Early Saturday. The city is yawning around me - the shops wiping the sleep from their eyes, shutters rising, chairs being put out. The sun creeps down on us, illuminating shade with the reflected glare. The dribs and drabs who emerge squinting or be-shaded stretch facial muscles to awake the mind and clear the sight - last night was a big night. Coffee is ordered, breakfast confronted, and slowly the world begins to release the beauty of the day.
The delightful chill accentuates the warmth - the weather and the weekend giving a sense of calm, of relaxation to the figures walking across the square in my sketch. The people next to me sit languorously across their tables taking in the day. My hand moves, placing the world on the paper - orientating the buildings, vehicles and the ornamentation in relation to each other - watching people come and go, holding for a second to the world around them, then flickering to the next thing, then the next - the busy beginning to grow.
For this time a person lives in their movement, their gait, their stance, a facial twitch - a raised eyebrow is everything. Immediately personality, prejudice and point of view are reduced to a slight shuffle in the left leg, or the way in which they hold the weight in their shoulders. This is the joy of sketching the world, watching the everyday become a playtime for the imagination - more people creation than people watching.
Staying still for a moment, seeing the world continue around me, feels like I am divested of time - I am free to watch, to notice. What is to come, what there is to do is for another person, for another place. The worry of obligation and self regulation is gone, shelved for a while and instead of the tick-tock of the clock moments pass with a look, a sip, a shrug. Words and pictures jumble, drifting in and out of focus as thought gives them a free reign, lying - sprawled, in the field of the timeless and purposeless. For today I am Odysseus and my quest has been derailed so that I may see the end anew.
This is a Saturday for the Lotus, for the noticing of things. Boy is it hard work.