we did this exercise in an art class i took a few summers ago. rather than draw in the shadows with our pencils, we covered a sheet in charcoal, and lifted away with a kneaded eraser the parts that were illuminated. revealing the light, rather than shading in the dark.
another exercise, drawing the negative space. rather than the subjects themselves, the contours of the spaces that surround them.
i’m sitting in a library along a row of desks lined up against a short wall that holds in the ground from which several trees grow. sunlight streams through, grazing the surfaces of leaves, shining spotlights on the tanbark of the floor, seeping through the semitransparent fronds of green. behind me are lines of emptied library stacks, set up like a perspective drawing, rectangular lines leading towards a vanishing point. there are two, but one is out of sight, obscured by more of the turn-by-crank shelves.
it’s a wonderful library.
you’re wonderful. just by virtue of being alive. the same way a newborn is wonderful. perhaps not as fragile as one, but in some ways, maybe more. both fragile and wonderful.