Tanka T048

When I play tennis
In a zen like state of mind –
I call it zennis –
What then should I call drawing
In a zen like state of mind?




Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.



Notes to this poem…

I play my best tennis when I don’t get hyped up about it, as if I’d have to be at my most active, energetic and athletic to beat my opponent. No, I play much better when I hold myself back and just get the ball back to the other side rather than try to win the point by forcing the issue like an extra hard shot or extra precise shot. Doing so will, more often than not, get me the point either from not a great shot being good enough, or my opponent making an unforced error.

When playing in this style, I have coined a great term for it that I love, being a portmanteau of zen and tennis, as in zennis!

Now, when I do life drawings, I have the same problem, out of different circumstances. There, it’s timed drawings. With my relative lack of skill being new to drawing just over 3 months ago, I feel like I have to hurry everything. I try to include more details, do things faster, only to either make a mess with too many details in a small space, or get it wrong, respectively. This means I have to erase and redo, which is a double whammy in terms of wasting time!

I have recently tried the same strategy to be calmer in drawing, taking time to analyze before putting down details. Using a non-erasable medium like oil pastels or pens during some drawings have helped me. It’s ultimately how I will improve, and improve the most, with my drawing. Now, if I could only find a great name for it like zennis that I have for my tennis.

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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