|James Thurber, self-portrait.|
I feel as though I do a poor job of explaining myself when called upon to do so. That is probably because I believe we should not be asked to explain ourselves. Years and years ago I realized I would never find words precise enough to say who I am to someone who couldn't or didn't want to know.
A recent conversation with my most capable, kind and interested nurse practitioner about why it was my priority to re-establish too-long neglected drawing as a daily habit before moving on to doing the same with chair yoga backed me into that corner of trying to say why this was so. A few days later it came to me that art generally is how I engage with the world. Writing, images - either my own or borrowed from the internet - are my voice when not conversing one-to-one. How I am in and of the wider world is better expressed through essays or fiction, through the work of my own hand or photos of what has meaning for me. The conundrum of how to be known without explaining. The long and short-term benefits of a chair yoga practice are not lost on me. However beneficial, though, they take a backseat to an act which carries me outwardly forward while inwardly grounding me more firmly as myself.
This is, you realize, my process. It may not match yours, nor does it need to. Had the internet not been invented, had no platform been offered for creating a free daily (or less often) written musing on any topic I chose, I could easily be, if such a thing still goes on, in downtown Los Angeles' Pershing Square shouting my truths at passing cars and uneasy pedestrians. I could be pressing leaflets into their hands rather than having professional representation for my snowmen, cats, cupcakes, roses, suns, moons, flowers and citizens through rubberstamp companies that turn my drawings into product and send them/me forth.
That I am here for a reason I accept as fact. What I interpret as the reason may shift, may adjust itself with circumstances though it never strays far from a notion of service in the form of that which brings more light than it takes. We've no idea how long we have to complete our assignment, as though we ever could, and I feel some urgency about doing what I think of as my work better, more fully even at my decidedly slowed pace. I can only be here, part of my own support staff, in so many ways on any given day. I swear chair yoga is next. Meanwhile, there is lettering to practice and pages to fill.