|Copyright M. Kelly|
Some words to ponder from Henry David Thoreau:
"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves."
In my land of curious synaptical leaps, this, of course, connects to doodling. I believe unshakably that our best focus comes down to the point of a pen or pencil. There are others who share and support this notion. One of them presents her thoughts here.
Between staring out the window, my splendid view being of treetops and the sky, and doodling, I am never more than inches from a pen and paper, I could easily be chosen Least Certain to Pay Attention in any group. I maintain it is more likely that our very best ideas and interpretations come from inner-generated concepts rather than from those forced upon us by the outside world.
Doodling, or sky gazing, connect me to a fluid mental state where the obsessive and compulsive no longer exist. I am afloat on a vast Jules Verne-esque subterranean sea of imaginative no-thought. With no credentials whatsoever, I propose that we are the better, the saner, the more tranquil for time spent outside the company of conscious, purpose-filled thought. There are no lists in doodling, no clocks. The notion of here is in a state of flux, for we are free-wheelingly transported by a mind no longer under the influence of nine forward gears. (We seemed to get along very well with four, maybe five speeds, four plus overdrive in a 1956 Austin Healey 100-4. More has never meant the same as better.)
We may become lost through denial, avoidance, illness, forgetfulness, apathy, indifference and life being life. We get thrown off the bus, drummed out of the corps, abandoned, rejected, ignored, shunned and snubbed. We can also choose to be lost inside our daydreams or within the lines and shapes of doodles. Once removed from our thinking, ordinary-reality selves, we have time and space to encounter spirit. It is my theory that spirit always seeks to connect with us, to reach us beyond all that is busy and distracting, and will use whatever means are necessary. In my experience, spirit finds us through health-crises, through seismic shifts, through reversals of fortune if our attention can't be caught any other way. Or we can volunteer as doodlers and wool-gatherers and see what happens.
In her TED talk, Sunni Brown explains how doodling assists in retaining information, demonstrating how it is not a wasteful activity. Beyond that, I believe it aids us in uncovering information, allowing us access to collective knowledge or our own greater, undiscovered wisdom. By wandering away from ourselves, we are returned but at another level. Lost does not equate with emptiness. Lost is how we begin to fill.