Let’s make a pencil drawing.
As we create this drawing, our personal art, we move the pencil across the page. As it leaves lines and other marks on the page, let’s say those marks are in the past – our past. We are creating the art, but we drew the lines and made the marks, past tense.
We can see the pencil point. The tip is touching on the page. We may look directly at it, or not. That small point of contact with the paper represents our present time — now. It’s in that brief instant of time where we live. We may look at the past marks, or we may focus on the pencil on the page. We may move it in any direction, going fast or slow, applying firm of soft pressure. We may even lift the pencil from the page and move it to a different location.
As we move the pencil, the point joins with other lines on the page. Our present reaches into our past. As our vision unfolds, we make plans for where the pencil will go next, how we’ll maneuver it, how we apply pressure to it, how we will lift it off, and return it to, the page. As our drawing takes form, the page fills with marks and lines.
The blank part of the page is the future. We think about and plan our next moves, or we allow our hand to be guided by external forces, moving us into our personal future.
We keep looking to see the entirety of the drawing. We consider the past lines in light of our future plans. We make decisions to move lines in the present to be tangent with, or to intersect lines of the past. Thus, we create a new future that mingles with, and eventually becomes, our past.
We erase. We change it. We keep looking at our whole life as art. As we move in closer and back away to change our perspective, we begin to see the big picture of our life.
As we draw, we feel things: love, anger, spiritual things, and the passions of life. As we experience our feelings, our work of art changes. Those emotions travel to our hands to control the pencil that is drawing our life.
We learn as we draw. What worked? What didn’t? Where did we succeed and what were our failures?
As we fill the page with marks and lines, there are more lines and less white space. We are running out of places to make our marks. We don’t know how many more lines and marks that we can put on the page.
Our drawing, our art, our life. It’s on the page, or is it?
Mind the gap.
With 10 days of Nano remaining, I’m rolling along with my memoir. Finding memories and searching for lost feelings. It has helped me to keep writing in a searchable chronological order, so that as I recall things I want to add; I can find the right place to write (draw?) those memories.
Now, with over 34,000 words, I can tell that I may have to run this stuff past some involved eyes before I consider asking anyone to read it for feedback. Along with trying to write over 1,500 words a day, I’m reading Writing is My Drink, by Theo Pauline Nestor, and Your Life as Story by Tristine Rainer.
Have you ever tried to write your life story as a fairy tale? I have. Try it sometime.
“One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.” ~ Oscar Wilde
To see your life story, look both ways.