Defining Lines

“A line is a visual trail of energy that has been drawn across a surface, and is a manifestation of the life energy of the person that made it.” ~Mick Maslen

Much like elements define nature, our lives mark us.

Waters cuts. Wind etches. Sun chars. Lines twist, turn, and cross. Contours, creases, folds, and holes develop.  Sediments shift and adhere like glue. Objects evolve until the original shape is no longer recognizable. Do we do this as people?

Smokers develop lines around their lips. Creases etch their way upon the foreheads of frowners.  We bruise, scar, and break in reaction to pain. We cover our bodies in piercings and tattoos. We overeat or drink excessively creating layers of fat and yellowed skin tones. We sunbathe until we are dark and leathered. Most of these things are our choices. Do we like what we become? Are we recognizable to people of our past? Do we even care?

We wear the marks of our lives, whether we want to or not. We leave our marks behind as well. We often live our lives in haste and don’t give much consideration to what we’re leaving behind. I’m surely guilty of this at times. I want the strokes of my life to be ones of love and peace, but I must keep love and peace in my heart for the lines I draw to be of the same.

I spent last week on the water and under the sun. I certainly look like it. The elements did not carve me into a work of art. I am a combination of weird suntan lines. I have stripes across my feet from the straps of my water shoes. The lower portions of my legs remain untanned as they must have been shaded by the boat. The fronts of my legs are tanned while the backs are white…and there are portions where I missed spraying sunblock so those are now peeling. My arms are tanned (and freckled!) while my back is white because it was beneath a life jacket. The top portions of my legs were covered by the skirt of my swimsuit. Let’s say my pattern is somewhat similar to a calico cat, except without fur, and kittens are cute while this is not!

Anyway….this makes me wonder how “even” the lines of my inner life are. Am I consistent in my thoughts and actions? Do I project myself in straight lines, curves, or a rambling mess of swirls?

“Line is a rich metaphor for the artist. It denotes not only boundary, edge or contour, but is an agent for location, energy, and growth. It is literally movement and change – life itself.” ~Lance Esplund

32 thoughts on “Defining Lines

  1. Intriguing questions, Suzi, you’ve given me something to ponder. Great choice of photos too! Lines define the edges, then light and shade and the spaces in between make these weathered subjects more fascinating. As for my internal path ~ it’s wandered all over the place but my love comes straight from the heart! :)

  2. I try to be straight, but some times I take the windy path. I must look like a funny patchwork, but it all works to be me. Lovely photos. I hope your canoe tan evens out. :)

  3. Suzi, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this post – I read it THREE times because it’s so richly layered in thought and insight!

    I also enjoyed that first quote!

    I love how you shared the analogy of the elements defining nature, to how our lives mark us.

    “We wear the marks of our lives, whether we want to or not. We leave our marks behind as well.”

    That is so true! Like nature, our lives are an evolution; a journey, reflected not only in our physical appearance but also our inner life/path.

    For me, I think my life as been a combination of straight lines, curves, and also a rambling mess of swirls; bringing me to where I am presently.

    “We often live our lives in haste and don’t give much consideration to what we’re leaving behind. I’m surely guilty of this at times.”

    I am too; not always conscious of what I’m leaving behind.

    You’ve given me a lot to reflect on.

    Thank you, my friend! Have a great Monday….X

  4. A calico cat, huh? I wouldn’t have thought of that as a comparison, but yes, it’s so picturesque that I know just what you’re saying. Well said, too!

  5. Love the quote you started with – and your musings about the kinds of lines we project. Very thought provoking.
    And speaking of those “rambling mess of swirls,” did you see the story on Van Gogh yesterday? Some scholars speculate that the swirls in his paintings were representative of his madness…others say no, it was only one of his signature strokes.

    • I had not heard that quote before but instantly felt the words.
      No, I missed that…will have to google.
      They’ve always claimed it to be his madness, but maybe it really was his signature stroke…at any rate, his paintings are beautiful. I’ve always love Van Gogh paintings and have used many of them as inspiration for poems.

  6. I never connected lines to energy – thus, to life. I tend to think of them as boundaries, or markers. It’s fun to read something that challenges my thinking, my perception of things. Lines………..interesting enough, my full name is Joceline and when I was a child I was called Line – which is French for Lynn. hmm………..

  7. Your mind is an amazing place!

    I do think our experiences and encounters shape and change us. Not being consistent could represent growth and change. I don’t think that swirls have to necessarily be a “rambling mess”. Sometimes swirls are beautiful and add to the richness of things so It is my intent to project myself as light and not my responsibility as to how people receive, they might receive straight lines and/or curves or swirls . . . it is just open.

    I receive you as a beautiful, amazing, complicate, down to earth swirl of thoughts and connections. I have missed reading your posts, been tied up. I am trying to catch up.

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