Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sketching and Self-Reflection

I like the way a good sketch makes me feel more alive. When I’m infatuated/in love/obsessed with someone, I see more hues. I see more clearly. That’s why it makes sense to sketch during those times. Now, though, I don’t feel much for anyone. There’s Lady Librarian, but she’s more like a dream lady to me. I’ve given up trying to speak to her. I just wait until she turns away and then I give her back dark, smoldering looks. And I try to memorize her.

Is that creepy?

Well, I’ve given up being normal, being conversational, being healthily among people. Now, I spend lots of time by myself, staring at the wall or laying on the couch staring at the ceiling or squatting next to one of my plants and staring at a leaf.

More than a few times, I’ve told my sister Christine that I feel unbearably lonely. And she rolls her eyes and sneers back—Well, no wonder. It’s been years since you’ve called [name] and [name] and . . . And then I would feel even more guilty because it’s true. I am guilty of leaving so many friends behind. One day, for no apparent reason, I just stop communicating. I can’t even give a good reason to myself. Most of the time, I don’t know what I mean by lonely.

Well, lately, doing all this sketching has made me realized what I mean by I feel lonely. I feel lonely for myself. When I’m really busy, I feel lonely for the deepest, truest part of myself—who is an artist and a writer. I’m a creative person who has given up art and writing to pursue science. And it has cost me. I don’t know how to survive as an artist and a writer, so I’ve chosen a career. A scientific career. And I’m afraid that I’ll wake up one day and realize that Myself has left and what is left is a shell.

This summer is a gift. I am so glad that I failed two classed and they put me on probation and I have to spend a whole extra year in college. Because If I hadn’t failed, I would be spending this summer pursuing my scientific career and wondering why I felt so unhappy. Instead, I failed, hence I have an easy summer, hence, I chased after Myself, hugged her back into my mind, placed a sketching instrument into her hand and a sketch book into her lap, and told her to be herself.

Sometimes, I feel like going back to former sketches and reworking them, but I don’t. I have less than two months of vacation left, and I need to get as many sketches done as possible, because I am pursuing . . . something unexplainable. I’m . . . pursuing art. That’s the best way to put it. I am racking up ideas for the empty, sad times ahead, so that I can look on this blog when I’m not sketching, and I can see that my art hasn’t died yet. Oh, so dramatic, but I feel like these sketches are headed somewhere. Maybe it’s the birth pains of developing my own artistic style. Who knows.

Even last year, when I painted a thirty foot long beach mural, I could not have sketched like this. And I am not currently obsessed with anyone. So why am I sketching like this—as though there were a purpose to these sketches? Maybe, just maybe, I am pursuing my artistic career? If so, I have cause for celebration.

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