I was sketching Loki the other day, and it got me to thinking about how other aspects of Him were showing up in my life back when I was a kid, and yet how a lot of the pieces didn’t fall into place until 2012-2013 or so.
And I got to thinking about what I did after the SitD left (around age 9), and I was thinking about how I used to draw…a lot. I briefly touched upon the subject of those drawings in a post on this blog back in early 2013, but I never wrote out my thoughts as I intended.
Here are those thoughts from my notebook…
(From 27 February 2013)
Something occurred to me this morning that I wanted to write about.
I had a brief visual/sensory upload – an unbidden visual/sensory upload while I was awake – of a man standing in front of me, holding my face in his hands. He is holding my face in his hands as if to make sure that I am making eye contact with him, and he is leaning forward, preparing to whisper into my left ear.
And this visual that I had made me wish that I could sketch out what I saw. I mean, I can draw, but I am not so skilled that I can sketch things out as quickly or as deftly as I would like. Rather I am more likely to get hung up on agonizing over every detail in my sketch so much so that I often lose the flow of the imagery and it fades quickly away before I’ve finished sketching it out.
So I was wishing that I could convey the shifting color of his eyes and the unshaven whiskers on his chin. I wish that I could convey that I had looked down at his feet, and he was wearing dirty black canvas Chuck Taylors, with laces untied and loose. He was wearing faded jeans, a t-shirt, and a shabby cotton overshirt. I remember seeing the silver glint of an earring in his ear, and I noticed the way that his russet hair curled over the collar of his shirt, and how his hair turned a darker auburn toward the ends. I remember noticing the smattering of freckles on the backs of his hands and along his fingers, and how his hands felt slightly calloused but pleasantly warm, holding my face. I remember the trace of his grin, and the way that he slowly blinked and tilted his head, as those light-colored and impossibly bright eyes of his flickered with…satisfaction? Relief? I’m not certain what word I am looking for but when I looked into his eyes, all I could think of was laughter and warmth and…home.
And I wish that I could have drawn that – the image of both my standing there with him and somehow standing outside of myself watching the exchange and the slow dawning of my recognition of who he was.
But I don’t have the skills. I cannot sketch this fast enough or well enough for you to see the vision as I saw it.
And I remembered. I realize it now. I am seeing a face that I have tried to draw before, and my heart skips a beat to think of it. Can it be?
When I was younger — younger like 11 or 12 years old – I used to draw the face of a man that I did not know. Or rather, he wasn’t anyone that solidly existed, that could easily be pinned down. Sometimes I thought that I’d made him up, that he was simply an amalgam of pretty facial features — a young man with long, light-colored hair, with larger than average, strikingly bright-colored eyes, an aquiline nose, finely arched eyebrows, and a smile that I wasn’t sure if it was meant to be a flirtatious grin or a sarcastic smirk. Most of the time I would draw him clean-shaven, but sometimes I would practice drawing facial hair – usually a well-groomed goatee or a Van Dyke beard. I’d always envisioned his ears being pierced (even though in the late 70’s/early 80’s, it was still considered rather bold and overly flamboyant for a man to have pierced ears, especially in the right ear…)
But nonetheless, this man had jewelry and his face was a mixture of traditionally masculine features (angular jaw, an Adam’s apple, whiskers/facial hair) and feminine features (long eyelashes, high cheekbones, thinly arched eyebrows). He was, to put it mildly, a very pretty man, and I often drew him in either medieval clothing or casual, almost hippie style clothing. I would always draw him into background settings, surrounded by woodlands, mountains or snow.
Over and over, I drew this man, thinking that someday I would fall in love with a man that had this face, or something close to it. Sometimes I would find myself comparing someone’s chin or someone’s eyes or the color of their hair to this man’s face, this man’s features. And I can tell you right now, that face, those features never changed. No, this man had a particular face that I loved, but never could quite find in reality. So I just kept drawing him, perfecting that face as it could be seen from a variety of angles, expressing a variety of moods.
My siblings used to tease me, that I was drawing my invisible friend.
Sometimes I would imagine him saying all sorts of clever, wonderful things to me, all the words that I’d hoped someday that somebody might say: what a friend, a lover, a confidante would say. Sometimes I would write him into stories, and they were often stories about learning and doing various activities – things I hadn’t yet learned how to do, such as how to ride a horse, or swim, or climb a tree. Sometimes I would walk in the woods, and I would imagine delightful, fantastic possibilities, almost visualizing that I might find him further along the path, sitting on a tree stump, or fishing in the river, or laying in the grass, watching the clouds.
I remember when I first experimented with smoking, oddly enough, it was easy to imagine that he smoked too. He did seem to have this smoky, fragrant scent about him that was entirely his — though I could never draw his hands holding a cigarette very well (aside of the fact that hands are notoriously difficult to draw, especially hands holding things that cast light and shadow.)
I cannot deny that I drew him so often that it seemed as if I drew him into existence somehow.
He was not simply a masculine version of myself, unless he was perhaps a part of me that I wish that I could have been.
And for many years, I drew him just so I could see his face.
It hits me like a ton of bricks today to realize that whenever I draw Loki’s face, I am drawing him; I am drawing an old friend.
And whenever I visualize Loki, I realize that I am seeing him, the handsome face of my old friend.
And I never made that connection until today.
Hail to Loki, my sweetest friend ❤
A year or so after I wrote this notebook entry, I received a message from Him, that I suspect may have been intended to make me smile:
You didn’t make Me up; rather it is that I made *you* up.