Saturday, April 6, 2013

Like Shadows

He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light.
Job 12:22

We were at an outdoor music festival, sketchbooks in hand, drawing random people in the crowd.  I wanted to draw the outlines.  I wanted to box the figures at that festival in.  Here's a man; see the short hair, the beard, the boots, the glasses.  This one is a child - ruffly dress, fly-away hair, size.  I wanted to use colors - bright festival colors.

I have heard of sculptors freeing their subjects from the rock which entombed them.  I have heard of carvers seeing lines and form within the grain of the raw wood from which they chiseled and cut.  Such vision.  Such faith in themselves, such integrity to their work.  I have heard of writers who, once they establish their characters and plot, allow those characters to dictate their journey.  Such letting go of control.

"Just draw the shadows."

I drew shadows.  Charcoal.  A little messy, smeary.  It was kind of fun, looking squinty-eyed at the figures, squeezing out the colors.  Looking away from the lines and into the spaces.  A new way to see things.  It felt like power.  Almost magic as the figures materialized on the pages.  Out of the shadows... because of the shadows.  No labeling with outlines - no pigeonholing.  Out of the darkness - out of the negative spaces - came the form.


Like untold stories.  We have all been shaped and molded by our stories - our experiences.  Yet we don't wear those stories like signs.  We don't advertise our shadows.  We want to box each other in - categorize - fit - pigeonhole - stereotype.  We want to draw outlines of expectations around the people we meet - how they dress, what they do, who they know.  Untold stories.  Like shadows.  Waiting to be found.

Thank you, God, for reminding me that you are a God of light and shadow- seen and unseen.  Thank you for showing me untold stories.

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