Walking dots

— 6 minute read

Saturday morning! It's one of those weekends that stretch out with no social obligations or scheduled events in the horizon, few and far between ever since we got out of the pandemic lockdowns. I love the expansive sense of space in time, like I am lying spread out on a vast plain of possibilities. What shall we think about today? What shall we make today?

Of course, this is because I'm still on house arrest because of the broken toe. In another universe I would be in the park, resting after bootcamp, maybe staring at trees, maybe jotting down ideas. But in that universe I wouldn't be looking at the beautiful vista outside my balcony garden, with some tiny little tomato sprouts poking out from the soil in the row of pots by my feet. I'm sipping yerba from a mate as I enjoy the crisp air outside, the morning sun making everything look bright and cheerful. This universe is as good as any other.

I have been making the best out of my limited mobility and so far things have gone quite well. I'm working on a cushion cover, and gleefully embroidered my splinted foot onto the piece that will feature prominently in a personal exhibition if I ever hold one. The process of embroidering and hand stitching appliques is slow and reflects my current state of being. I don't know where the composition will go, but I don't have to worry about it as every step of construction takes a lot of time, there is no rush.

Other activities that have made an appearance in my little sphere of movement include a valiant attempt to build a daily habit of making lines and marks on paper (let us not call it drawing yet to not jinx it) and guitar practice. Last weekend I completed a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle with a handy puzzle mat that I got online, which I had bought on a whim before the accident, which has proven its worth to enable some serious puzzle action on the bed.

A couple of days ago I also experimented with dyeing my hair chemically, ending my ten-year relationship with henna dye. Over the pandemic I noticed that my hair greyed remarkably, and the henna which used to give me red highlights now became an overwhelming coppery orange where the white hair took the colour differently than the black.

Being stuck at home with nowhere to go and no one to see gave me sufficient momentum (finally) to take action. I found some kononnya less toxic dye online, bought it, and then spent a few days deliberating whether to take the jump or not after reading in the instructions that it was not advisable to use the dye over henna-coloured hair.

Some research online further added to the tension, as I was warned that the chemical dye might react with some mineral salts present in some henna dyes, turning the hair green or worse, causing hair to break off.

With great trepidation I did a patch test on an inconspicuous site, fully expecting neon green or a bald patch to result. As is mostly the case my imagination outstripped reality by miles and the resulting brown dyed patch was, well, a brown dyed patch.

So I got Leo to proceed with the entire head. Accidental sideburns notwithstanding (the dye was stronger than henna and required more precision), I much prefer the darker tone on my head now. The sideburns will wash off before I have to go anywhere and I have solved the visual problem of my too-bright tresses.

Another point for Mr. Fractured Toe. Keep it up Mr. Toe!

Switching the topic to drawing. Komeil has been giving me lessons and leading me baby step by baby step back into building a connection. It's a sensitive matter and while I don't understand why I find it so difficult, it is what it is and will take however long it takes.

We've been going through this book on how to draw, written in Farsi by an Iranian artist. A book about the visual language, written in a language that I don't understand - it is all very mysterious in a lovely way. Here are some notes from this week's class that I jotted down:

  1. Movement and rhythm of line is very important for a good drawing.
  2. The psychological state of the artist (i.e. how you feel when you are drawing) and the subject of the drawing have direct effects on the rhythm of the line.
  3. The visual quality or style (the artist's touch) is directly connected to the media that the artist is using (brush paint on canvas, charcoal on paper, etc).

Some ideas of how to consider line quality, in making and observing lines:

  1. Where the line starts
  2. The thickness and the length
  3. The speed in which the line was made
  4. The force in which the line was made
  5. The space between lines
  6. Straight? Curved?
  7. How many movements to the line
  8. The value or darkness of the line

A dot that takes a walk becomes a line, a line that takes a walk becomes a plane, a plane that takes a walk becomes a mass. A drawing that becomes shows the passage of time. The passage of my time.

AI doesn't draw like that.

I've also been trying to move. I am worrying about my muscles atrophying, which they are, as my soft calf muscles indicates. Yesterday I explored some "no feet yoga" which resulted in sore knees, a deathly fear that I would lose my balance and stub my broken toe, and some general feelings of inadequacy and agitation. The splint will not be removed for another two weeks, and where will I be then?

I am sensing a downturn in energy and mood levels and so I should post this and go do something else. It is 3pm so between the first paragraph and now it's been quite many hours. I'll take a completed blog post as a win. Maybe go stare at my tomato sprouts for a little while.