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Fibromyalgia is the Teacher

'Fly Free' at the Ib Visual Arts art walk at Nippon, Second Life

I grew up with a pencil in my hand.

Okay, to be frank, so did everyone else of my generation. We didn't have computers or tablets in school. We were forced to read and write, to hone our sentences and watch our words, and to take pride in speaking well. It was a challenge, and we rose to it.

However, that isn't what I meant. What I meant was that from the time I was old enough to hold a pencil, I was drawing. All I ever wanted to do was draw. The problem is, I never thought of myself as being particularly good. Oh I could copy someone else's work like nobody's business. I could draw Wendy Pini's "ElfQuest" comics in my sleep, but when it came time to draw from life, or to try and bring something forth from my imagination, I couldn't draw a stick figure.

I had friends who could draw comics on-the-fly. I still have comics a friend drew of Raven and Reuben, our D&D characters, and they always make me smile. I'd watch other folks sketch at random and produce recognizable images with a fair amount of jealousy. People said that all I needed to do was practice, but I couldn't understand how. The steps between the two types of drawing eluded me. Why was I such a natural mimic, yet unable to sketch?

I saw this as a great failing on my part, and I saw myself as a fraud. Despite taking art classes all through high school, 2 years of art in college, and multiple online classes through the years, I still couldn't sketch to save my life. It was an embarrassment, and I gave up on being an artist, and I became an accountant instead. Accounting procedures were easy. There were rules. All you had to do was follow the step-by-step directions, and everything came out just right. Why couldn't drawing be like that?