Tuesday, December 25, 2007

HOLY DARKNESS AND A PAINTING BOOK




































































































(1/2 hour "contour" drawing, 6:30 to 7 a.m. -- 6B pencil on heavy weight, medium tooth surface, 9 x 12 Canson drawing pad, while listening to "Chants of India.".

I was looking at the corner of my living room near the windows, where my Suzuki keyboard is.

This morning I made my drawing time part of my yoga asana practice. As of today, I am calling my drawing posture "Lekhavidhasana, "from the Sanskrit word "lekhavidhi" meaning "the act of drawing or painting" and the word "asana" meaning "posture or pose." When I draw, I sit in a cross-legged pose on a comfortable chair.

What has been happening is, since I have been drawing daily in the early morning, I have not been doing my early morning yoga practice. So I decided that I would do "Lekhavidhasana" just before doing Savasana (The Corpse Pose) at the end of the asana part of my Yoga practice.

In order to add Lekhavidhasana, "The Drawing Pose", I have to let go of doing a number of other poses, but the benefit I get from drawing daily feels equal to the benefit from the poses I won't have time to do.)

I love stories. Stories from all traditions. Here is something from a A Child’s Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas:

"Go on the Useless Presents."

". . . a celluloid duck that made, when you pressed it, a most unducklike sound, a mewing moo that an ambitious cat might make who wished to be a cow; AND A PAINTING BOOK IN WHICH I COULD MAKE THE GRASS, THE TREES, THE SEA AND THE ANIMALS ANY COLOUR I PLEASED, and still the dazzling sky-blue sheep are grazing in the red field under the rainbow-billed and pea-green birds . . . "

I love the way Dylan Thomas finishes his remembrance:

". . . I got into bed. I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept."

As I've been writing this post, I've been listening to "Apple Scruffs," a song written by George Harrison. Listen here for a clip.

4 comments:

The Solitary Walker said...

I love that Dylan Thomas short story. Indeed, all his stories and many of the poems. Remember "The Peaches"? Thank you for reminding me of it, especially apposite today. Coincidentally, I used to sell his books throughout England & Wales. I remember a grocer's shop in Laugharne (where he lived for a long time and is buried)used to display rare out-of-print Dyan works among the cabbages and canned vegetables... You would find elderly Japanese professors rooting around in there amongst the butter beans and the bara brith...

am said...

solitary walker -- I hadn't read "The Peaches" before but found it on the internet. Dylan Thomas certainly has a fine gift of conveying a clear vision of how complex, rich and textured, is the inner life of children.

From "Fern Hill,":

Time held me green and dying, though I sang in my chains like the sea.

Bara brith. That's new for me. Thanks so much!

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, absolutely. There was always something childlike about Dylan himself. Though very much a fallen angel. If you don't know it already, take a look at the superb biography of him by Constantine Fitzgibbon.

A.Decker said...

I like the sketches; much more sense of place than photos. And I do believe that's the first Dylan Thomas I've ever read. Seems he was quite good. Thank you.