Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Oh, So Comfortable!

Ever since I first heard it, I have found the modern expression "comfortable in your skin" appealing. Part of the attraction is probably envy as I cannot recall ever feeling comfortable in my own skin. Rather, from the age of earliest memories, I wanted to be invisible -- not only invisible but absolutely silent as well. I remember reading about how the North American Native Peoples could walk through the forest and I practiced for hours in the woods behind our home trying to go a set distance without making the slightest sound!

So, to this very day, whenever I see people in pictures or in real life who look comfortable in their skins, I find them tremendously appealing. The original photo of this lady looked that way to me and so I wanted to draw her. I call the drawing, obviously, "Comfortable in Her Skin". I wish I could meet her so I could hear her voice and listen to her laugh!

One place I always find people who seem to be comfortable with themselves is anywhere there are youngsters -- and sometimes, amazingly, their parents seem to be at peace with themselves as well. This is the feeling I got from this mother and child -- everything about them comes across as natural and comfortable. I keep thinking I will draw their picture someday.

Another place where I sometimes come across "real" people is in any type of meditation classes, yoga groups or contemplative prayer groups. Like anywhere else, there can be a lot of posturing in these places as well -- and having been a well-developed posturer for most of my life, I quickly recognize one of my own kind!

When I saw this monk's picture in a news article, I felt he might be really sincere, really at peace with who and what he is. This led me to want to do a drawing of him and I am pleased with the results. The title, as you may recall, is simply "Meditation".

This next photograph was so lovely that I just had to keep it although I knew that I would never even try to draw it.

I am uncertain, of course, how aware babies are at this age of the skin

that they are in, but whatever

awareness they have, you know

they are comfortable much of the time.

This one looks like such a precious little angel all nicely posed and costumed. It is easy to forget that this baby, like all human beings, can get red in the face with anger. But even then a person who accepts who and what they are can be comfortable with themselves.

This next drawing is another one you have seen previously.

It is entitled "Walking Tall".

I have had the pleasure of meeting this young man once and I have seen photos of him and heard about him ever since he was born. So I can tell you from personal knowledge, this is a young man who is very comfortable in his own skin at this point in his life. I pray that this may always be so.

This happily smiling young man is also a friend of mine. He is really a charmer without even trying to be and he is very, very comfortable in his own skin although I am not sure how aware he is of it since he spends a lot of his time sleeping!

One of these days before too long I will be drawing a picture of him -- probably the first of many as he is also quite good looking with that mop of curly hair.

This is another drawing of mine you have seen before -- in fact, you have seen it twice previously: the first time as a drawing; the second as a holy card. I think both times it was entitled "John Paul the Great".
Here was a man who appeared to live his whole life being comfortable in his own skin. Never once in the hundreds of times that I saw him on tape, live being beamed to us by satellite or in person did I ever feel he was posing or posturing. People said to me that he had trained as an actor and so he knew how to manipulate the crowd. Maybe so, but whatever he did, he never moved outside of his own comfort zone. Rather, he brought you into his "skin" so you could share his own inner peace for a while.

As you may recall, this little girl's name is Lenny and she lives in Zambia. She is one of the wonderful children that I send money for every month. I receive letters from her a couple of times a year along with a new photograph. This drawing was done from the photo that she sent to me in 2006.

From her letters and her photos, she seems to be a young woman who is at peace with herself and with the life she has been given.

Finally, I want to give you another look at the drawing entitled "Division is Difficult".

This young boy is unknown and basically unknowable. His picture appeared in the newspaper some months ago as part of a larger photo. I liked his posture and what I could see of his facial expression.

He looks like the kind of little boy who can study (and learn) with both the TV and the radio on at the same time!

The only other person I have ever known who could do that was a young man studying to be a doctor and really totally at peace with himself!

I pray that someday people will be able to say about us all: Those people are really comfortable in their own skins!

Peace be with you.

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