Sunday, March 24, 2013

All Tangled Up

I intended to write this post four days ago, for the Spring Equinox. I intended to write about the eggs we decorated and put out on the deck for the wild birds to hide in the yard for us to find. I intended to share the story of the birthday party we threw for the Earth on this first day of Spring, this day known to some as Ostara. I meant to write about the chocolate birthday cake we made and our first spring harvest of nettles for the celebratory frittata. I intended to tell you about all these things, and more. But alas, I have been distracted... (Read this post if you are curious about how we celebrated Ostara, or the Spring Equinox, last year.)

I was in the art store, fingering the journals. Looking for the perfect one. As I was doing so, the books on the shelf above the journals distracted me. The art in these books immediately grabbed my attention. My mind grew very still and my heart beat a little faster as I became totally absorbed. Yes, yes, yes!! my soul cried out. I bought not one but two journals and not one but four (!!) books. I was excited (and armed with a credit card), what can I say. It was only the afternoon, but already I couldn't wait for the kids to go to bed.

When they were finally asleep, sweet dreams drifting down through their dreamcatchers, I opened my books, uncapped my new pen, and cracked open my journal. And I began to tangle.

The art form I had stumbled upon is apparently all the rage. It is called Zentangle. Zentangle is a method of drawing based on the use of patterns that may at first appear complicated, but are actually simple once broken down. My books claim that Zentangle will put you in a focused, meditative state that will reduce stress and inspire creativity. And I must say, I totally agree.

Making art used to be one of the cornerstones of my life. Mixed media collages and art journaling were the flames of my fire, and I would create on a daily basis. Enter children, and my days of prolific art making fluttered right out the window (those dang children!! Messing up everything.)
[just kidding. They're totally worth it.]

Here's a little sample of some of my journal pages from days past:

See how colorful those pictures are, all the layers? All the creativity? Well, these days the energy that used to go into those pretty pictures is now redirected elsewhere. I still keep a journal, but the entries are mostly writing, and even those don't happen too often. But now that I have discovered this little tangling thing, all that is changing...

My second was already much better

My first go at Zentangle

I can sit for a minute or ten or sixty, armed only with a pen, and draw. The drawings, simple on their own, create a beautifully holistic image. And it is true that focusing on one small stroke at a time helps me feel more centered and calm. And the finished product gives me a ridiculous amount of satisfaction.

So I would like to tell you more, but I'm sorry. My journal is calling...


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