Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Life at arm's length

I'm a little right-brained and a little left-brained. Not sure where that leaves me categorically, but I know that while I love images and color and shapes and that artsy, creative stuff, I also have a knack for details. That comes in handy at times, especially in my day job, which requires being organized and keeping several balls (with lots of little details within the details) in the air.

The downside of being detail-oriented is that sometimes I forget to look at the big picture. I had an "aha!" moment just recently when I was sitting at my dining room table working on a Zentangle® tile. I was suddenly transported back to the classroom (well, ballroom with tables, really) in Hotel Providence in Rhode Island. "Remember to stop and hold up your tile every once in a while. Look at it from arm's length," Maria and Molly and Rick each reminded all of us CZTs-in-training.

I have to work at remembering to do that. It doesn't automatically occur to me. I've got to stop focusing on only the elemental strokes and individual patterns, as enticing as that can be, and look at the tile as a whole. As I was sitting there tangling, it occurred to me that it's also good and healthy to look at life from arm's length every so often, to get some perspective.

Sometimes the day-to-day fragmented busyness of my life doesn't make sense to me. It appears to be a mishmashed mess, and I certainly can't see where I'm headed. But if I get hung up on the rollercoaster of the daily details of life, I sometimes miss the beautiful tapestry that is being woven out of what looks more like just a jumble of miscellaneous threads and yarn.

So, reminder to self... Remember to pause, look up, and view life at arm's length every so often. The richness of seeing the whole will be the reward for the effort.


  1. Wish we were back in the classroom. Wonderful job at capturing arm's length.

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Thanks very much. I'm finding there are aspects to the Zentangle philosophy that have real life applications I might not have expected!