Joy & Insight Through Seeing/Drawing
A reflection on practice by Marcia Rose
Seeing/drawing is a way to achieve intimate touch with the visible world around us as we reconnect with nature, thereby reconnecting with ourselves. The practice is to receive what is seen without interposing the ‘self’, to allow the mind, eye and heart to simply reflect like a clear mirror. We find our capacity for wonder restored, along with new or renewed awe for the gift of seeing that we may have forgotten or set aside.
The experience of seeing/drawing has nothing to do with fabricating a product. Seeing/Drawing is not devoted to self-expression and even less to making ‘art objects’ or ‘being creative’. We’re experimenting in retrieving the ‘lost art’ of seeing, and fusing seeing, drawing and meditation. We could call this practice ‘meditation-in-action’ on that which matters…an awakening from the habit of non-seeing, awakening from what could be called the coma of ‘looking-at’ into the immediacy, the intimacy of seeing.
When the eye wakes up to seeing again, the eye, mind and heart suddenly stop taking things for granted. When we’re truly seeing and drawing a leaf, a flower, a moth, a branch or a foot, we’re saying “yes” to its existence. We dignify it, declare it worthy of our total attention…as worthy of attention as you and I are ourselves, simply because we and it are here in the midst of this awesome mystery and miracle that we share.
The thing that we draw, be it a mushroom, onion, tree bark or a face is no longer a thing, no longer an object…no longer my object, and I am no longer the overbearing subject who objectifies things . Something else has the potential to happen. The quality of our perception changes with seeing/drawing, when nothing interferes between the eye and what it sees. It’s as though every line, curve and dot goes through our whole organism. We are no longer the onlooker. Drawing another person’s face I ‘become’ that person. I don’t feel separated from them. The split is healed. This is what seeing/drawing really does. You become what you draw. Unless you become it, you cannot draw it.
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