Drawing of eyes

intimate self-portrait

As I kissed last of the guests good night after my birthday gathering, I could sense cold creeping up, my light and my shadow sentinels, stood motionless.

I felt weak and exhausted, torn between self-preservation and self-harm. Having misbehaved with my mother a few days back, I was punishing myself with the most photogenic of addictions, smoking. In between being horizontal, sipping warm water with lemon and honey, and having misplaced my spectacles, I opened one of my presents — a set of Koh-I-Noor graphite sticks. I cleaned up a recently rescued old mirror, and started looking up close, giving my myopia a real treat — I wanted to draw the mess I felt! Kneeling on the rug with my toes tucked under, inches away from this thin long mirror and sketchpad, both balanced on the same easel, I found my hands starting to sketch up. My eyes observed with renewed curiosity, and accepted without judgement — by the end of the day, a drawn pair of eyes was staring straight back from the paper.

… without regret to erase, nor, any anxiety or urgency to smudge.

Next day, decided to continue drawing up close, even though I found the specs. I drew for three days, winter days are short, and the sun wasn’t out always, little changes in light got magnified; I deliberately kept the pace slow. The close proximity afforded an intimacy with which I re-familiarised my self. I built on marks without regret to erase, nor, any anxiety or urgency to smudge. Gently, slowly, the forms emerged, features became recognisable, I could see in it calmness yet it retained the melange of emotions. With every mark, I thanked all who brought me closer to this act of self-love. And, I thanked myself for the courage to scrutinise intensely, to be objective yet subjective, harsh and tender without conflict — to transcend my conscious ego-state. Intimacy means, “in-to-me-see”, how can anyone, see into me and who I am; my fears, dreams, hopes and desires, unless I know who I am, and am willing to allow someone in? Intimacy begins with connection to one’s own heart, and, I feel all the stronger having shared my vulnerabilities.

2 thoughts on “intimate self-portrait”

  1. I consider myself fortunate to have seen the original but am saddened and concerned a little by the text at the start of the second paragraph. You help me with my vulnerabilities. I hope I could be there for yours. Big hugs.

    1. Dear Terry vulnerabilities are there to be embraced, and best when one is aware of them, only then we are able to accept and heal. I thank you for your kind thoughts.Somewhere I read, ” If you aren’t able to your own shadow, chances are you aren’t in the light.”, this resonated with me big time.

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