Wednesday, February 23, 2011

To What Are You Drawn?

Today as I perused stories, notes and journals. a question trekked through my mind: To what are you drawn? This was quickly followed by: How do you experience 'being drawn'?

Although I've pens usually scattered everywhere, the only writing tool to be found was a coloring pencil. Quickly on a scrap piece of paper, I scratched out in fuchsia the two questions and my first quick remembrance, then another.

Moments later, I could no longer peruse stories for I was drawn to flesh out what I recalled.

The first experience that came to me of 'being drawn' was to the painting "Truth" in this past Winter's exhibit at the Frist. "Truth" was a nude woman standing I suspect around six feet tall on a canvas reaching nearly to the ceiling. Her outstretched hand held high a mirror reflecting brilliant white light. I was drawn to Truth especially her mirror. I imagined its light filling my body and me in turn filling it. I was so taken by "Truth" that I visited her seven times and ultimately came to visit all the paintings in the "Birth of Impressionism" exhibit six times.

The idea of 'being drawn' prompts me to consider what happened between me and these works. It happened from within yet it started without. Something in these paintings reached out to me and in turn I felt a response, a reciprocity reaching for them from within my body. I physically experienced being pulled toward them. My visits weren't prolonged, but when I did visit I would stand or sit appearing very still on the outside yet knowing I was actively engaged on the inside. This created a spaciousness of time. Ten minutes could stretch into forever. Each visit, I spied something new be it a distant sunset in one painting, calloused hands in another or French phrases in script around the edge of two frames that I didn't notice until my seventh and last visit.

The other very different example of 'being drawn' that occurs to me was of recently holding a hawk. Driving outside Nashville, I noticed a large patch of white feathers on the interstate roadside and immediately took the next exit in order to loop around and get whatever type of bird this was. The bird was a beautiful, white breasted hawk that had only been dead a short time. Although I initially placed it in the floor board beside me, I could not leave it there. I cradled it in my arms the remainder of my drive.

Upon reaching home, I was 'drawn' to holding this beautiful dear animal for nearly two hours. It's challenging to put into words how I felt but I think it comes down to beauty. I held feathered beauty in my arms, its energy open to me and mine to it. I cried some but most of all I honored the hawk. I sang to it and thanked it for coming here to fly our skies, for bringing its messages.

At times my mind would drift to other things I should be doing in order to be productive, my arm would grow tired or I would stifle a tear. Then I'd be drawn back to the experience of the hawk in my arms and be shown the subtle ways I leave the present and close off. The hawk held near my heart, reminded me to stay open inside, in my body, heart and mind.

The sun crept low and although I felt like I could keep holding this my child forever I knew it was time to bury it. We dug a hole in the exact place we had dug one eleven months and nine days prior to bury the first hawk. That beautiful reddish, brown bird had returned to soul and soil and this one was laid in its place.

"Being drawn" for me is an act of engagement, of staying open, aware, mindful, still and listening to the meeting of the outer and the inner. From this place, one sees and hears the many and rich layers all around us. "Being drawn" feels like rapture, to be taken by Beauty.

I wonder how our world might be different if we allowed ourselves to be drawn? How might we see and realize the beauty surrounding us, the simple beauties of Nature and Earth. How might our world be different if we learned to see and hear the many layers present in presence whether experiencing art, an animal or plant, our food or a beloved partner or friend?

As this Musing for now, draws to a close I find myself wondering: To what are you drawn? How do you experience being drawn?

-Dawn, The Good News Muse at Imagine the Shift
23 Feb. 2011


Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed your musings today. I also held a feathered friend today, for I discovered an injured female Downey on my deck upon my return home from work. I held her and talked gently to her as I carried her to a safe high place in my yard. I left her there so as to lessen her stress as she tried to recover from the impact of hitting one of our windows. I've just checked on her and thankfully, she felt recovered enough to fly to her nest.
When I read about "Truth", I googled it to remind me of this beautiful painting. I, too, was so drawn to her when I saw her at the Frist

Her strength and beauty captivated me.

Thank you for this reprise from my harried and hurried day! With Love, Vikki

Unknown said...

Vikki,I sit here smiling knowing your heart and how you blessed the woodpecker today! Oh, thank you. And yes! I started to post "Truth" in the story, then didn't. I loved how she stood in front of the cave. I wondered if she was taking the light into the cave or bringing it out from the dark. There's another story:) Thank you for reading the piece and sharing your experience!