Drawing for the last time in my life

What if today is the last day of your life?

What if this is was the last blog post you will ever read? The last time you let your eyes run over the written words poured out of the mind of another human being, living somewhere else on this blue marble in space you call your home. I hope you would feel grateful, connected, in awe about the reality of this moment, and not afraid at all. If you woke up this morning knowing it was the last time you had the chance to open your eyes, to see light, to hear sound, to feel the world around you, wouldn't you try to suck it all in? To really see what you are seeing? To really hear with awareness?

Wouldn't you look at the face of your loved one with heartfelt love and gratefulness? Maybe even with sadness, because you regret all the times you just looked at your phone instead of listening to them fully, appreciating that you are together, that you met them at all, that you had the chance to spend some of your lifetime with them. They are so precious.

And what about yourself? This day could be the last day that your heart is beating for you. It was beating for you all your life, pumping blood. Every day, every moment. From the first initiating beat inside the womb of your mum, until today. Your little heart was beating for you when you were a child. It was growing with you, never stopping to beat the rhythm of your life while you were dancing and laughing, while you were sleeping, or grieving and sobbing. And it is beating right now, your precious heart in your precious body. Are you really aware of it?

What if today was the last day, that you could grab a pencil?

The last time to feel its weight in your hand. The last time seeing the blank paper, you might have been afraid of so many times. Feeling its structure, while you let your fingertips run over it. This is your last drawing. You will not hang it on your wall. You don't have the time to show it to somebody. You will not know how many likes it gets on social media. It is just you, the graphite, and the surface. Your last chance to express yourself.

"The pencil is the seismograph of the soul."

―  Glen Keane.

Maybe you let yourself flow out on the paper without judgment for the first time in your life. You have nothing to lose now. You are not afraid anymore. Observe how the tip of your pencil moves over the paper, don't even pay attention to what it might become. Breathe out, breathe in. Your heart is beating right now like it always was. Close your eyes and just feel the movement and the connection. It's a wonder. The wonder of art so many people before you have experienced. It is our shared experience as artists and humans. Be in awe about the fact that we have eyes and hands to see and do. Push the pencil as hard as you can and make the darkest mark possible. Draw without remorse, without fear, without expectation, without judgment.

Or do you get sad imagining all this? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? Would you rather push these thoughts away and turn to something that makes you feel better, because the feelings of sadness and grief are so unpleasant? Let them be.

It's been said that feelings that come back, are feelings that never left.

They want to be felt, in order to disappear. Feel the feelings you don't want to feel. Feel them and be free. A feeling is just an emotion: energy in motion. Allowing them to be, does not mean that you will be sad forever. Quite the opposite is true. If you push them down, they stay and they won't let you be in the here and now fully. If you let them out, they dissolve. Grab a pencil and pour your heart out. Cry over your paper if you have to. Live is hard. It's okay to cry. You get freedom as a reward.

“The grief that does not speak whispers the o'erfraught heart and bids it break.”

William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Memento mori

This concept gives you something very powerful. It can change your perspective on life and the things that really matter. You are not going to be here forever. Our days are counting down. You have only so many days left in this beautiful world, with your beautiful body and your amazing mind. If we refuse to look at the fact that all this is coming to an end, because it makes us sad, we also refuse to see the value and beauty of being alive. Please read this again.  We close our eyes, ignore the nature of reality and by doing so we lose the ability to appreciate the wonders around us and live a very shallow life. Which is so much sadder than crying for a day, because we realise our own mortality. If you are brave enough to be sad for some time, you get rewarded with the feeling of gratefulness, awareness, and a deep meaningful life.

You are going to die.

Draw without remorse, without fear, without expectation, without judgment.

Every time.

June 6, 2020

Julia Zieger © 2012 – 2020