The Power of Paper and a Pencil
And a Digital Disconnection
I don’t know about you but sometimes life feels very digital: TV, video games, all the lists in my phone, everything on social media, emails and ebooks. It is cleaner, tidier, more convenient.
But, after a while I feel a dislocation in connection.
Today I got my sketchbook out as I had the desire to listen to an audio meditation and, as I find it hard to sit still, I tried something new for me. I sat cross legged on the sofa in my studio with an A3 sketchbook on my lap and a good old fashioned chunky B3 pencil. I plugged into the headphones and closed my eyes. I listened, I relaxed and I made marks on the paper where and when I felt like it. I switched hands more than once. This was all an experiment.
What appeared on the paper when I looked was important but only in the sense of it representing my responses to the meditation. Whether it was ‘any good’ or not was irrelevant. As always, when I work in this way, there is an essence, a something, a part of me that has been recorded. Have you ever felt this?
When I looked through my sketchbook to find a blank page, I found that actually I have been drawing lately. There were pages of sketches of life drawing and still life from the Royal Academy’s Saturday Sketch Club which I am grateful to have been recommended to me and I’ve enjoyed immensely the last two weeks.
Earlier, when paying for something online, I found a notepad in my handbag, hastily shoved in before a zoom meeting in my car. When I got back from the school run there was a shopping list in my coat pocket and I remembered the time in the supermarket with my children where I accidentally deleted the list from my phone. I've used paper ones ever since, crossing off items with a pen that lives in my bag. I have begun recording my finances in a notebook again, overwhelmed by charts and recommendations in all the apps out there.
It wasn’t until I did my meditation today that I unravelled this paper trail and the evidence of my self it has left behind. That evidence gets lost in the digital world.
While many photos from the last year or so have disappeared into an app, my sketchbook reminds me of elements of days and times. Of sitting on that rock, on that beach, in that weather, with those people, that snapping a picture doesn’t provide. Photos are definitely important but the two can exist side by side.
This week I invite you to try meditating with a sketchbook. There is a free five minute meditation music on my website you can use if you want to. It is available HERE.
Any pencil and paper will do, it doesn’t have to be anything special. Just see what comes out, I find it fascinating and would love it if you can share your results.
You can find me on instagram @attentive_art
You are welcome to join The Attentive Art Group on Facebook
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to find out more about the magic of Mindful Creativity and give it a try, I have a free mini eBook on my website which tells you more about it and has ten ideas for you to try. You can download it HERE.