Though I don't do it often, in regards to art my favorite practice these days is drawing my elder students from life. This has become an intimate practice of shared presence in a metaphysical nature. There are few words spoken, if any, but there is a dialogue occuring thru the process of drawing itself. It is an experience of being completely with another in a deeply appreciate way. I look/feel intensely the shapes, colors, anatomy, details, mannerisms of the elder as I draw. I experience beauty deeply in this way. It is deeper than the cultural convention of beauty that nurtures ideas of flawless skin, youth, slim and muscular figures, and so on. And having developed a relationship often with my elder friends over the years, my mind plays the stories while i'm lost in observation and drawing, of the histories they have shared with me of their lives. And I can't help but reflect in the presece of lives lived, close to the end... reflect on death, and my own mortality. And this is a wonderful thing, for I leave the class and walk on the street evermore mindful and present to life's impermanent nature, and am appreciative for life itself. We have the potential to create the lives we want, and in this way with drawing it has been made a meaningful experience in relationship to life itself for me. I am ever so grateful to have the opportunity to be involved in such a practice, for even if temporary, it is one of re-occuruing contentment. And I hope that others discover such gems in their lives, for how the shape of the world would transform into a more organic, colorful one.
And here is this morning's life drawing that inspired this reflection. Thank you Alex. You're an inspiration!