There’s nothing remarkable about a pencil, one would think. But simply by drawing off the page and over the edges of the desk and along the floor and up the walls and out the window and off over the fields, a person can draw a new horizon to aspire to … who knows how radical a doodle can be? Drawing can be a revolutionary act.
My sister has recently taken up that revolutionary pencil. She used to draw and take photographs but life’s demons had dragged her down and she had not done so since the 1970s. Now, however, despite a body crippled by multiple sclerosis (the “glass half-full” kind, slowly progressing), a mental state depleted by depression and chronic post-traumatic stress, and a spirit broken by 30,000 earthquakes (she lives in Christchurch), every day she manages to get up and settle at the kitchen table to do her ‘Arting’, as she calls it. As Franz Kafka wrote:
You do not have to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You do not even have to listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked …”