Delight: Drawing my way out

I finally gave myself permission to get back to the Lynda Barry cartooning book I started a couple of months ago.  [Making Comics].

[Imagine there is an image here of some of the stuff I’m drawing.]

I’m doing the exercises and drawing up a storm.  It is FUN.  I think this is the first time – in a long time – that I’ve allowed myself time to PLAY.

The current atmosphere in the U.S. is difficult.  It’s a stressful shit storm conflagration created by the virus, by a heightened awareness of (& calling out of) systemic inequities (race and economics being at the forefront right now), and by polarized politics – exacerbated by the moral melt down of the current presidential administration and lack of intestinal fortitude on the part of many party leaders.  These are scary, serious times.

And, these days have called out the most determined, serious parts of myself. I’ve been working with all pistons firing – emergency plans for earthquake scenarios in the midst of a pandemic; finding a notary for revision of the family trust; making masks — making better masks; housework, yard work, filing, and systems; cooking healthy food; LOTS of reading of the news so I’m aware and can plan and can be a conscious, responsible citizen in these times.

It’s exhausting – and depleting.

What my emergency planning did not take into consideration was how important it is to play a little — particularly in the midst of all the seriousness. Refueling the soul is important.

I’ve always wondered how, in stories of our past, people did so much dancing and laughing and music making in the midst of war time and even hostile occupation.  I realize now that it is a matter of survival.

Even in the midst of chaos and prolonged crisis, it’s important  to play — to give your heart and mind a little moment of reprieve.

I think that a key element, at least for me, is doing something for which there is no real expectation of ‘productivity.’ My mother has often said that I can make anything into ‘work’ (how to do it faster, more efficiently, ‘better’).  
Thanks to Barry’s open approach in Making Comics, my adventures completing these assignments defies my own perfectionist tendencies.  

My only goal with the drawing is to respond to the prompts and assignments. I am able to box myself in to the world of the book for a chunk of time. For the first time in ages, I’m able to lose myself in a small activity for an hour or two — and experience sheer delight. 

I look forward to it – every other day or so.  I’m going to stick with it. Playful delight is something I need right now.

What are you doing to play?

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