Thursday, September 3, 2015

Draw What You See

Sirens racing past.  Two police cars, another unmarked and one ambulance.  I'm picking up dinner as I see them pass, wondering what could be going on in our small town.  The ten o'clock news reveals that there is a hostage situation at our county jail.  It is the same county jail that I have volunteered at for the last five years.  It is where I will be in just a few short hours.

A local detective who has worked closely with animal control has been placed on administrative leave without pay, pending investigation of misconduct.  My husband has worked with him for years.  He has always respected him. 

In high school, I took an art class.  I wanted desperately to be an artist.  But, I could not draw.  I was a serious coloring book aficionado, growing up.  But, drawing left me frustrated.  In our very first class, the teacher gave us each a huge sketching pad and pencil, placed an object in the front of the room and said, "draw what you see." 

That was it.  As she walked around the room, I stopped her and said, "I just can't seem to do this."  She looked at me and smiled, "draw what you see."  And that is all that I got for the rest of the year.

It wasn't until I began to write and I was told, "Don't tell me, show me", that I started to understand my problem.  As I began to put on paper what I actually saw, separating it from the way that I felt, I realized how often I saw with my head instead of my eyes. 

What do I actually see?  How has my perception colored what is?

A friend posted her son's " one second movie" on Facebook.  There is an app where you record one second each day for a year and then it creates a movie from your collection of one second videos.  It was so interesting that I decided to buy the app and make my own movie.  My friend's son is a professional; not only was his movie very good, he made it look easy.

He pointed out that this app, helped him to look for the good in each day.  It's true.  I am more observant.  I am always on guard for that moment--a second that is worthy of interest. But, for me, it also helped me to see that a random moment probably isn't so random.

And, perhaps I am learning that what I see has many more layers.  And, separating what I see from what I feel has tremendous value.  Maybe that is why I write.  Maybe seeing with my head and my heart are just as important to the story.  Maybe that is why I have so many questions. 

As the mother of a recovering addict and alcoholic, staying in each moment and realizing that I can't "see" beyond what is within the scope of my vision or the confines of my heart and mind has given me tremendous freedom.  It also helps me to be responsible with my moments--my seconds of each day that all too often, I tend to take for granted.

This post may be a bit random.  But, sometimes these seemingly arbitrary moments won't leave my thoughts.   When that happens, I usually know that there must be a nugget of value in them.  Why did my mind tie advice from a high school teacher to yesterday's news and a friend's FB post? 

To me this is fascinating.  It is a part of why I love to write.  I hope that you will capture what is special about your day and unearth what the moment has for you to learn.

Feeling grateful for the lessons learned in recovery and this community.  I'll take time today to pray for Henry--yours and mine.



Anonymous said...

Loved your posts, happy that you are writing on your blog again and so glad that your son has chosen recovery. Hope and pray my son does the same!

Hattie Heaton said...

Kathy Id love to pray for him. If you are comfortable sharing his first name, I will pray for him by name. Thank you for reading.

Annette said...

Love seeing your name pop up in my reader. This post was so beautiful.....draw what we see. I love that. Live in this moment. Just do today. The mantras that have given me back some sanity. (A little bit...maybe.) lol