The Illustration Friday word of the week is storm.
That tempest in the heart, that storm in the head…have you ever felt it? It’s an agony of indecision, a quandary of impossible choices: should I paint this way or that way, choose this one or that one, spend it here or there, move now or later, do this or that? It’s a pain that starts slow, like a migraine twinge, and builds to a frenzy. Any decision in question seems so very consequential, almost life-threatening.
These words look so calm, so benign here on my screen, like amusing ‘postcards from the edge.’ But the experience is a miserable one, and it always shakes my confidence to the core. It’s an experience that illustrates in living (black and blue?) color that expression, “Down here without a map.” Lost, lost, dreadfully lost. And time is going by! If you’ve been to this particular dreary destination yourself, you know what I’m talking about.
Fortunately, like any storm in Nature, this furious energy eventually reaches its apex and begins to dissipate. Like Dorothy and her tornado in The Wizard of Oz, I am deposited on solid ground once more. The still, small voice is again accessible, and a path, however faint, reappears before my weary feet. I have noticed that Surrender can look a lot like exhaustion.
Next time, I promise myself to remember sooner: Sometimes I just don’t know…can’t know in advance. Realizing that calms the storm.
Above: Storm (watercolor, pen & ink, gouache, colored pencil)
Right: Of Two Minds (watercolor, pen & ink)