the first summer i experienced displacement & houselessness as a bonafide adult with a child, i was enrolled in summer classes at the university. one of my classes was intro to drawing, twice a week, three hours per class.
prior to taking this course, i was familiar with chalk pastels, comfortable with the way i could draw what i could & then smear the rest. i enjoyed the way chalk was messy, evidence all over my fingers, unintentionally all over my paper, & most often on other unintended articles of clothing, table tops, door knobs.
at twice a week, in three hour increments, i fell in love with drawing just like i fall in love with everything else--slowly, cautiously, almost begrudgingly, then whole whole whole heartedly. i was afraid i'd be bad at it, frustrated at my lack of easy line making skill. i also wanted to like what i was drawing, be wow!-ed at my marvelous abilities, but it just wasn't happening like that.
committment (eeek!) to the process helped. i think the only class i had to miss was when i had to make sure all my shit was packed & the place cleaned before we embarked on the journey of what the fuck do we do now? it also helped that i could flip to the first page in my drawing pad & see that i was actually making progress & not just saying that to make myself feel better. week by week, the hours flew by with quicker, sweeter ease than i expected.
ink & graphite are my favorite tools to create with, i learned. i love the way ink makes that scratchy sound as i drag the tip across the soft & subtle grain, how i can feel the way graphite wants to yawn all over that 130 g/m squared paper. & with each inanimate object i drew, i found myself stilled at my core in a way akin to meditation. this, too, became my practice at accepting what is. i was introduced to charcoal & a variety of pencil densities, but when final project time came around, it was ink that i decided to bang my heart out with.
for my last still i chose a photograph of me & newborn panda babe, with their little head on my chest, & my eyes closed in this totes tender mama way. its one of my favorite photos of us (that i actually haven't been able to find since). as background, i chose a basket, their baby blanket, & one of their cheesy smelling shoes with iconic vans checkered panels on the side. it was an ode to us that i never finished. i drew everything but us. i was too afraid of fucking it up, which says everything there is to know about me.
i am still here, afraid of fucking us up, on femmecation trying to call my spirit back to my body & fill us with more than sadness & survival. & i bought myself a tiny, 6in. x 8in., 80 lb., spiral bound at the top, drawing pad. & this is my first doodle in years. i like it. its not perfect, & i like it. a lot.
i'll always love you. May 2015.