Listening - watching
taking a moment
drawing the world
finding the way to connection
again and again.

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Friday, March 16, 2018

A Story about Fear and Drawing and Opening

I spent some time in Mexico - San Miguel de Allende - this past month.
I wandered around this interesting town, sketching a bit, but what I really enjoyed
were the private salsa lessons I was taking.
It felt like a brave and joyful activity - relational, creative.

I got a listing from my teacher Fernando of some social dancing spots in town
and I ventured out one night to a rooftop bar with the Parroquia church spire in view.
But I had the time wrong and it was going to be an hour before the live music
started and my friends arrived (hopefully).

I ordered a glass of wine and waited.

It was hard to sit there alone - I tried not to panic and leave.
Many minutes passed . . .

Then I remembered I had a folded piece of paper and pencil in my purse.
I took them out and began to draw the cathedral tower in blind contour - not looking at the page -
just following the forms - my attention completely with the thing itself.

I wrote next to the drawing -

Then I realized I hadn't described the church tower - so I added on either side of it -

And at that moment I knew I was describing myself -
"Many chambered - silent - calm" and something settled inside -
I was fearful - and also calm . . .
I looked out at the people around me and noticed something new - like a veil lifting -
and wrote at the bottom of the page -

All of us - just like me.

Two minutes later my friends Maureen and Michael arrived - the band started up -
the dancing began. I went up to a man who was sitting alone. I put out my hand and said -
"Would you like to dance ? "

And I joined in the connection and flow and happiness.

Here is the whole page !


Art Yamada said...

Lovely and tender, as I remember you Barbara!- Heather Midori Yamada

ann patty said...

Hi. barbara I love sma. Its my new winter home for a month each year. Love your post!

Barbara Bash said...

Thanks Heather for your eyes and heart here -

and Ann - so good to hear about your connection to San Miguel -
I hope to create a similar rhythm of visits with this place !

brt said...

Well done you. Much to be said for sitting with fear, drawing, then writing what is welling up within you. The calm center is always there, in my experience. My monkey mind might distract me from finding it.

Barbara Bash said...

Thanks for this - something about getting in contact with the page in this physical way - and moving the pencil - being in touch - does settle something inside and then the insights are there - ready to be known. I also find that describing the object becomes a description of me - the world reflecting . . . Appreciating your responsive voice -

Elise Gold said...

Oh Barbara,
Yes. The vulnerability and softness.
What an honor to be a mirror in the world reflections.

Kamila Havlíková said...

Dear Barbara, I haven´t been here for quite a long time but this post really touched me. Yes, I can feel and follow what you described so precisely without many words. How much I know this - feeling lonely or lost or disconnected and then, with a piece of paper and a pencil in my hand, slowly connecting again. With myself, and others, at the same time. Thank you.

Barbara Bash said...

Thank you Elise - “ a mirror in a world reflections” - this is our life engagement . . .

And Kamila - glad you found this - I haven’t posted in awhile. Feels good to be offering again. This seems to be such a deep human experience - being alone in a crowd. The moral of this story - always have a piece of paper and pencil with you - you never know when getting “ on the page of your life” will be just what is needed to reconnect with the world.

Lila Dlaboha said...

Fantastic story, Barbara! So beautiful and with such suspense. I thought it was you when I saw the drawing. And laughed out loud when you asked a man to dance! What a turnaround. When I was a kid I drew portraits of people without looking at the page. I didn't know the practice had a name. Thanks for that!

P.S. I don't use my google email. I had to select it because it was the only way I could post this. ; )

Abhilasha Kshirsagar said...

Sally Bickford said...

Just beautiful Barbara! I could feel myself right there with you and with myself in so many of my own moments alone and connected!! Love it!