Draw what you see, not what you know.
Despite my efforts to prove otherwise, I remain devoid of the ability to sketch. I’ve always been painfully envious of people who can. The elegant grip of their hand on the pencil, the way they persuade lines on paper to become something. I find it moving, primitive.
And then I try, and most always end up feeling like throwing a tantrum.
In my art class, we’ve been told to focus on the basic idea of trusting the lines. Draw what you see, not what you know. Now I find myself taking note of the lines in everything around me. I see a face, an interesting pose, a gnarly and twisted tree branch, and my mind is suddenly preoccupied by how this object might be drawn. How would I execute her delicate features? How might I articulate the lighting? The mood? The answer, of course, is, first and foremost, to trust the lines.
Yesterday, as I took a walk around the building where I work, I decided there was a metaphor in that. In trusting the true nature of things rather than our own limited human perspective.
You see, the most difficult decisions, for me, are the ones that I really have to make on my own. The ones that God doesn’t seem to have a great big opinion about. I do just fine with the big questions. Such as, Hey, want some illegal drugs? No, thanks! Or, How about murder? That’s probably a bad idea.
But when it comes to questions like, Oh, hey God, do you think I should I go back to school and get a degree or just keep working full time and saving money and going on trips and writing songs and doing house projects and taking fun local classes until I’m ready to produce children to then raise into humans? What are your thoughts? Hello? HEY!
Up until a few years ago, I saw God the way you see your parents as an adolescent. You know they love and want the best for you, but they seem like more of a dictator than friend. Don’t date that degenerate! Don’t attend that house party lacking in parental supervision! What are you doing out of class? Get your grades up! Stop rolling your eyes!
Once I grew out of that, I spent some time pitying myself, feeling abandoned, throwing fits of, Why don’t you help me! What do I do!
What I didn’t realize was, like any parent-child relationship, things had evolved. When you get to the point where you’re no longer busy teetering over moral cliffs and your parents are no longer preoccupied with convincing you to walk a little farther from the edge of said cliffs, you have the opportunity to see them as actual people. Who you can talk and laugh and relate with. Who have funny stories and good ideas and valid opinions and actually want you to be an individual and follow your passions after all.