By Akiko Mukunashi
(Body Worker/Psychotherapist), Oita Japan
(Translated by Junko Kurata firstname.lastname@example.org)
I had heard about Touch Drawing from my friend, Junko Kurata, who puts on workshops on this method of drawing with one’s fingers, and I had become interested in Touch Drawing. I was never good at drawing pictures. For example, my memories of elementary school art class evoke a sense of pain.
However, for some reason, I started having an intense desire to draw again when I was in college. “Yes, if it’s crayons, I can draw!” was my thought, and I had fun drawing freely, since I didn’t have to show my drawings to anyone.
As the excitement I had at that time stayed with me, when I heard about Touch Drawing, I thought drawing with my fingers would be fun. A longing for self-expression that had been lurking inside of me started to emerge.
In autumn of 2011, I organized a workshop for Junko in my city, Oita Japan, and I took part in the drawing activities. This is a story of my Touch Drawing experience on that occasion.
Drawing directly with hands continues for an hour. I find serenity in putting paint on the board and gently smoothing it out with a roller… the same feeling I get when I make sumi ink by hand (for Japanese calligraphy). I place a piece of thin paper on the board, gently turn inward, and let my hands move as they please. I freely draw with both hands – using the balls of my fingers, scratching with my finger nails, or rubbing with my palms.
I was absorbed in drawing. Gradually, I was filled with so much joy that I started playfully tapping the roller as I smoothed out some paint. Looking at the paint hitting the board, I could almost hear the “sound” of the paint.
I felt the aurora borealis coming out of my body. Immediately, I drew waves of lights with both hands. Then, the galaxy emerged. At first, both of my hands drew stars in the center. Then, they swirled outward. As my five fingers freely tapped the paper, countless stars began to emerge.
Stars burst out as I tapped. The galaxy flowed through my fingers. I had never had such a sensation before.
Shortly after that, as I saw three standing trees with my mind’s eye, I drew them. Then, leaves came, and then, flowers started to bloom from those grown leaves. When I was feeling thick and rough roots of those trees, I heard various voices coming out of the soil: insects crawling among dead leaves; a seed about to germinate in the soil; earthworms digging around it; microorganisms, things still alive, things already starting to decay, and things nurturing new life while decaying.
In this moment, I sense the harmony of it all … I hear the symphony. My left hand sings. My right hand responds to it. I go underground, and I jump out into the light. Life goes round and round in a circle. My body knows it all, and my hands are bringing forth the creation.
I drew the arc of the moon. I drew creatures from the Paleozoic Era. I drew Love. I drew the sound of the rain. I drew the ear of the Universe.
And, I drew the wind.
The Source of myself – I touched my origin. There was unlimited energy there. Everything was there.
My Touch Drawing experience this time will become the “birth canal” of myself. I am about to be born from within myself.
I have a feeling that it is going to happen.