ensoToday I’m practicing circles. My calligraphy study group’s assignment for this month was “something with a brush using the power within.” The brush is not my natural tool. But today was a day to sit down and just practice. In Japanese Zen this is called enso, which means circle. It seemed a good place to start.

many circles practiceI had more fun when I started overlapping my circles. It made me think of all the circles I am part of in my life, and how they sometimes overlap; how we learned to sit in circle in kindergarden; how I relearned how to sit in circle as an adult; how it’s harder to have hierarchy in a circle.

circles practice on grid paperThen I found an old practice paper, practicing O O O O O on grid paper, trying to draw a perfect O. Putting dots to give my hand something to aim for.

I make better circles when I slow down, but then you can see the shakiness in my hand. There is no such thing as a perfect circle made by a human hand. There is only the practice.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Ann Van Tassell 10/24/2008, 12:39 am

    How lovely Cari. Your last two lines are so poetic. I love painting enso’s. I appreciated your description of your process. Doodles, Ann

  • Rima 07/25/2013, 4:47 pm

    I came to your page on circles when I was searching for “Zen Circles” that could inspire me for a logo for my photo business logo. Ahhh how lovely it was to stop here and see your practice. It says so much with such simplicity.

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