This exercise made me think of the concept of humility. This quality is part of both Eastern and Western religious thought, and is actually very tricky. Here are some quotes I found about humility. Note the last one in light of the tricky part!
- Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else. - Madeleine L'Engle
- One cannot be humble and aware of oneself at the same time. - Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet
- I think that there is a very close connection between humility and patience. - His Holiness The Dalai Lama
- It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels. - Saint Augustine
- All streams flow to the ocean because it is lower than they are. Humility gives the ocean its power. - Lao Tzu
- Humility, that low, sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot. - Thomas Moore
- Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less. - C. S. Lewis
- The proud man can learn humility, but he will be proud of it. - Mignon McLaughlin
The practice of Zentangle requires us to employ patience in our strokes and also patience in knowing what the final tile will be when completed. That is not always apparent as we work through each tangle. Sometimes it is not apparent until we add shading or a black fill between shapes or some rounding to the meet points of our strokes. What at first may appear bland and ordinary suddenly snaps into focus and becomes extraordinary.
When we are fully immersed in drawing our tangles, we can indeed, throw ourselves away in complete concentration. That is one of the foundational elements of Zentangle. Rick and Maria's story of how the idea of Zentangle came to be involves just such a state of mind.
The idea of mindfulness also connects with the concept of humility. When we focus on each moment, in Zentangle, each stroke, we are not comparing our work with that of others. We do not say, oh, I have just made a masterpiece. We concentrate on the task of setting down this stroke at this moment. Then, we focus likewise on the next. We continue until we have filled our space. The result is beautiful, but not because we were proud of ourselves for making that stroke. Even if we achieve a resulting tile that we are exceedingly pleased with, how much more beautiful is it when placed in a mosaic with tiles that others have done? Some of the most wonderful moments I experienced at CZT training were viewing those end-of-the-session or end-of-the-day displays of the work of 108 tanglers all together on a table. They lifted my heart!
So, here is my humble contribution to the Diva's challenge:
That's New To Me #25 challenge was to use tangles beginning with "F" that we had not used before. I used Deb Eichorn's tangle "Farling" and Sandra Strait's tangle "Foh-Glove". Interestingly, Linda Farmer described Farling as a "masculine" tangle. Maybe, but not in the hands of a lifelong girly-girl...
Square One: Purely Zentangle focused on Arukas this week. Having done this tangle a number of times, and having seen the beautiful work of so many tanglers, it was a challenge to know how to use it once again. This came to me in a dream. The scanner made it crooked, but I'll accept that today.
Finally, I tried to do a little Meander Book for my granddaughter's birthday. Apparently, my instruction-following skills are a little lacking, because the last section was sticking out the wrong way! Oh well, I cut it off and used the rest. I punched a hole in the edge and tied it with a bit of twine. I think this abbreviated version works just fine. Hope she likes it!
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