Saturday, August 21, 2010

More Than a Metaphor

Even if you skim the surface, there are metaphors for life in the process of Zentangle. All of the many wonderful things the process shows us can so easily be transposed and applied to situations in our daily lives.
    The more I become immersed in the process, the more I realize that it's much more than metaphor for me: The ACT of creating a Zentangle IS life.
    The act of starting a Zentangle: I step out into a blank space, not knowing what shapes will appear. Ok, so it's a piece of paper, it's not a new job that I start next Monday. But it's still an act of stepping into the unknown. 
    As I draw my string, I have to let go of what I may WANT the Zentangle to look like. I allow my hand to intuitively (without thinking) make a mark. I have to use and trust my intuition, no matter what my big left brain is trying to tell me (and it certainly has a lot to say: "that's not pretty enough, that is too much space, that is not enough space"). The ACT of using my intuition opens up the "intuition pipeline" a little bit more, and the next time I call on my intuition, there just might be an easier flow.
    The act of choosing a tangle: Some days I have a tendency to "think" my way to a tangle: "This one would look better than that one, this one is more fun than the other, this is too light", etc etc etc!! I do my best to ask my thinking brain to step aside and once again let intuition flow. More exercise! If I am not up for that at the moment, I close my eyes and pick a tangle. The act of choosing a tangle, is the ACT of moving forward. After it's been chosen, I don't allow myself to doubt the choice. 
    The act of doing a tangle: As I pick up my pen I am aware that this is an ACT of trust. Using the pen means whatever marks I make cannot be erased. They can be acted on and embellished, but I can only move forward (or stop completely, if I let my left brain get the best of me). 
    As I make my marks, my thinking brain wants to interfere: "go faster, you have a lot of black to fill in; isn't making all those triangles going to be boring?" When these thoughts come, I close my eyes for a second, breathe, and remind myself to savor the moment, savor the stroke. I allow for the act of being in the moment. Now it feels to me like there is no act at all...just being. At this moment, it doesn't matter what comes next, what came before, what looks good, what doesn't. Whatever is, just is.
   It's as if each stroke is a pathway to NOW. As each mark appears, and my eyes and attention follow it, the awareness of NOW gets strengthened. As the awareness becomes stronger, well, it just doesn't matter what happens next.



23 comments:

  1. You are a mster at words, I could not have put this better. What a way to discover your true self. I am sure I will quote you to my other Zentangle friends. Oh! and I love your quote tangle very nice. Walt would have loved It I am sure.

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  2. Wonderful guidance and inspiration. You have perfectly expressed the Zen of the Zentangle experience as I understand it.

    I think being able to let go of what you want the Zentangle to look like is so important, and so challenging. We tend to want to "make pictures" of recognizable things and that is so not Zentangle.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience and your art.

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  3. What a beautiful piece of art! You have such a unique style of writing that draws me in and I become immersed in your words because I've felt everything you describe. Your art is a feast for my eyes and I look forward to your words, like awaiting the next chapter in a wonderful book.

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  4. Stunning! When I saw this in the Zentangle newsletter, I gasped and had a hard time getting my breath! Now I am tryng to recover! I love quotes and Zentangles -- you have amazed and dazzled! Thank you so much for this. If you are going to sell prints -- please let me bethe first in line to purchase!

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  5. Your words clearly express the zen in zentangles and I love them being a metaphor for life - your art work and the quote chosen are a perfect marriage. Thank you for sharing.

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  6. Thank you, Thank YOU, THANK YOU! As much as I love ZENtangles, my problem has been/is that I have a hard time 'allowing' myself to sit still long enough to enjoy the process. What you have written here is THE reason to sit still, BE still, and enjoy the marvel of the Creative Process/LIFE. Words to cherish ~ and enjoy :-)

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  7. Nicely put. And, I too, would love to purchase prints of your work. I really want the Beatles one too. Nudge, nudge...

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  8. If I didn't know better I'd say you had a direct line to my brain chatter last night! Especially the comment about having too much black to fill in! I swear if I stopped to listen to all the "buts" and "can'ts" I'd never complete another zentangle. Thanks for sharing - nice to know it's just part of learning curve on this journey. Beautiful quote and ZT.

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  9. Carole, this reflection is absolutely wonderful.

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  10. You definitely put the "zen" in Zentangle. What a wonderful approach to the process. Connecting the now to the process was the missing piece I needed. Thank you so very much!

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  11. CAROLE, HOW WONDERFUL, YOU HAVE THE DEFINITIVE ESSENCE OF ZENTANGLES. I TOO WOULD LIKE TO BE IN LINE FOR A PRINT. WHAT'S THIS ABOUT THE BEATLES? GO OHIO CZTS! JEAN

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  12. Wonderfully put Carole! Thank you so much for sharing!! I'm getting in line for a print too!!!

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  13. Wow, I am overwhelmed by the response to this post! It's apparent how deeply Zentangle resonates with so many. I feel very fortunate to have found such a wonderful community of tanglers, both online and off! Thank you all for the kind words, and seeing that so many want prints, I will see what I can do about that! Thanks, everyone.

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  14. Well put, everyone! I'm going to copy your comments, Carole, and keep them in one of my Zentangle folders so I'll be able to refer to it months from now. Thanks.

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  15. What a gem you are Carole, can we add 'The act of admiring and appreciating'? Thank you for creating and writing your special piece of treaure!

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  16. beautiful art and quote. Pam B

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  17. One thing, AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Another 2 words, GREAT JOB!!!!!!! Love your work i am only 14 and people think i am an artist!

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  18. Oh! my, that is the most beautiful expression of being in right brain! I too would love a poster of this piece of art. I have been a self proclaimed artist my whole life, and one of our art teachers used to have us do something similar to zentangles before each class to allow us to feel right brain. I am teaching myself how to do them, one day I hope to be able to have proper training.

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  19. Miss Carole~ I am so glad I came across this!!! When published, I had not yet been blessed by Zentangle. You have directly connected my thoughts and feelings into words, and as always, you have inspired and enlightened me! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! BLESS YOU!
    Zentangle IS being in the NOW and has helped me in so many ways personally- it has truly been a Godsend to me--as you,your words and your art have been to me, also. God Bless and Keep on Tanglin' On~

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  20. Hi Carole,
    Just read this from Linda's Tangle Refresher. So wonderfully written. Thank you!

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  21. Isn't it wonderful when your words last forever. Here it is 2017 and this newbie finds it every bit as inspiring as the women in 2010 did! Thank you for saying what many of us are actually thinking and when we forget the thinking we are in the "Zen".

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  22. Beautifully written! And beautiful art. Thank you for the inspiration. Cheryl C.

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