In early March, when I first signed up for an online journaling class offered by Vonda Drees and the Grunewald Guild, I had no idea how much life would change in the next few weeks. I had no idea how much I would need this class.
I knew it had the potential to be life changing. I took a journaling class with Vonda at the end of 2018, and it was one of the highlights of my year, perhaps of the decade.
We are reading Cynthia Bourgeault's Mystical Hope: Trusting in the Mercy of God. We have 3 markers in shades of gray, and a marker color that brings us joy. I chose lilac. Here's the first sketch I made from a quote in the book that talks about life seeming to spiral downward--little did I know how quickly it would spiral downward during the week as pandemic cases spiraled out of control:
The next day, this quote from chapter 1 leapt out at me: "Must we be whiplashed incessantly between joy and sorrow, expectation and disappointment?" I have spent must of my life in this kind of whiplash.
As the past week has progressed, I have found it more and more difficult to sleep. I fall asleep quickly, but my brain usually jolts me awake between 12:30 and 2:00 a.m., and most nights I don't fall back asleep. I've taken to sketching as a way of leaving the various sites that bring me news and stress, as a way of attending to any activity that might bring me relief--or even joy.
In this quote, I tried to create a sketch that looked like weaving. I was only partially successful:
On Friday, we had an online session where we talked about our favorite sketch. I chose this one:
I talked about how I tried to sketch the fingers of God, but I thought they looked like odd fingers. I liked the negative space, which looks like flames to me. In the end, I loved the sketch. I also realized how many of my concerns and anxieties take place in the near or far future, not the now. I've known that before, but it's sobering to make a list and confront this truth again.
I wasn't as sure about Friday's sketch:
Saturday's sketch might be my favorite thus far. I started it in the morning and finished it in the afternoon:
I love the mystical hope that swirls across and through the sketch. I like the dots and dashes that I made with a variety of pens.
I plan to keep trying to sketch each day. It's become a practice that's even more vitally important in these days of pandemic.
you’re perfect just the way you are
3 weeks ago