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Location: California

I love paper. Books printed on acid-free paper and bound in cloth turn me on. I'm crazy about bookmarks, and I buy too many stickers. I could spend hours in the build-your-own-greeting card section of my neighborhood craft store. My favorite thing to eat is bread, and my second favorite is fruit. (Mm, pineapple.) I read too much and too fast, and I watch too many food shows (two ways of looking at gluttony). Gloomy, rainy weather calms me and so I can't wait to move out of California, which will happen, sadly, too many years from now to count. I'm vegan, though I haven't managed to eliminate honey from my diet yet. I practice yoga; it's the only way I can keep fit. I have a better life than I ever imagined I would (or deserve to) have, but I do my best to enjoy it rather than feel guilty about it. That's my daily struggle -- and also to be thoughtful and observant and honest with myself.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

(Self) Portrait Tuesday

Today in drawing class I sat for a portrait for the first time in my life. It was one of the most daunting and disturbing experiences I've had. I had to partner up with a classmate, and we sat for each other in sessions of fifteen minutes. By the accident of proximity, I also sat for my teacher, who happened to be sitting right next to my partner.

As I sat, two pairs of eyes fixed on me, I became aware of a whole other dimension of time: it went excruciatingly slowly, but not the same as when I'm impatient or in pain. I felt as if I were being interrogated, just without words, as if someone were digging into my soul, rummaging for something valuable. The physical difficulty of sitting still for half an hour was insignificant compared to this psychological violation. Something is taken from you when you model. I'm convinced of that now. But if the person who is taking this ineffable thing away from you manages to put it onto the paper, it's a strange and great reward. I have trouble looking at this portrait of myself; it feels very much like me -- but a part of myself that I'm not used to seeing from the outside.



I'm adding here the drawing that I made of my classmate, Mary Jo. It is a kind of self-portrait, a record of what my drawing abilities are now. I will refrain from saying all the negative things I want to say about it. No disclaimers! It is what it is. I have to learn to be at peace with that.

3 Comments:

Blogger madness rivera said...

Great idea/spin on SPT, but more importantly, good for you for stepping outside of your comfort zone. That portrait of you has lost your vibrancy in the translation. I know you're shy, C, but you do sparkle.

April 27, 2006  
Blogger Never Enuf Thyme said...

I agree with madness rivera, even the sparkling part because I can see it in your words. I enjoy seeing the world through other people's words when they're painted so eloquently on blog canvas.

April 27, 2006  
Blogger Green Whale said...

I don't know what to say except thank you. Your words give me courage to keep writing here.

April 27, 2006  

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