Lines & scribbles


I get tired of words. Wouldn’t scribbling or drawing something sometimes get to the point better than words? I think so.

But this post is about lines.Yes, you read that correctly — lines.

It’s interesting to look at what children draw. There’s faces, and objects like houses and trees, but there’s also a lot of lines and scribbles (I guess scribbles are just lots of lines then?). Sometimes these lines appear randomly on the edges of the page (as if to test out if the pencil is working), and sometimes they appear over what was drawn underneath (erasers are so overrated). I admire this nonchalant approach to mistakes. I spelled that wrong? Let me just cross it out with a line, and write next to it. Don’t like that character I drew? No worries. Cover it up with lines and scribbles. Go nuts! Any why not? Mistakes (and the lines that accompany them) are visible traces of learning, correction and frustration, and there’s something kind of gutsy about just leaving those traces out in the open for others to see. But sometimes (and this is what got me to writing this post initially) lines and scribbles appear on top of people’s faces – often repeatedly.

Face (scribble), face (scribble), face (scribble), face (you get the idea).

Seeing these lines in this way for some reason provoked a bit of angst in me. These lines, which were often quite dark (as if they’ve been really forced out of the body) left ‘scars’ on the pages underneath. From a distance, this child’s notebook appeared bloated and weathered– although it was only half filled (and fairly new), the notebook appeared as though it had with spent several seasons out on someone’s porch.

Why is this? Why is it that a line (in a unexpected place) can provoke angst or concern? Isn’t a line ‘neutral’? Do we move through the world with lines/in lines? Are lines just traces of some kind of presence (human or non)? ……











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