I learn through visuals. I carry a journal with me wherever I go. These pages hold many of the drawings I want myself to remember. For the past two years I’ve been asking people to draw out how they view life as a model. And so I compiled them into 2 pages.
These are the drawings (I had to cross out the names for privacy):
As a kid, I used to imagine life in a very straightforward and easy to follow path. Birth → Death was a simple idea. I saw things in very definitive ways, but you can’t calculate your life into definitive outcomes.
And so I toyed with this idea and began asking people to draw out the way they went about life. One of my friends (who drew the 3rd visual on the left) made dotted lines to represent times before us and a large scribble to represent all the histories we carry. Our lives don’t begin the moment we are given a name. Someone has also crafted the histories we share. In this very moment, we are creating a history for someone that will come after us. Anyways, my friend left the rest of the drawings as dotted lines. She didn’t want her choices to be definitive because these are choices not pre-determined realities.
The second drawing I often gravitate towards was drawn by a local somatic healer (the drawing on the top of the right page). She drew out a spiral that was in the shape of a tornado. Each ring represented a moment in time. As these rings spiraled down, there were points in each ring that connected the past to the present. These points were where there is a recurring theme in our lives. Perhaps it’s a life lesson we keep being reminded of, a value that we continue to appreciate, or even a state of mind we seem to return to–If we can be mindful of these themes we can have guiding points for where we choose to go.
The last drawing that struck me was from my professor. He told me he didn’t want to draw anything because then it would be putting life in a frame, but I still decided to draw our conversation afterwards (I’m stubborn, I know). He talked about life being in multi-dimensional planes that connect and overlap given the time, circumstance, reality, biology, history, etc. The points don’t follow any laws and aren’t in numerical order.
I share these drawings with you not to say these are guidelines for life, but the way we view life is often impacted by the way we have already began leading it. There are laws in nature and physics that are predictable and calculable. Humans are the one factor that can throw off the entire equation or make all of these drawings and ideas irrelevant.
These drawings weren’t created because I wanted to follow a readily made plan. I asked for these drawings because my curiosity for the way people think transpire into appreciation for who they are. These drawings remind me that there isn’t going to be one path that will make complete sense for any of us. There might be moments where you will yell “F yeah! I got it!” as if you’ve mastered the art of living, but soon enough the moment has changed and time has passed. I believe that every time we begin to feel comfortable and almost stagnant in our lives, the world around us seems to spin faster without us. By the time we want to re-immerse ourselves in the world, we have missed so many moments in time and because of that we begin to run trying to catch up to wherever we thought we needed to go.
I hope you do not feel remorseful or regretful for where you are even if it’s not where you want to be. Just as the world moves, you are also in a constant state of motion.
Time is a really scary thing. It may bring a sense of urgency to do the things we feel compelled to do and remind us to take our time in order to tend to the things we love.
Our lives may feel like they are in a constant state of urgency, so if you were to remove time from the equation…
Where do you need to tend to?
What do you need to heal?
Why are you where you stand?
What are you walking towards?
I stand with you wherever you are and I will walk with you (in spirit) to wherever you need to be.
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