and for the people who don't have that option, in the hope that calming myself will enable me to think and act more clearly to support them in their time of need.
Kaira Jewel Lingo has just written a book called We Were Made for These Times, about how to survive and cope with the turmoil currently gripping the world. You can listen to her by clicking on the link below, as she's interviewed by former ABC News Anchor Dan Harris.
May we all find shelter and safety
May we all find peace within and without
May we all be kind to ourselves and each other
May we all become whole.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society