I found myself with an assignment this weekend to create a prayer mandala. It's been awhile since I whipped out the crayons and colored pencils. So long, in fact, that I realized I don't have any of my own here in Seattle, and thus had to borrow from a roomate's supply. Coloring has always been a meditative practice for me, whether it was making pages and pages of layered color squares when I was ten, or cutting into Discrete Math homework time with meticulously shaded coloring book pages of Pocahontas in 10th grade with Christa. There are tons of pictures of me as a kid with a concentrated stare, markers in hand, and my tongue hanging out- apparently I can't draw without using my face. I discovered that hasn't changed. As I drew the big circle, I noticed that my jaw was agape and I was pushing my tongue against the back of my teeth (for balance perhaps?).
The finished product is something akin to what I had in my mind, though I tried really hard not to plan but just let it spiral as it wanted to. (It wasn't, however, supposed to evoke tie-dye as I now think it does) And as always, I couldn't refrain from using text. The text may be abstracted and manic, but I couldn't complete the circle without using words.
I don't know how I feel about the mandala I made, or the experience of making it, but it stuck out as such an "other" experience compared to everything else I do on a daily basis that that in itself seem worth noting.
Choosing the Storm: in tribute to Mary Oliver
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