Riding the Carousel

I love carousels. I have favorite memories of a particular one from my childhood. I loved looking at all the designs on this wondrous ride. The beautifully carved wooden horses with their coats of pretty paint went well with the sounds of the cheerful music playing in the background. The way the machinery worked intrigued me. I loved being able to go somewhere while staying in the same place.

That’s how it is when I meditate. My mind goes elsewhere while my body stays where it is. I follow my breath and close my eyes. Sometimes, I’ll keep my eyes open and focus
on one object, examining it like I’ve never seen it before. All the stresses of my day go riding around me, while my mind is centered on one thing. My chest rises and falls like a carousel horse, moving up and down in a rhythmic motion.

When I started this drawing, I was taking a video of it. My tripod held the camera while I held my pen. I never planned on putting a carousel horse in this drawing. He just found me. This is true of all my drawings. The birds, faces, and butterflies you find are never planned. They just materialize from the colored lines I scrawl on the paper.

I have arthritis and some other conditions that make drawing painful for me. Still, I
do it because it’s fun and gives me a sense of being prod I shake my hands every once in a while to relieve the cramping, then I rub them and continue the drawing.

“Wherever you go, there you are’. I’m sure some of my readers have heard that quote before. You can’t just pick up and go someplace else and expect everything to change until you change yourself. Once a carousel ride stops, you’re still at the park. You’ve still
got your bad habits, you’ve still got your bills and bad relationships, and you’re a few dollars short in the wallet.

Sometimes, I meditate while I’m drawing. For a moment, my thoughts are taken away from the stresses of daily life. After I’m done mediating, I’ve used up some time that
could have been used doing housework, calling a friend, or cleaning out my files. I still have a chronic illness, and I still face pressures like anyone else. On the outside, my life seems unchanged by meditating. On the inside, I’m more capable of handling all of that.

I have to wonder if this carousel horse didn’t just prance right out of my subconscious
onto the paper. Either way, the music hasn’t stopped.