Hesitancy, Drawing at The Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, and Honoring the Imagination of Our Hearts…

Today, and with my youngest child, I visited The Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, otherwise known as The Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels in Belgium.

Immediately upon entering the lower lobby she spied a life drawing class offered free to anyone who wanted to participate.

A model stood posed on a stage in front of the class of around 10.

Upon seeing the children sitting amid the adult, both groups immersed in drawing, my child grew fascinated.

Not until some minutes later after much observation from above as we strolled through the upper galleries did I receive the verbal request, “Can I try that, Mommy?”

Having settled into viewing the works of the Belgian and Dutch painters, I was slow to answer.

On my saying, “Yes,” hesitancy rose in my child’s eyes. “I don’t know.”

Softly I took my child’s hand.

We went downstairs and the teacher moving about the students set up an easel.

My child began drawing.

Though I am an abstract painter my initial interest was in observing the class.

After snapping some pictures of my child, along with the others, immersed in drawing, I returned to my seat and took in the various poses of the models on the stage.

After much encouragement from the instructor and her assistant and much inner nagging—I have not painted in the last 12 months and very little in the year or so prior to that—I drew up an easel.

It felt nice placing charcoal to paper, much like putting pen to paper.

The visceral nature of the work calmed me.

I’ve focused much of my time in the last 3 years, and with great intensity, on my writing.

It was good to be back practicing an art that I do completely for myself—my enjoyment, and growth both as a writer and a person.

Like a friend of mine who often says of priests, “He’s a man of god, but a man first,” we writers much remember that we are people, human individuals, women and men.

Our writing flows out of and reveals as much of our identity as our preference for a certain flavor of ice cream.

To ignore this aspect of ourselves, who we are, what makes us unique and different, special and delineates our purpose and desires for living, what brings us joy, raises fear and doubts and gives us and our lives meaning, is to avoid the very thing that enlivens and fuels our writing.

To share stories is human.

To receive and let them move us is to grow.

Our stories are as much a guide and map to us as those with whom we share them.

Let us all listen to and honor the imagination and realities of our hearts.

~ by Anjuelle Floyd on July 6, 2010.

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