Say It Isn't So

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Painstaking attention can be one definition of the above title. It happens to me whenever I am performing an activity that I enjoy but requires thought in combination with controlled action. I first noticed this when drawing. An activity which I have engaged in since I was way way wee-er than I am now.


My initial memory of a drawing happened as a preschooler. It was nap time and of course I did not want to take a nap. Nevertheless, I was sent to my room. Alone in my bed chamber I decided that I should run away from home. I got out this tiny little cardboard suitcase which was full of crayons, dumped the crayons on the bed and commenced to covering the suitcase in colorful artwork. This was very ventful and somewhat vengeful because I knew it was not a thing that I should be doing to this little carryall. In walks my mother and inquires as to what I am doing. Busted but still displeased at the audacity of being commanded to take a nap, I tell my Mom that I am getting ready to pack and run away from home. She says, "Here, let me help you!" We begin packing my teeny tiny things into my teeny tiny suitcase, and we both head to the front door where she wishes me farewell. Well I am stuck now, committed to an action that I really did not want to take as the front door closes behind me. I start my journey. Wandering down the street looking for something to take my mind off my current predicament. I came across one of my neighbors. I still remember all their names but I am not the name dropping sort. He is preparing a repast out on the grill. This looks interesting. "What are you cooking?", I ask. Lowering the cast iron frying pan that he was holding over the grill, he allows me to peer inside. "Fried worms" he informs me, "Would you like to have some?" They sure did look like fried worms, all curvy, dark and wiggly. "No, thank you", I replied and quickly made a beeline back to my own home where we did not eat worms! Naps were certainly not as bad as eating worms would be.

My desire to draw stayed with me though. When I was drawing, time disappeared. The older I got the more meticulous I was about my creations. Concentrating on the finest details. In high school, portraits were my thing. People's faces, especially the eyes, were all unique. I got my Father to sit for me once, and he was not too happy with the result, nor was I. I had, of course, put in every wrinkle that my eyes could detect. This had the effect of making him appear much older than he actually was.


Drawing was the medium to bring me to the realization that when I concentrate so intensely on something that I am doing, I hold my breath. I stop breathing. This, in turn, leads to an adrenalin rush where my autonomous self goes into red alert status. As a teenager that was an instant awareness that I was holding my breath and I would simply take a gulp of air and relax some before leaning back into the drawing. As a woman of mature years this adrenalin rush takes on a different shape. Things start to heat up and the sweat starts pouring out of me until I snap out of it. This lack of oxygen can't be good for my brain.


At 5:30 PM, July 11, 2007, Blogger Charles-A. Rovira said...

Oh my. You have a wonderful internal life, full of imagination and intense wonderment.

I greatly enjoyed your post.

Thank you for being. (I know existential compliments don't seem to mean much but ...)

At 9:36 PM, July 11, 2007, Blogger mouse said...

Merci beaucoup mon ami!

At 5:01 PM, July 20, 2007, Blogger herrad said...

hello mouse

glad i just read your blog post cos i always forget about breathing when i get upset and then go off the register.

your post has ne thinking how to remember to breath slowly when i panic.

take care.


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