Monday, November 28, 2011

My Kinda Meditation

It seldom happens that while reading one of the numerous books that you will read in your life, you come across something profound that totally resonates with you. One of those moments happened to me while while reading Mark Frauenfelder's book "Made by Hand" (Amazon | Flipkart) . He is the editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine & co-founder of bOING bOING magazine. In his book he quotes few lines by a cartoonist called Seth from his article in The Walrus Magazine:

But drawing and inking are different. They use different parts of the brain. I often find that when I’m drawing, only half my mind is on the work — watching proportions, balancing compositions, eliminating unnecessary details. 
The other half is free to wander. Usually, it’s off in a reverie, visiting the past, picking over old hurts, or recalling that sense of being somewhere specific — at a lake during childhood, or in a nightclub years ago. These reveries are extremely important to the work, and they often find their way into whatever strip I’m working on at the time. Sometimes I wander off so far I surprise myself and laugh out loud. Once or twice, I’ve become so sad that I actually broke down and cried right there at the drawing table. So I tell those young artists that if they want to be cartoonists, the most important relationship they are going to have in their lives is with themselves. 



to that Mark adds:

I wonder if one of the main reasons people garden, or knit, or retire to their garages and basements to tinker, is because they enjoy this unusual state of consciousness. Some people might be able to achieve it by meditating, but using your hands seems to do the trick, too.


Seth and Mark have given words to the feeling that most marker and storytellers can relate to. Maybe we should get our moms and wives and sisters to read this, perhaps then they'll understand what goes through our heads when we spend lengthy periods of time locked in to a particular activity which to them seems to be pointless or getting us nowhere. They would probably appreciate the emotions that run through us "boys" at those times. I am sure they can relate to these things too.

Come to think of it, there's a particular expression that appears on a person's face when he/she has achieved that level. Having experienced being in such a state many times, I think it would be easy for me to recognize one is currently in it. So now, I will wait till I find my mom in such a state - probably when she is busy with her embroidery. Then I will make her read this... :)

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