I believe in doodling. I believe in unconscious displays of whatever happens to be on my mind, and the fact that what shows up on the paper afterwards is impossible to interpret. Whether I am working at school or just mindlessly sitting at my desk at home, it seems that I always end up drawing unidentifiable figures or just random geometric shapes. Whatever I am thinking of, either consciously or subconsciously, will most likely show up on the paper sooner or later, and in this way I can unleash my abstract thoughts.
This does not, however, seem to hinder my ability to learn. For instance, at times I will look back at a page complete with drawings and pick out random a random figure, and I will be able to remember the exact lesson of that day and the idea that was being taught upon its creation. This act of doodling helps me escape from the logical and scheduled part of the day in which I am forced to constrict my mind and focus on ideas that have a way in which they must be done. In this way doodling allows me to express myself even for just a moment.
In no way do I consider myself anything close to a good artist. If you ask me to draw a tree as it appears, I would not even know where to start, but if at any point in time I decide to draw a tree, I will doodle the best interpretation I have, and for the most part I will be content. Whatever is on the paper afterwards represents me and who I am. Every nuance that digresses from another person’s tree shows a nuance between another person and me, not only in ability to draw, but also in how I am feeling at that moment.
Because of this doodling to me represents the freedom to escape from the rigorously logical aspects of my everyday life. I am able to balance this out and slow things down for a while. The Zen-like act of scribbling random lines on a piece of paper allows me to relax from my otherwise active day, and rest for a while, if only for a second. This act of escaping is necessary in order to maintain my sanity, and although it seems to be an irrelevant act of pure fooling around, doodling is in fact a highly significant part of my life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.