Thursday, February 6, 2014

"Our Story Begins"

“Our Story Begins” declares the small notebook I picked up in the 798 art district in Beijing. “The world needs music, also the painting, even more the feeling of beginning” it adds in inimitable Chinese English.

True, I think.
A traffic accident during that same trip to the Far East left me unable to paint for several months. It’s been a protracted, sporadic convalescence, which often leaves me feeling that things are coming to an end, or are in flux, refusing to hold together.
Go back to the basics, my friend Jaqueline Nicholls advised. If you can’t paint, then draw. A drawing a day. Make it regular.
She should know. I have been following her Draw Yomi project for years.. Though I had already completed a Daf Yomi cycle, the drawing made me see things see anew, gave a unique, at times quirky perspective that linked elements of the daily Talmud page in a wholly new way.
I thought--the time has come to apply this mode of learning to my own primary passion: the Tanakh.

I thought it would be simple enough. Study one chapter of Tanakh each day, and bring it together with a drawing. Ahh, the naivety of inexperience.I started the project  in tandem with the new cycle of Torah readings following Simhat Torah. Pretty quickly, my chapter was out of sync. And with no objective deadline to answer to, a perek a day can slip away.

So here I am, several months later. Older, wiser, and less naïve—but also healthier and ready for a “feeling of beginning” which I hope the semi-public forum of a blog will provide.  

What follows are my daily exploration of the Tanakh--a drawing and prose poem a day


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