Today is day 1500.
Should I draw 1500 dots, 1500 boxes, 1500 oranges?
I began daily drawing in late December 2004. When I got to day 28, I was so pleased and surprised that I made a video and began posting the drawings to this blog.
When I got to day 100, I bought myself a bigger box of watercolor crayons.
So for day 1500...?
Hmm. Mile markers, anniversaries, and birthdays are good. This year, my marriage turned 21 and I will turn 50. And signposts like those are worth celebrating, I think, even if they aren't really the point. I didn't get married in order to have anniversaries. I don't draw in order to have created a particular round number of drawings. After each celebration, I realize that over the long run, there's no particular magic number.
I breathe. I play. I love. I get to share things. I reflect. I find satisfaction in small moments.
Drawing teaches me to notice. To plunge in, regardless. To mess around. To make mistakes in public and keep going anyway.
"If a thing is worth doing," wrote G.K. Chesterton, "it's worth doing badly."
(And I have dozens of late-night paintings of oranges and smudged drawings of my right hand.)
As time has passed, I've gotten the chance to draw elsewhere. For nine months one year, I drew in the museum. I drew an extra drawing every day of November. Twice. I've contributed weekly drawings of Pittsburgh to a group blog since 2006. I now draw at the Pittsburgh Symphony, and was invited to join a new urban blog this fall. I'm grateful for the way my daily project has opened new opportunities.
So this particular performance continues. It is an open-ended version of my life, going by at one frame per day. An extreme sport, if we talk about extreme slow motion, near geologic pace in an age of short attention spans.
And what have I learned?
Will power doesn't count much. Delight does. Find something that delights you enough, and you will keep doing it anyway. Even on days when the biggest obstacles are your own expectations.
So my wish is to keep finding the delight. To have the chance to be present, slow down, and pay attention for a moment. Every day.
A small treat.
Thanks for being such good company en route.