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IMR: Painting & Poetry

Not everyone looks back on their freshman year roommate with fondness, but I 100% do. She and I were a match made in Heaven—or by whoever in Admissions sorted through those introductory quizzes and matched people together. Right up until COVID sent us all home, we were inseparable. We did basically everything together, or at the very least debriefed about everything we did each day at night. One of my favorite things we did was share our art.

PAINT NIGHT! What a great escapist tradition, and also a great way to bond. I wouldn’t call socializing escapism per se, but we can talk more about that in another post. And my old roommate had a magic touch when she painted, one specific kind of painting in particular: Copycatting. (I’m sure that’s not at all what that’s called, but it sounds fun, right?)

I was going to insert her artwork here, but we’ll have to see if she finds time to take pictures of it. She’s a busy lady!

I’ve also dipped my toes into painting myself; I have my ex-boyfriend’s girlfriend to thank for that. She bought me some wonderful canvases, acrylic paint, and brushes for my birthday, and over a few months I used them all. Just recently I went to Walmart to buy more. There’s something so comforting about painting, and it’s easy to lose track of time while you do it. I’m no expert, and I only know the basics of mixing colors (and I do it on printer paper instead of an easel), but it’s still great fun. I love pastimes where you get in the “flow” state. It’s not easy, but it’s rewarding!

My other favorite flow state activity is writing poetry. Over the last six months, I’ve written over 220 poems. I don’t keep a close count, but every once in a while I see how many I’ve written and put them in a folder. I’m proud of how much I’ve been writing, but to be honest, sometimes it feels like I don’t have a say in the matter. A line will jump into my head and if I don’t write it down, I get frustrated and freaked out. A blessing mostly, and sort of a curse if I’m driving, in class, or operating heavy machinery.

For a few minutes, every time I write a poem, I forget all about everything around me. I might as well be floating in outer space. My mind is utterly focused on the words and the tweaks (I do one or two line edits re-reading each poem when I finish it). It’s comforting. Maybe that’s why I write so often these days. I can always use the extra comfort.

Next week I’ll talk about an escapist pastime I’ve put down (meaning I stopped doing it) as of August, but still holds a dear place in my heart: Dungeons & Dragons. Stay tuned. 

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