We all heard that from our parents as kids. I said it to my own kids, often! Today was a nasty mid-winter day, grey, dreary, and rainy with some ice pellets, messing up the piles of snow everywhere. We’re all tired of winter but it’s far from over. It was a good day to stay in and draw, all day. I went back to my “cottage” photo shoot and chose another image to draw from; this one, because I thought I looked like a carefree child playing in the leaves and trees. Not my typical state of mind, sadly.
I traced the silhouette as well as some of the leaves and branches, then started shading the various tones of light and dark on the body. This is generally a peaceful practice, as it stops me from thinking about all the things I would otherwise worry about.
I didn’t hate my body at all while drawing this. It seemed so innocent to see the body surrounded by nature, and the usual judgements did not come up. You can’t tell my age or my mood in the drawing, they don’t matter. Really, I’m just a medium-sized female animal in the woods :). My weight, fitness level, complexion and opinion of my thighs don’t matter out here in the forest. I can be as I am. It helps put things in perspective.
Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.