Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stressed Out? Take a Time Out. Draw.


This lady was not a happy camper sitting there on her make-up bench waiting for the ordeal to pass. She didn't give a damn what was babbling on the TV on the vanity next to her. She just wanted everything to be flushed away so she could go to bed, get up the next morning and get on with it. She couldn't wait for "The Doctors" at ten; she'd be home by then. It would all be over. Staring in the mirror at the woman staring back, she reached for her pad of paper and pen and began drawing the image, a wild eyed desperate old woman who by the looks of her wondered why she had gotten herself is this mess in first place. And then, like magic, she wasn't there. For the minutes it took to sketch her self portrait, she was lifted up and away from the horror to a better place. Her anxiety disappeared. She relaxed.

Drawing is such a life saver. A stress reducer, I keep a pad of paper and pen in every room of my house and in my purse too for those times I wish to lift myself away from the the moment. I always doodled at committee meetings, reliable yakity yak affairs. Always on a plane--and at the beach too. And I love those restaurants where they have white paper on the tables and crayons in a vase so the kids can color waiting for their mac and cheese. I've never been able to resist a crayon, especially when my eyes are glazing over during conversations about the stock market. My complaint is there's never a black crayon. So, I bring my own.

In April, we're flying to Beijing. Under Imodium on my pack list and before Sudoku puzzels is art supplies. In 23 hours, I should be able to doodle an entire sketch book of sleeping passengers and fictitious worlds where I'd rather be other than stuck in that seat.

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