Each day is a little life; every waking and rising a little birth; every fresh morning a little youth; every going to rest and sleep a little death.
– ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER
When Holly tweeted out the theme for this week, patience, I was finishing my second art lesson. I have been trying to be an artist my whole life. My father is an artist, and I want to grow up to be like him. Art takes patience. And I am not sure I have what it takes.
During this second lesson, our instructor asked us to draw an image from a photograph. He wanted us to use shading to show form. He said the word form over and over again. I think he became frustrated with me, but you would never know it. He has a calm demeanor. Patience is so important to any kind of teaching.
I wasn’t quite sure how to start or how to proceed. I was stuck with what I knew before of contour drawing. I was not familiar with his method. So he took my tablet and drew, hatching and shading. The drawing that looked like a cartoon to me began to take shape and form. I was watching a miracle. I still have no idea how to make that happen when the pencil is in my own hand.
I have no patience with myself.
I want to be good now, but I avoid the practice that it takes.
In our limited human minds, we see bits and pieces of the whole. We see small miracles every day. God can see the whole. God knows the big picture. God is our artist.
In my impatience, I want to know now. I want to be good and right and perfect. Ah, me. That is not possible. The only real perfection is with God. In the meantime, I will continue to strive for the best, trying to remember that the Great Artist isn’t finished with me yet.
“Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.”
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life