Someplace between four and six we learn the comparison game. We learn to measure ourselves against who is sitting next to us. Sometimes we begin to notice we aren’t as good as the next person and begin to think we are somehow ‘less than’. I can’t draw, I can’t dance , I can’t sing… it doesn’t matter what it is, the can’t begins to define us as if being really good at something is the only way to exist in this world.
Everyone has the ability to make a picture, to sing, to shake their body to the rhythm…to be expressive and free. There is magic in childhood that is often forgotten as we age, as we block our creativity and wonder.
In the art class I am taking the first lesson has been to draw a face, to forget about blending and shading and just pay attention to where there are highlights. There is a technique to follow, it feels foreign and restrictive to me. The more I try to follow the rules the harder it is to feel the flow, so I breathe and soften into the process. It’s fun making faces, wonky, round, disproportionate, masculine, feminine … each one has its own feel. I’ve lost a few hours just trying to reconnect with shapes and fine motor control.
There is a harsh critique in me, one who will have to learn to soften. The class is eight weeks, culminating in an expression of the Divine Feminine. There is such joy on my refrigerator, little gifts of love from my children, such reminders of the perfection of imperfection. As I practice my faces, working towards the final painting I will be mindful to bring the energy of my children into the practice, joyfully swirling the colors of creation for the pleasure of it. Watching my progression with the magic of childhood as best I can, I’ll attempt to silence the critical aspect of my mind with play.