Sometimes, I like to draw without a plan of what I’ll be drawing, without any master plan. For me, it’s a more non-linear form of spontaneous writing, which is all about taking pen to page (yes, pen, not keyboard!) and writing for 10 to 15 minutes straight with no topic in mind, and without pausing to think. It’s amazing to see what can be revealed as we cut through the rational mind and cut to those deeper places.
I did run this drawing through a program to make it fuzzier (and bluer), but this is the essence of what I came up with. I started it just before the new year, and finished it today. Interpretations welcome!
The new moon is a mist behind clouds. I turn to the mountains in the near distance, on the other side of a very narrow river. There’s a small rickety bridge that crosses it and they’ve been building a second bridge not far away, now complete. It’s not flimsy yet but there’s the potential for this. The sky is thick like you can touch it, a dress from the Victorian Age made of endless folds of velvet. I want to watch the mountains go dark the way you want to catch that exact moment when water bursts into bubbly, evaporating heat. There’s that expression, about how this is impossible (because watched pots don’t boil), but of course that’s not true. It’ll boil like the sun rises everyday (so far that’s a sure thing, until one day the sun will just run out of energy and won’t be able to climb). I’m not sure what that expression is trying to tell us: maybe that impatience causes eternities? That if we turn away from our anxiety things will work out on their own? Personally, I just think we forget what it can be like, to watch water boil. We try, and the mind goes elsewhere and the body follows because we’re not in control of anything. If you’ve ever tried meditating, you’ll see how difficult it is to watch your breath go in and out, in and out, with full concentration. This is mind-training, and the mind is stubborn. It wants to be anywhere else and it wants you along for the ride, so you start thinking about the past and future, all sorts of happy and dismal things, and before you know it you’re anxious and miserable and the breath, which has grown shallow and rapid, has been forgotten. But I am here, now, in love with the mountains of Vang Vieng, their curves and shapes and strength, and I want to watch them change into night. I want to watch them do their version of boiling, evaporating into nothing. So I sit down and watch. There’s a large mountain covered with trees, and next to it is a series of smaller mountains, with one darker one dominating, also covered in trees. Above these, the sky is now several intoxicating shades of blue. Seeing this, I’m back to when I was here years ago, and how I felt so protected under these imposing, godly she-mountains, how lonely I was. I remember where I am, and see again: the sky is darker, but you can still discern the blues. The mountains behind the darkest one have faded into the background. The large mountain next to it has become a silhouette. I hear someone start to cry. I try to find her but I can’t. I think of loneliness again and now my attention has moved away from the mountains, which are almost gone now. But I remember these mountains as much as I’m looking at them. You can feel them even as they become gone.