So I drew what I call a “coloring book” drawing of a pansy on a artist tile. Next, I stared at it for several minutes, waiting for inspiration to come–which patterns to select for which part of the flower. Nothing. Zip. Nada, rien, nichevo. I reached for my box of mini-tiles and pulled about a dozen patterns that could be used for filling in spaces. The inner dark pseudo-leaves were easy enough to decide on–Printemps and the berries of the Bronx Cherry pattern are nice, dark, “small space” fillers. But the lighter outer leaves still made me pause for a while; because how could I use the full patterns and still maintain the fluttery dimensions of the petals? For the first petal, I chose wrongly, attempting to force Echoism into the envisioned curves–which of course did not work. The other petal patterns worked better, but I was already a bit frustrated by that first error, and I lost my concentration. 

As I doodled along, I began to think about my life. How many times had I either forced some idea or image on myself that really was not part of who I am? And how did the earlier forced images affect later decisions, which also seemed wrong? Am I just one of those people who never makes the right life choices? And, if so, why do I make these choices? Did I make them for myself and only for myself? Or were many of my choices influenced by what others wanted or expected of me? 

In the end, as I began shading my tile, I realized that the only thing to do is to continue trying to make the best of what gifts I have, and to continue to move toward a direction I can feel good about. Daily, I see improvement in my drawings (yesterday I managed to draw a recognizable likeness of one of my cats–not just any cat, but clearly of him!) and, to an extent, with my writing (the stuff I don’t usually share). Daily, I can get myself a little farther from my home (a touch of agoraphobia since the death of my mother six months ago). Most days, I add one more thing to my daily regimen that is healthier for me (eating more regularly, choosing better foods, exercising just a tad more, finding “feel good” movies and books, etc.). So, I feel that I am improving–maybe not as quickly as I would like, but there is clear progress. 

Who knows? Maybe by this time next year I will feel fully good about myself and my life choices again. 

Until tomorrow, happy tangling and happy writing!


About DrEMiller

Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). Home: Sint Maarten. K-12 teacher for 13 years (Special Education for 10 years); Post-secondary educator since 2002; Education consulting since 1995. When teaching, held teaching certificates in K-12 special education, reading specialist; and secondary social studies. Doctorate: Educational Psychology Programmer/analyst for 10 years, including project management and training of corporate execs.
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