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Sap Is Rising

Welcome to My Green Vermont - A Blog by Eulalia Benejam Cobb.
By Eulalia Benejam Cobb

Went to the figure drawing session again this morning.  The model was the same young farmer who modeled three weeks ago, but he was transformed.  Bopping into the room in his roomy white shirt and droopy Carharts, he informed us that the sap is rising, and he was feeling the energy coursing through his entire body.

\”I may have trouble standing still,\” he said, doing deep knee bends.  \”I really need to ground myself,\” he said, popping his knuckles.  He stretched his arms, he touched his toes, he gave a couple of twirls.

\”Are you ready to begin?\” the session organizer asked.

He skipped over to the window, turned this way and that, wouldn\’t stop moving.  \”Is this good?  Would you rather have me here?  Boy, I really do need to ground myself!\”  He kicked off his shoes and gave several of those loud exhales through pursed mouth that some people do during yoga, and that I find auditorily distressing.

But nothing seemed to work.  \”Maybe it\’s these electric lights,\” he said.  \”I\’m off the grid at home.  We just use candles.  These lights are really stimulating me.\”  He flopped around some more.

Finally the organizer got him to stand still for the first one-minute pose.  The model continued chatting.  \”Why are you squinting your eye?\” he asked one of the women drawing.  \”I do it to see you better\” she answered.

Then it was time for the second one-minute pose, but it took three minutes of twirling and exhaling and giggling for him to find it.  Me, I kept my eyes carefully averted from his face.  I was afraid that if I made eye contact he would start whirling again.

The fact is that I found his \”energy\” (I still have some difficulty using that term outside of a physics context) disturbing.  Something in me wanted very much to say \”O.k., that\’s enough of that.  Let\’s settle down and get to work, please.\”  What I found even more disturbing was that the other women in the room were smiling and laughing and being extremely tolerant.

What kind of dragon am I?  I wondered.  Why can\’t I just relax and make little jokes like everybody else?  Why must I be so controlling?  Did the German nuns who ruled over my childhood make such a deep imprint on my soul?

Eventually (the session lasts three hours) he simmered down, grounded himself, whatever.  And I fell into the quiet, meditative state that is my favorite part about drawing from life.  When he comes back three weeks from now, the sap will have risen, and with luck he\’ll be tired enough from plowing and planting that he\’ll stand still long enough for me to draw him.

Here, at last, is the photo of \”Flight Of Fancy\” that I couldn\’t post yesterday.  It was all because of a cache of cookies, and I\’m happy to say I fixed it myself.

2 Responses

  1. I was finding myself relating to the model here, truth be told… but of course, I'm way too hyper to model, even when the sap isn't rising. Spring can make a person crazy!

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