The Beginning/Finishing Map

India ink, ink, watercolor, and gouache on paper

Close up of day 256

As I sat down to draw today, I felt the brevity today’s piece carries with it: I have been waiting for the number 265 to appear, because that meant 100 days remained. And I used to think 100 to be a large number, I used to think it was vast. Now, I look at the remaining days of this project and I realize that I have already begun, and I have met this thing called discipline, and learned that we get along. Now all I have to do is begin to finish.

For me, finishing a piece of art is almost more difficult than beginning. The first stroke of the pencil is full of potential, full of possibilities. At the start of this 365 day challenge, I believed that all I had to do was begin. Soon, I realized that the beginning was followed by doing, over and over. 

And now, my doing, the experiences of the last 256 days, have created a map. A map I follow and sometimes adapt. A map that holds my focus, turning ideas into habits and habits into discipline and discipline into practice and focus. 

In finishing today’s piece, I had to make the decision to stop for I could have worked long into the night. Then I remembered that tomorrow’s piece is there, on the map, waiting for me to begin and do and finish. Each day filling up an empty space, each day leading to completing something that has grown and expands into a project that is so much more than I could have envisioned when I began.

So here’s to the last 265 days, 100 to go.

(In today’s piece are 264 filled in spaces, past places on the map; 1 eye, a large space representing today; and 100 spaces, primed and waiting.)