Sunday, 14 August 2016

Reflections at a Quaker Meeting

As Meeting begins, I see a chair.

It's a very ordinary chair, metal-legged, plastic-cushioned, such as used to be in countless business meetings and university seminars.

And as the Silence descends, I find myself wanting to sketch it.

The morning light hits the metal legs, and the reflections in the ancient, dark polish of the meeting house floor seem to dip below the surface in long, silver cones.  I sit, wishing I had the courage to pull out my sketchbook and try to capture it, knowing it's beyond my skills.

I've been taking my third session of art lessons with a friend who has taught both of my daughters.  This is the first time she has offered drawing, so I spend her two-hour classes trying to draw what I see -- and falling short, of course.  I rather like my creations, but am aware that I'm not really hitting her objectives.  This doesn't particularly trouble me.  In drawing, as in painting, photography, and writing, you are forced to slow down and notice details, and that's the point, isn't it?

Rather like a Quaker Meeting for Worship.

I don't have the gumption to haul out my sketchbook, but I do quietly pull out my notebook and scribble:  "Who polishes the floor? -  Surely they do it with love."

When I look back to the chair, the reflections in the floor have vanished. The light has moved on.

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