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Graphite sketch #1

Playing with my new graphite pencil.

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The Art of Sitting Still

The Jade Plant Sitting Still

I’m imagining myself sitting still. Motionless. Of course, this is imaginary because my hands are typing. Well, let’s just go with it. I am sitting in the lawn chair with the springs, and gently rocking, every so slightly. The breeze scrubs my face clean; the soles of my feet are soft against the smooth, warm hardness of the wood deck. I gaze out into the trees until the leaves become an abstract palette of greens, yellows and blues. Now, I lower my eyes to gaze at my knees until my eyelids kiss and are closed. My hands, tired from gripping pens and ideas, fall slack against the cool metal of the chair. I am filling up my creative tank.

I have to imagine this scene, because I haven’t been practicing the art of sitting still lately. I’ve been practicing the art of frenetic motion, yep that’s me, just a blur in the cosmos. But without sitting to ponder, to mentally doodle a bit, my well runs dry and I find myself unable to think, to eat or even to love.

I was visiting my sister this weekend. She had no internet. Gasp! I know… chill down. So, I sat and sketched this little jade plant that was on her porch. I was completely bored with that plant. I mean do you Know how slow a jade plant grows? You must absolutely ooze patience to own one. But as my eyes followed its lines, and my pen followed my eye, I could feel the tension seep out of my jaw; the burlap in my head turned to silk so that instead of rough and edgy, I felt soft, like gum, all chewed up and spit out.

This is what sketching does. It softens my edges. It lets me see the world around me. It helps me breathe,  focus and  give myself permission to sit still and fill up my tank.

How do you practice the art of sitting still?

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