by Nancy Casey
Today’s writing will be preceded by a little bit of drawing, so as you gather your materials and settle in to write, make sure that you have a clean sheet of unlined paper with you, in addition to the paper you use for your writing. You might also want to have colored markers, crayons or colored pencils handy.
On the clean sheet of paper, draw the outline of a body. Your body. The likeness doesn’t have to be perfect, of course. Draw it so it takes up as much of the page as possible.
It’s easy to imagine ourselves in terms of the visible parts of our bodies. All the parts the general public sees, as well as the parts we don’t show the world. And there’s a host of inner workings that medical imaging machines and surgeons can view. But your body has parts that are completely invisible, too.
Instead of adding the typical, visible parts of yourself to the drawing, your challenge today is to come up with ways to draw in some of the invisible parts of you. Such as…
Your ideas, for instance. You can’t see them. Where do they reside in you? Do they come in different colors? What about memories and dreams? Where in your body do you keep your plans for the future?
Do you ever get gut feelings? Do they happen in the gut? There are a whole host of feelings that many people find uncomfortable, such as fear, anger, or despair. Do you feel physical discomfort in the presence of certain feelings? Where do you sense it? What parts of your body are affected when you have feelings that are generally pleasant to feel, such as affection, joy, and comfort?
What else can you think of that is a part of you, and yet invisible?) Where is your attitude located? Can you point to your ability to button a shirt? What part of you holds your sense of “me?” Where do you keep your talent?
You can add your invisible aspects to the drawing of your body in any way that makes sense to you. Use blobs of color, circles and boxes, dotted lines, words, or any other marks that seem like a good idea. Use the drawing and coloring as an opportunity to allow your mind to wander and perhaps stumble upon ingenious ways of presenting the invisible parts of yourself.
When you have finished the drawing, write a page or so about the thoughts that came to mind as you worked on it. Maybe you discovered something about yourself, or thought about yourself in a different way. Maybe you found this frustrating and hard to do. Whatever your experience was, write a little bit about it.
Writing might give you new ideas for things to add to the drawing, which in turn could give you new ideas to write about. Go back and forth between the drawing and the writing until you are satisfied with them both. Be sure to put the date and a title on both pages. Here is an example of what a person could do.
Nancy Casey teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center on Thursdays. Check the calendar for classes and times, or just drop in. All are welcome. She coordinates Recovery Radio, which airs on KRFP 90.3 FM in Moscow, Thursdays at 1:05 PM. Recovery Radio needs on-air and off-air volunteers. Call the Recovery Center 208-883-1045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.