After living vicariously through my children for many years, I suddenly found a huge space-void which was previously occupied with violin lessons, doctors visits, school functions, baseball games, term papers and late night breath-checks. Discovering that my husband was not about to re-locate to a tropical island to drink pina coladas and hold my hand, I was forced to face the looming question, what’s next? Or put another way, is that all there is?
Enter, the egg. I enrolled in my first-ever art class. The instructor put an egg on a table in front of us and shone a light directly on it. We were told to take our wide stick vine charcoal and blacken a large space on our newsprint. Then we were to look very closely at the egg. Next, we took a chamois and eraser to remove the blackness wherever we saw the light reflecting on the egg. You could then go in and heavily blacken the darker areas or highlight with white chalk if you felt so inclined. I was truly astonished when that son of a gun popped off the page and took on depth and form.
- To get what I want, I have to give up control
- What I’m after isn’t quite what I get
- I have never really seen an egg before
- Some of my eggs look like hamburgers
And then I got a little crazy and wrote: First there is darkness. And then there is light. And light ushers in creation. And light gives definition. And light brings life. And the darkness cannot put out what the light is doing.
Similar to the way my vision was altered when Jesus first made his presence known to me and I saw life in vivid spirit-color; this egg enabled me to look for orbs and light and shadow in faces, trees, dishes, everything.
At the next class, we were asked to share our journals, and I enthusiastically volunteered to go first. After reading my observations to the class, a bit of awkwardness entered the room. The instructor gently explained to me that by journal, he really meant a book of sketches.
Oh, then, nevermind.
The good news is, that I have continued to sketch and draw and paint. In one of those early classes, my teacher called what we were doing mark-making. He explained how everyone has their unique mark and I knew it would be a terrible waste not to discover mine. I have not reached the level of confidence to call myself an artist but I am totally at ease with the distinction of mark-maker.
Walking tandem with my mark-making is my voice-finding quest. And though I have an arsenal of writings in notebooks and on my computer, I cower at the idea of being called a writer. I like the term, blogger; much less threatening and connoting lower expectations. And now this Jesus loving, grandchild hugging, mark-making, blogger is feeling quite satisfied.