Truth Experience #437

Truth Experience #437

January 4, 2014

The one where I graduated from 2nd grade stories and became friends with my eraser.

I found an old relic this week while scouring around in my brain.  It's something my second grade teacher said to me as I was drawing a poster-sized clown in art class, and it's apparently been lurking in my creative subconscious since then.

"Real artists don't erase their lines."

Erm... What?
No wonder I stopped sharing my doodles long, long ago.

I remember that being a damn fine clown.  Much finer without the lines that didn't add to the red-nosed vision.  But like a scratched LP, I began looping through the fear of making a mistake since I (obviously!) couldn't erase it.

In honor of finding that creativity-squashing BS sitting in my psyche, I pulled out my finest eraser and put it to work in a doodle journal.  Then I dared myself to post something (anything), erased lines and all, to Facebook.

The "Clean" Loop of Faith

Loop of Faith copy

Since it was New Year's Day, many people were posting their "word/theme/song" for 2014.  Deciding that I wanted an Image for 2014 rather than a word, I doodled what I hope 2014 will feel like. A "clean" loop of faith.  A "continuous loop between rest and play" as Martha Beck likes to call it—when life is sustainably running smoothly, playfully, and profitably.

Taking my own dare, I posted it.
The smudged unfinished look. The imperfection in the lines.  The fear of being judged.
It felt like play.  A leap of faith.

What had stopped me from sharing something like this in the past?  
The smudged unfinished look. The imperfection in the lines.  The fear of being judged.
It felt like hiding.  A lack of faith.

A change in perspective about eraser lines changes everything.

The Whole Picture

Employing my trusty eraser, here's what my world looks like when there is a lack of faith in myself, others, God, the Universe, or whatever else has the power to pull me through.

Loop of Faith 2 copy

I drop from the top loop of cathartic rest and joyful play to the bottom loop of fear and control.  And boy, have I mastered both sides of this loop: the passive, inactive, "avoid at all cost any situation that might result in judgement" side and the side of the workaholic.

Heading Due North

So how do you pop back up to the "clean" loop of resting and playing?

You guessed it...

Loop of Faith 3 copy

Take a Leap of Faith.

In this instance:  I poo-poo'd my second grade story that real artists don't have erasers and threw something out there for the sake of being able to play with my friends. Play before perfection is way more fun.

In fact, following the rules of having a "word of the year" when an image suited me better was having faith in my vision.

Faith in your vision can lead to far bigger things than a Facebook post with lots of comments.

Which means we'll need a much bigger eraser.  We've got lots of doodling to do!

In Truth & With Love,

Jennifer-Voss-Signature-purple

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Carla January 4, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Wow. Just wow. That is beautiful. So glad you shared it, eraser marks and all…
Thank you!!

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Jennifer Jennifer January 4, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Thank you, Carla!! xoxo

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Dawn January 4, 2014 at 7:48 pm

This is so profound and moving. I think perhaps we’ve been looking at things backwards, like looking in a mirror. It’s the eraser marks that create the true beauty! It is astounding to realize the lifelong impact that an unconsidered comment can have.
Thank you so much for sharing.

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Jennifer Jennifer January 4, 2014 at 8:37 pm

I think you are right, Dawn. I’m kind of fond of the smudge effect too. Thank you! And it is astounding what lives back in the crevices of our minds. :)

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missy hooton January 4, 2014 at 8:31 pm

I love, love this… and have printed it and put it up on my board so that I can be reminded every day! Thank you.

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Jennifer Jennifer January 4, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Thank you, Missy! I love the idea of printing it out. Duh… I’m going to put it on my vision board too!

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Carla January 5, 2014 at 12:53 am

Hi JVo,
I love love love the whole picture.. Thank you for sharing!
Will be making reference to it on a daily basis…
Much love xc

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Sheila January 7, 2014 at 4:55 pm

JVo – I LOVE LOVE LOVE this visual AND the story! Oh, the unlearning we have before us. Happy New Year – and THANK YOU!!!
XOXO
Sheila

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Kim Rice Whittemore January 15, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Jennifer:

I love what you did with Rest-Play – you took it to a whole new level of truth! I love your smudged lines, I love that it is pencil. I do have a few words that seem to fit my vision for 2014 and now I am going to play with some images to bring them to life – thanks for the inspiration!!

Big hugs,

Kim

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Lisa Culhane January 27, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Perfect timing! As I was sitting at my computer white knuckling the the control piece you popped in to remind me to take a leap of faith. Thank you.

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Beth February 6, 2014 at 10:34 am

This is brilliant. You have managed to beautifully capture the mental struggle (and solution) that has been plaguing me for months. I’m printing this right now as a succinct reminder to myself moving forward. Thank you so much for sharing!

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Julia March 2, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Very powerful J Vo! Thanks for sharing that.

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