What was I thinking of when I came up with nine things to do each day, each taking five minutes to do? I knew last night that I would be focussing on the word “jump” today. I deliberately forced myself not to think about who I would draw or photograph this action because I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. It was a problem for tomorrow though. To give myself a real idea of how practical this project was going to be I needed to start with a clean slate. I didn’t think about jumps last night.
This morning I got up in time to do some yoga. Ideally I would have had some time for mediation too but there was some tidying up to be done so that didn’t happen today. Learning point, mediation is not going to work on Mondays and Thursdays. I decided to combine breakfast with an activity aware that this was a lack of mindfulness on my part. I also decided that I wouldn’t start with writing. Writing tends to lead me to think about how I am going to implement the sketching and photography aspect of the task. That wasn’t what I wanted the writing to do. I wanted to write in a flow of consciousness style free of any focus. It seemed best then to start with sketching.
The first thing that came into my head was a image of an athlete hurdling. I have an unacknowledged rule of drawing the first thing that came into my head. So I started on my hurdler. Drawing people well requires a good knowledge of anatomy particular limb lengths and muscle groups. As I pictured the athlete in my head warning bells were going off. This was going to take much longer than five minutes if I am worrying about muscle groups. Should I abandon the idea and try something else? I decided to carry on.
The hurdler didn’t come out too bad when in an outline but I decided to give them some clothes. Then I decided to give the guy some hair and other features. Having messed up the face, I decided it was time to stop. How many minutes had gone past? Certainly my cereal was soggy. I thought back to my early cartoon drawing days. There is a skill in representing something in the minimum number of lines. I decided I need to aim for the five minutes or less mark. I tried again. This time I drew a person sort of jumping in the air for joy. I blocked in the body parts and left it in outline. I then decided to add in some movement lines. That was it though. I felt it was more in line with the five minute mark.
Then it occurred to me. It is all very well doing something in five minutes, but if I am to show my results on the blog then I need to photograph and transfer those images onto my computer. This all takes time. What was I thinking when I said five minutes? Fifteen minutes might be more realistic.
I took the dog for a quick walk (another tick). Whilst walking I contemplated how I would capture a jump photograph. I thought about trying to capture the birds moving around but how was I going to do that without carefully setting up the shot and waiting for a random opportunity? Animal photography requires patience. I could go to the children’s playground but dismissed that because a lot of people take great exception to pictures being taken of any children. Does a leaf jump around in the wind? Maybe but there was no wind. Could I use the self-timer can capture myself jumping? I don’t really want to be in the photo. How about gas being lit? We have no gas appliances. Does a flame jump from a match to a candle? I didn’t think it really counted.
I decided to try and capture my dog jumping. It wasn’t going to be easy but it was the only thing that I thought I might stand a chance of capturing. That would have to be in the afternoon though. It was time for my social bike ride.
I thought I might stand a chance with my dog if I used something to encourage him to jump. Unfortunately the only way I had of remotely setting off my camera was to use a countdown timer with the camera on a tripod. I decided to set up in the kitchen. I chose a ball to bounce which thankfully my dog was happy enough to try and catch in the air. Next problem was the lighting. It was too dark for a high shutter speed so I had to accept that a more artistic shot was going to have to do. I eventually worked out where to stand and where to point the camera so that I was out of the frame and the dog was in it. Focussing however was the next problem. I change the setting on my camera to continuously focus. Did that make a difference? Difficult to tell with all the motion blur. I decided to try and use the camera flask. I finally got something that was good enough. And no, that didn’t take anywhere near five minutes. It was more like fifty. I still needed to transfer it over onto the computer and do some quick tidying up.
Then I went shopping, took my daughter and her friend to orchestra, and cooked the evening meal. Having also eaten and washed up after the said meal, I have finally had time to sit down and do some writing. I timed my paragraph on “jump” to be five minutes. I over-ran by a minute or so. I wanted to write more. To write about how people on the spectrum tend to be jumpy and why that is. To write about how un-jumpy I am because I taught myself control since as a boy I considered jumping over noise or touch to be embarrassing and silly (where did that come from?). I wanted to write about my experience trampolining on competitive sized frames when I was at Uni. No time for that though.
I have complete five out of my nine tasks today. I think I can squeeze in the other four but since it is half past nine in the evening, I am not sure if that is realistic either. After all I still need to blog this writing and schedule the post. Maybe that can wait until tomorrow. Food for thought.