Spending time drawing, even drawing badly, is a way to drop us into the land of the right brain, the place in our minds through which the Divine has a prayer of cutting through our habitual stories and reaching us.
Recording your journey thorough sketching--and even the most rudimentary stick figures qualify as sketching, here--is a foundational practice of intentional hiking for several reasons.
- It encourages you to slow down, which helps focus your attention on your journey.
- Slowing down encourages you to pay attention to what excites you. It’s this excitement which offers clues to what gives you your deepest soul life, which is what this journey is all about after all.
- It also helps you have a fuller experience by revealing things you otherwise would have missed.
- It helps you get into a meditative state of flow, which is exactly the place where you meet your soul, because...
- This focus and flow shuts off the chatter of the ego, which is forever trying to drown out the quiet voice of the Divine.
- When you stop and spend time really looking at, and really seeing, the thing that called out to you, the experience captures so much more than what you see in front of you. It cements the memory and experience of that moment as well as the web of connected memories related to that moment. These all become indications of what excites and delights us, windows opened to our heart’s desires and our soul's requirements for fulfillment.
So no judgment about artistic ability.
No worries about having the "right" materials.
A pen or pencil and a piece of paper will do just perfectly.
The juice is in the paying attention. Sketching the journey gives us the chance to pay closer attention to the journey and to the things that excite us along the way.
RE: The silly sketch above... It doesn't look like much, but I remember so much about that moment--the heat of the day and the warm breeze ruffling the pages; the sound of the farms below my perch...donkeys, cars, machinery; the conversation I had with 82 when he passed on his way down to Daleville; how excited hikers were about getting to town. Recalling that from this one sketch then leads me to more memories of Daleville, Finnisher, BBQ, sitting with Maneater on the lawn and the motel, 82 ending up with my laundry and knowing it was mine because he'd seen me in that outfit every day for two weeks. It goes on and on and it's like it happened yesterday. All from this silly sketch.