First it was the weariness from five days away (some of which included a fairly intense staff retreat). Then it was the scrambling energy it took to start filling a small role in response to the Haiti disaster (communicating, responding to donors & media, issuing appeals, looking for appropriate images, writing web text and ad copy, etc., etc.). Add the ups and downs of the ongoing drama of motherhood and management. Throw in two very different (mostly good) pieces of news that are potentially life-changing and that carried me into an odd introspective space. (No, I’m not prepared to talk about them here yet – maybe later.) Add a few complicated relationships. Top it all off with a major screw-up in which I totally overlooked a presentation I was supposed to give (ugh). And there you have it – the week that was.

Now you know why I was mostly silent last week and will probably continue to be much of this week. There are only so many balls a woman can keep in the air without dropping a few of the rubber ones.

But then there was last night. Last night, for a few precious moments, I managed to put all the balls away on a shelf and walk away. The house was fairly quiet, and other than the laundry that needed to be shifted from washer to dryer to folding table, and a mostly-content seven-year-old who flitted in and out for a little mommy-love now and then, I didn’t have a lot of demands on my time. So I disappeared into my little studio and soon I was lost in a drawing that had begun to emerge at last week’s class.

It’s a row of small fishing sheds lined up on a dock with a couple of fishing boats in the foreground – meant to teach about perspective. Follow the lines to the vanishing point to determine the angle of rooflines, dock edges, etc. Lots of little details and extensive use of a ruler for all those doors, roofs, windows, and wooden siding. It’s not the kind of art work I would normally be drawn into (I get a little bored with symmetry), but oh my, was it zen-like! Soon those heavy thoughts were disappearing right along with those lines on the way to the vanishing point.

Though I recognize the value of meditation, and I’ve tried it several times in various iterations, it just hasn’t been something I’ve been able to fully adopt into my life. Too many monkeys playing around in my mind, I suppose.

That was before I discovered the meditative quality of art.  A paintbrush or pencil in my hand, and suddenly I’m a zen master!

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