It all started with stress, specifically, my desire to reduce it. No one seemed to be doing this on my behalf, so I took it upon myself to make OM. I had help, of course, and urging- mainly from my mother. She is a pusher of all things that make me uncomfortable. How many ways can you tell someone you aren't interested in trying meditation? Multiply that by ten and you are close to the number of excuses I have been forced to concoct. No to yoga. No to Tai Chi. No to drumming, crystal bowls, sound healing, Chi Gong, chakra balancing and acupuncture. And NO to "it's not Yoga, it's stretching".
I did try, and actually liked, her offering of Reiki. I attribute this modality to my relative sanity that characterized the past four years. But the kicker in the butter was art class. It's not that I didn't say "no" a hundred times. I did. But I, one time, said "yes". And that was the time I realized how much I needed the neurons firing on both sides of my brain. My belated arrival at this conclusion might be less ironic if the rest of my family wasn't skilled in various art forms.
So, yes, I was shocked when I agreed to let my mom show me how to use the pastels she had sitting out on her table. It was the gradients of color and perfectly shaped rectangles that awoke my OCD (self diagnosed) and lured my hand to their smooth surface. What kept me hooked, however, was the emancipation they brought from my left brain's persistent work to figure things out, show no fear, fight the good fight, attain perfection, and fry my sanity while doing it...all. For the moments I used them, the pastels allowed me to narrow my focus singly to the residue left behind on the sketch paper.
I come to art like a photographer who has collected years of undeveloped film and is, for the first time, gaining access to a darkroom. The anticipation of the developing memories, visions, and compositions has put me in my right mind. And it is good.