- to hear with intention
- to give respectful attention
- to bring to mind something in the past: hearken back
Today, January 1, 2023, we celebrate New Year’s Day of 2023.
This is an appropriate time to look back on, or hearken back to, the previous year of 2022.
When you finish a Zentangle tile, we always encourage you to hold it at arm’s length and appreciate what you’ve created from a different perspective. We also encourage you to turn it this way and that so you can see what you created from different orientations. You may notice compositions and patterns that weren’t obvious when you were closer to it.
In the same way, hold this past year of 2022 at arm's length as you would a Zentangle tile. Turn it this way and that. Appreciate it from different perspectives. What do you notice from this different perspective? What patterns do you see?
New tanglers often say, “I see patterns everywhere!” It’s not that patterns have suddenly appeared where there were none before. Rather, it’s that they have become conscious of the patterns that were always there, but which they never noticed. Patterns aren’t limited to designs on paper or fabric. You will notice patterns in nature and in architecture, in history and in social trends, in weather and in seasons, in how you respond and how you react.
Do you see a pattern that intrigues you? Can you deconstruct it to its elemental strokes? if yes, you can transform that complex pattern into an easy-to-draw tangle. You can use that inspiration to create something beautiful, one stroke at a time.
Notice the sequence here. You moved from being unaware of patterns, to passively noticing patterns, to actively creating your own beautiful patterns!
You can apply the same approach to noticing larger patterns in life and then to create something beautiful on your "tile" of this coming year. As you tangle your tile of 2023, keep these Zentangle guidelines in mind (and heart):
- Focus on the stroke you are making. The stroke you are making will not improve by regretting a previous stroke or worrying about a future stroke.
- Turn your “tile.” And observe events from different perspectives.
- Remember to breathe.
- Relax your grip on your pen.
- “No mistakes.” There will always be events that are unplanned, unexpected, and unwanted when creating Zentangle art. But we remind people that such unexpected events can be inspirations to respond in a way that taps into your creativity more than if it had not happened. On the larger canvas of our life, unexpected and unwanted events can have greater impact, but the principle still applies. You always have the creative "response-ability" to make any situation better and more beautiful, one deliberate stroke at a time.
- Gratitude! In all things, gratitude
From all of us at Zentangle, Happy New Year! . . . wherever in the world (and in your year*) this finds you!
We look forward to seeing what we all create in the coming year . . . one stroke at a time.
As you hearken back to and appreciate your 2022 tile, what did you like?
As you look forward to your 2023 tile, what are you inspired to create?
Let us know in the comments below.
* In researching this post, we learned there are about 40 (!) calendars in use today. Some are based on patterns the moon creates, some are based on patterns the sun creates, and some are a combination of both. Others are patterns more arbitrary.