Tanka T006

I’m living my life –
Like an illustration drawn
From the outside in –
Where all things will end up at
One common vanishing point




Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.



Notes to this poem…

Being new to drawing, I feel like I have a whole new set of metaphors upon which I can draw… as well as puns, apparently! Well, the first part isn’t necessarily true. I have known about the vanishing point concept from drafting classes almost 25 years ago. These drawing concepts are just much more easily accessible and familiar again now that drawing is a part of my life.

I live a rather diverse life, doing many very different things, from athletic to artistic to intellectual, with diversity several levels down within those categories, even. I also have an interest in many more things I don’t actually do. For this, I sometimes get labeled, maybe even criticized, as being a “jack of all trades, but a master of none”. Most often, it comes from people who can’t even master a thing in their life to the level I have some of the things I do in my life.

Criticism debating aside, though, let’s just look at it from another perspective through a drawing metaphor. Think of a drawing with a vanishing point in it.  You can draw this part by part to completion, or sketch out guidelines and fill in the details, or do a bit of everything at once from the outside into the vanishing point? The last is pretty much my life plan. It might not be the most efficient for most people, but there is a plan that all this diversity will come together, and that once together, will create something beautiful. Unless you know or realize that, though, it might look like I can draw lots of different things, like trees, fields, roads, animals, sky, sun/moon, etc. but that I don’t do any of it too well. All that being the metaphor for jack of all trades and master of none.

Well, if I do it well enough people can not only recognize what each thing is, but that most are nice in their own ways and better than most people can draw anything of their choosing, then what’s there really to complain? That’s the first part. The second is realizing there is a grand plan, the big picture outlook, if you will, where all these seemingly random activities will come together to create something more than just their individual parts. Think Renaissance Man instead of a skills collector (with a collection of diverse skills), which I sometimes joke about myself as being.

Being done with the picture may be interpreted as death and the legacy left behind, or it could be where I want to be at some point in the future because it’s not likely I’d be able to sustain it all in my old age, should I be fortunate enough to live out my life in many years to come. Whatever you interpret it as, just know my current life diversity isn’t random, but rather well planned with a big picture in mind.

That’s what it’s all about, folks. That’s what it’s all about. 🙂

The poems titled Tanka, followed by a number, are tanka composed while I was not engaged in some activity during which I frequently composed poetry. That is why these are called the Inactive Tanka collection.


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