Drawing When You Aren’t Feelin’ It

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I really felt autumn this week. The leaves are flying. The fruits are falling. The light is getting lower.

How are you feeling? Between the full moon, lunar eclipse, and the midterm elections emotions are bound to be running high. So really – How ARE you feeling?

A wild persimmon tree against the autumn sky.
I wander through the forest with my face upturned to the cool autumn sky. I notice a wild persimmon tree. Its branches bow down with the weight of the small, sweet fruit. I can smell them, soft and ripe, decomposing among the damp leaves.

Radical Drawing for when You Aren’t Feeling It

**This exercise is based on a self inquiry technique I learned in a creativity workshop taught by Lise Silva Gomes. Please draw or write in whatever way resonates with you! This exercise is about self reflection, so you don’t need to show it to anyone.**

  • Inner-self: Take a moment to notice what you are feeling today. Can you imagine that feeling as a shape? What color is it? What texture? What temperature? Try to describe that feeling by making a drawing or writing about it as a form.
  • Outer-self: Now think about what kind of form you are presenting outwardly. What kind of shape, mark, color,or texture represent how you are moving through the outside world today? Try drawing or writing about it.

Afterward, take a moment to think about how your inner and outer states are relating to each other. In what ways are they similar? In what ways to they differ?

To be honest, I’m feeling irritable. My inner-self is vulnerable – soft and wavy. My outer-self is defensive – angular and chaotic. I want them to be more aligned, so I am going to make time in my schedule to go outside today. It really balances my emotional body when I breathe fresh air and meet some plants and critters.

Whenever I can’t go outside I try to remember or imagine being outside. When it is difficult for me to visualize I look at images of natural places I really love. I keep a folder of these pictures on my phone.

Here’s something for those of you who can’t get outside today:

Sometimes I try to imagine what emotions that big boulder feels. It can help me put uncomfortable emotions in perspective. Do their emotions change as quickly as mine do? Or are their feelings sustained over a long time? Maybe even years?

When I see these images I imagine that I’m feeling the warmth of the rock and the rock is feeling the warmth of the sun.

A cool green pool collects in at the knees of the boulders.
A cool green pool collects in at the knees of the boulders.

Some suggestions for this week:

  1. Check in and notice how you are feeling
  2. Try to describe those feelings through automatic drawing or writing.
  3. Give yourself space (especially outside) to feel uncomfortable emotions.

Thanks, as always, for reading. See y’all on the other side.

Isa Be

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