Monday, 2 November 2020

the wisdom of snails

I can't say that this year has seen me thriving, but I have been striving to keep up with the things that matter the most, and that in turn offer me the most solace.

When I finished the mammoth Zen-untangled project which kept me busy for the first six months of the year I lost my tangling way a little. I drew bits and bobs but struggled to find proper engagement. When Inktober was first mentioned I couldn't believe it was already that late in the year. I planned to spend time choosing a theme and preparing the required tiles and materials... and then October got closer and closer and I felt less and less ready or able to join in.

At which point I remembered one of the key principles that Zentangle teaches us - the elegance of limits. Our lives feel limited in all sorts of negative ways this year, but tangle limits were my saviour this October.  I chose to work small on tan Bijou tiles.  Just two square inches a day for each tangle. I limited my other tools too - working just in black ink, graphite for shading, and occasional white highlights.

In no particular order - one half of the tiles I tangled for Inktober 2020.
I worked from the list curated by Stephanie Jennifer.

When I started I felt rusty, out of practice and unsure. But day by day I felt my tangle muscles loosening up, both the lines and the inspiration coming more easily. Once again I am warmed to discover that Zentangle is a patient, loyal and undemanding friend who is always there for me despite occasional periods of neglect.

Limited tools allowed a simple way to create a cohesive collection.
Some tangles took me in very simple directions, others more complex.

Who knows where the next weeks and months will lead us. Who knows how much or little I will tangle, but for now I have 31 new additions to the small path of tiles that mark my way, steadily but shakily through this most bumpy year.