What I Have Drawn
M. Ben-Beras

M y pencil speaks for me, dividing space, separating dark from light. What I have drawn here allows me to see that vision is only part of the story.

It is not the patch of sky or shimmer of hawk that is lost. The curving lines and cross-hatching account for that. It is something more immediate, revealing a truth about ourselves, a truth that is not found in the line of trees that mark our land, or the sloping of the corn field that eventually dips down to the banks of the creek. It is sound waves. It is sound as it travels out in wider and wider arcs, reverberating against bone.

It is Motherís voice raised in a pitch of anger and resentment, a voice that sets the crows aflutter in ungamely retreat from their rooftop perch. Then his voice, dull, mocking, punctuating her long measures of imploring with short, blunt retort.

It is the restless tide of anger, then silence, then regret, that has thrust me, as usual, out onto the old wooden porch that is shaded by pines and is worn down to a creaking mismatch of broken planks, rickety banisters, and unsteady steps. What I have drawn here is what I always draw when sound and voice obliterate the landscape, and what I will continue to draw when I need leaping silver trout to break the surface of the sparkling creek, returning to me, as a gift, my own self, my own indefinite future.

First published: November 2001
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