Tuesday, March 4, 2008

re-discovering drawing or not

In my spare time in the ICU- that means when nurses don't come to change IVs or my pee bag or draw some blood or come rushing by because of the wires that hang from all over my body beep - I try different methods of communication with my mom. Mom writes something on a piece of paper, I copy it down. Then I try to draw something. Am I capable of drawing now? In the past I was an amateur artist. I really wonder what my mind and my hand will do, as I begin to draw.
I think of drawing a straight line...
Ta da... My hand draws a straight line! Now some circle, yes, it is a circle!! Now that I get the hang of it I draw all kinds of things: a triangle, a square.... Yes! maybe I can communicate after all, by drawing! I am so so so happy!

Then I try more complex things like a chair. I look at a chair in the room, I try to imagine the concept of the chair... My my mind is totally blank. Nothing comes to the minds eye, exactly the same way words won't come. Instead of a chair I draw a rectangle. Everytime I try to imagine a concrete concept, my hand draws the nearest schematic resemblance to it. For example a table becomes a rectangle, a yogurt cup becomes a circle on a square…

Then I try a different tactic: instead of trying to draw it myself, I want my mom to draw it. Maybe like the written word, I can copy the pictures down.
She draws a tree, copy down the tree. She draws a cherry, I copy down the cherry.
But this time, I can draw the same tree, from memory, without looking. Yippie!

The interesting thing is: I can draw the tree, exactly as it was, but I cannot draw another one. For example, if my mom draws an apple tree, I can imagine THAT apple tree, but cannot make a variation, cannot draw a pine tree for instance.

Isn’t that very interesting? Maybe, if you think from a historic perspective, this is the reason how the picture-scriptures have evolved, like those of ancient egyptians or ancient Chinese. Maybe there is a separate section in our brain that specifically deals with schemata, with is different from images and from word.

Heck I am learning so much here, I feel almost like a living science experiment.

I really feel that way at the moment. As I said previously I am not depressed at all, I am only curious about what will come next. It is a shame really, not to being able to share all those thoughts with my mom or with my husband…

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