It’s a dangerous thing to play with labyrinths as part of my morning pre-work ritual of drawing. It was very easy to spend an hour or so more than my alloted drawing meditation time. In my continued Tangled Labyrinth explorations, this week I tried a few more forms, and spent more time on noticing the physicality of the moment.
When tangling labyrinths, I discovered that the act of actually drawing INTO a labyrinth was quite different than simply walking the path physically or tracing the path with my finger. In the last post I mentioned an extra focus. Having now played with a few more labyrinthine forms, I’ve noticed more specific sensations and challenges.
The form immediately above, a simpler version of a Chartres-form medieval type labyrinth, is more challenging to set up (I have not found or figured out an easy step by step illustration for this structure yet). I went to tangle inside the bands, filling/following the path from the center out. While tangling the path, it became clear, that it FELT like a larger project, with all the bends and turns. And the act of filling those turns with my pen asked me to pay more attention to TURNING of my paper/journal as I tangled the labyrinth path, even more so than a standard Zentangle tile.
As I felt more drawn in to the rotational movement, I noticed that the directional quality of the tangles I chose also made a difference in not only my focus and sensations as I tangled. In the sample immediately above on the right, I chose a multidirectional tangle that builds off each subsequent section… “Baton” (Carole Ohl, Fig. 1). It felt as if I was building a pathway, carefully laying triangular ‘brick-like’ wedges along the path. I had to pay greater attention as I turned each corner, and that extra attention was even more centering and meditative.
In the image at the top of this post, I used the tangle “Shattuck” (Zentangle, Fig 2.) in the topmost labyrinth. Similiarly, this asked me to pay more attention to turning the paper incrementally as I worked, but the finished result really surprised me as this pattern feels more unidirectional and yet in each turn of a corner, the pattern moves in the opposite direction from the section next to it and produced a somewhat WOVEN effect.
I also find, that while not quite a “tangle within a tangle” effect going on, it’s interesting to first focus on the mindful qualities of building the labyrinth, connecting stroke by stroke, followed by experiencing the ‘walk’ via tangling the path.
I’d love to see what you do with the labyrinth as form, string and experience in tangling and drawing. You can also read the first part of my labyrinth explorations, The Tangled Labyrinth, Part I, here..