Monday, June 20, 2011

Soul Pictures...

My younger son Ryan asked my older son Jimmy to draw a picture of his soul the other night and told him he had 30 seconds to do it. Having just turned out the lights and crawling into bed for the night, Ryan's strange request threw Jim for a loop. "Are you kidding me, its 11:30pm!" Jim said. Ryan stood steadfast waiting for Jim's response, paper and pencil in hand. Jim thought a minute and then quickly scrawled something on the paper. As my son drew, I wondered myself what I would draw if the same request was made of me. After a quick sketch, my son revealed what he had drawn - a funny Casper the ghost type figure- drawn hastily when he found himself empty of ideas. We all laughed, but were made aware that drawing one's soul isn't easy.

The next night, while sitting outside around the table on our deck- past the time when the bats come out and begin their nightly forage and around the time when the bullfrogs chorus becomes more frequent- we attempted the soul drawing exercise again. This time there were four of us, my husband and I and our two boys. With the lightening bugs lighting up the sky closest to the ground and the stars lighting up the sky way overhead, we tried to draw our souls. Ryan explained that it was important to not think too deeply about it but to draw quickly and from the gut. He had completed several mockups of his own soul picture and was ready to share his view with us just as soon as we finished ours.

After struggling a bit, I drew my soul picture- a spiral, surrounded by a heart with rays emanating outward like the rays coming off the sun. The spiral signifying my life's journey, the heart love, and the rays meaning to carry my journey and love outward. After we all finished and shared our pictures, we each tried to explain their meaning. What I discovered from our sharing was that it isn't easy to know what lies within oneself. To draw a single snapshot that tries to capture who you are at your core. To tap into something hidden deep within and elusive.

Yet, sitting on the deck that night, letting the soft whispers of the insects in the bushes speak for us, our voices quieting down and the thoughts and feelings inside us getting louder, we tried to reach that place. Attempting to draw what we saw and felt, coaxed on by nature.

4 comments:

Grampy said...

I feel the soul in your family in this story. Working out life together on the porch. It does not get much better than that.

Darcy said...

Grampy- Yes, that was a magical night! I love when we are all on the same wavelength, desiring to find connection through time spent together in conversation.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Darcy -- I'm interested in the spirals in the photo. Did someone in the family draw that lovely piece?

Darcy said...

Folkways, The spirals are on a pillow I got from a resale shop in Connecticut when I lived there. The pillow has different blocks-some with squares set into squares and others with spirals.