This week the Diva’s Weekly Challenge #56 is called “Non Dominatrix v.2” which means she has brought back the challenge of using your non-dominant hand to compose a tile or ZIA. This struck terror in the very pit of my being. I hadn’t done the v.1 challenge she had posted last March; I knew it would be difficult, I just didn’t know how difficult.  

The fact is I have often complained about the uselessness of my left hand, and, unfortunately, within hearing of that offending appendage. So I wasn’t keen on putting it to the test. After all, it has had, for the most part, a leisurely free ride all these long years. Sure, it can hold things steady and somewhat upright, can scratch an itch on my right side, and operate the blinker and cruise control when needed, but I didn’t have any faith in it handling a pen – especially my Micron (which I value highly). Needless to say, I also didn’t relish sacrificing a tile to this neophyte. I examined old lefty and found it looked responsible enough; it even had fewer age spots than its more active mate. Maybe I should give it a chance. It seemed eager enough – maybe even a little over eager, now that I think of it.

So I proceeded to draw the margin and string with the new kid in the ring. So far so good – a little shaky but I thought I shouldn’t be nit-picky. Lefty picked up the precious pen and my brain stalled. What tangle could Lefty handle? I really wasn’t sure – which just translated into my not trusting my left hand to do the job – I realize that now, but not then. I thought “small parentheses.” Yes, that should be doable – so Lefty started with Keeko. Oh boy, I couldn’t believe how shaky Lefty became while making those “small parentheses.” Toward the middle, after despairing over the quality of my lines, I realized old Lefty was gripping that pen to the point of crampishness. Hey, hey, hey – this is supposed to be relaxing! I had to stop and remember that it’s the process, not the product. So I had to set my mind on relaxing that untrained hand and not pay attention to the quality of the line. Even that was difficult for me as my mind kept straying to what was happening on the tile and not on relaxing into the creation.

Since Keeko was more challenging than I had hoped, I thought maybe a tangle with more open space would be in Lefty’s best interest. So we tried Florz next. What was I thinking? Drawing the grid wasn’t too bad, but filling in those diamonds at the cross-points was crazy hard! Trying to neaten them up made them clunkier. Oops – remember it’s the PROCESS!

Okay, okay – the next tangle to include was Hollibaugh – straight-ish lines with a little curve; fill in with black – sit back, turn tile this way and that – not too bad. The last tangle I turned to was Riverstones (by Lori Howe). Gently undulating lines and orbs – in my vision, this could be done, but in reality this also was a struggle. So much so that the last little loop of my tile I just filled in with bits and pieces that repeated other lines in the tile. There! Done! Oh, except for the shading. You’d think THAT would be easy. Poor Lefty – nothing is easy for this side of my being.

I know my left hand needed this exercise – as well as my brain, but it was very, very difficult. That realization made the small voice in the back of my head pipe up with “Then you should do it more often; eventually it won’t be so painful.” Welllll – maybe, maybe, maybe . . . but I’m not sacrificing any more of my precious tiles – a little old sketchbook can belong to Lefty – for, perhaps, a weekly exercise.  Again, that voice nags “Sounds like you have to relearn the Process/Product lesson.” Hmph! I know! I know!

Oh yes, below is the result of allowing my tag-along appendage to express itself. The challenge was met but the lesson remains to be learned.

The Diva's Weekly Challenge #56