So, I had a prompt for today’s post and a complete story written out in my head. But it’s been a long day, my flu refuses to leave me and in addition to a blocked nose a hacking cough and a heavy head, this morning I woke up with a catch in my back. Forced to spend most of the day in bed away from the laptop meant allowing the prompt-induced post to recede into a corner of my mind where it can marinade a while longer.
Instead, I’m taking a shortcut today and posting some stuff off my Instagram.
Apparently I am Zentangling.
I didn’t realise it but it seems what I am doing is exactly that. I’ve been doodling intricate single colour patterns of this kind since I was 15. In fact, I remember making a bunch of these on 4×6 pieces of card, mounting them on large chart paper and attaching stapled bunches of calendar sheets (also hand written and multiples made by photocopying them!) below to turn them into calendars that I handed out to about 30 people at a family reunion over NYE of 1999.
It was the December right before my board exams and with thoughts of future studies and bright futures ripe in my mind, I nurtured the idea that I’d go to NID and study graphic design.
We know how that turned out. Or rather didn’t.
But the doodling habit, love for geometric patterns, symmetry and intricate hand work has stayed with me. At the end of last year, I realised I needed an activity apart from reading and writing that would disengage me from a lot of the mundane stuff in my daily life that seems to engulf me completely. I needed a healthy distraction that would disengage me from that noise and also engage me in a completely absorbing way.
Since the day I doodles the reminder to let it all go, I decided to start doodling a little something everyday, once again. And it seems to have done the trick. It is absorbing in a way that makes time slow down to a crawl. It is deeply addictive and makes you put everything aside till you finish a page completely and it is just the thing I needed.
6 days in, 5 doodles down I feel this is calming, soothing and almost meditative.
Apparently, I’m Zentangling. And this is what it looks like.
A wish for peace on a particularly troubling day.
There is no end and no beginning.
And then my black pen ran out of ink.