Inktober and The Dragon

It’s been a while since I last posted, so here’s the next batch of Inktober sketches. I would have liked to have drawn the dragon with me on its back – but didn’t have time nor talent to do so quickly.

#Inktober days 10 to 12

I’m enjoying the use of ink and in particular my OHP non permanent markers which ‘bleed’ with the use of the water brush. Initially I had just blue and green but on Friday a search through my desk drawer revealed a red one, and on a shopping trip I purchased a black gel pen which works quite well in that way.

When doing the dragon I was reminded of a Praying Through Film retreat I attended in July 2010. I went on this retreat with the aim of resting, relaxing and NOT doing any deep inner work.  I wanted to rest and go with the flow, not strive.  I hoped that I would manage it.  As is my usual practise at the start of a retreat, I walked prayerfully in the labyrinth. I looked ahead to see if I was nearly at the end.  Jesus pointed out that I often do this instead of simply enjoying the present moment.   

I didn’t set out to rake over the past.  Honest!  God had other ideas.  For 7 days w e watched a different film each morning, had free time the rest of the day and a time of worship and group sharing in the evening.  Each day I seemed to be faced with an emotional issue. One night I had a strange dream involving being stuck in a muddy field with no gate, being unable to get to the brighter other side. On the fourth day we watched The Waterhorse.

The film is about a lonely young boy named Angus who discovers a large, mysterious egg along the shores of Loch Ness. He soon discovers that the strange, mischievous hatchling inside is none other than The Water Horse, the loch’s most mysterious and fabled creature! But with the Water Horse growing ten times its size every day, Angus finds it increasingly difficult to keep his new friend a secret. There was a scene in the film where the Waterhorse, named Crusoe, escapes the loch. It reminded me of my desire to escape and the fears that had held me back. After watching the film looking over the fields I see a fence and I think about the idea of befriending the thing that’s feared.

I had a time of silent prayer with just the mantra “be still, you’re safe” which then became simply “be still”. I wrote a poem about making friends with my inner child. I was coming to terms with the end of the marriage and I decided that instead of slaying the dragon ‘fear’ I would tame it, and become its friend. Riding on its back is much more adventurous than slaying it and staying where I am.

At the end of the retreat I painted the field and also wrote a poem as a summary of the retreat.

“Somewhere beyond your sense of right and wrong there is a bright field.
Come and join me there.”
This was God’s invitation to me
And I accepted
how was I to get there?
Fenced off and no gate.
I gazed across the field
but got stuck in the mud
up to my neck
I’d gone on the retreat to rest
to regain strength.
I was going to go with the flow
too tired to pray
too drained to think
not realising I was on the brink
of a roller coaster ride through rapids.
Through films, dreams and new friends
I’ve faced the dragon of fear.
Alone, only I could slay it.
But before I could draw my sword
the battle plan half formed
instead of slaying Fear I would
tame it.
So riding my new friend
flying through the air
above mud and mire
through laughter and tears
till finally over the fence
I came to rest
in that bright field,
at peace, quiet and still.
Still enough to know
I am loved
by God
by friends
by me.

The unobtainable bright field

Looking back I can see that I have come a very long way since 2010. Indeed, last Saturday I met some clergy colleagues who I hadn’t seen since 2011. They both said I looked younger! And I know they were not chatting me up. I put it all down to the love of a good man (my lovely husband whom I met in 2012).

Thank you for reading this. If you have enjoyed it, please share with others.


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