Surprising Reassessment of an Old Sketchbook Entry

The very sketchy sketch session

Everything in my field of vision at this urban sketching session back in December 2019 at Luxor Books on Wenceslas Square was surprisingly and, at first, wonderfully kinetic — from the spinning records, to the flurry of holiday shoppers, to the constantly shifting interior lighting affecting and affected by these things. After making a few stabs at trying to navigate a visual foundation with safely erasable graphite, I found that I had spent most of this sketching session noodling around, probing, and just lost and frustrated. If memory serves, I was quite symptomatic that day and that certainly didn’t help matters as it amplified all the visual and cognitive cacophony around and within.

Ultimately I wound up near the end of this sketching session with just a few minutes left to go and nothing to work with but a page of confused thumbnail sketches. The most stable visual available to me was Jan — thanks Jan — who was stolidly perched across from me sketching away so I visually seized on him as my anchor and now — in retrospect — I’m so glad I did 😳

Jan Sketching At Luxor – fountain pen and marker on Khadi paper

Some sketchy clarity on that day found

In retrospect I also now realize that this was all during that time that I was apparently seizing all over the place without being at all aware of it. As I had become mostly homebound by this point nobody knew about it — not even me. I finally seized in public a few weeks later and was hospitalized for a week or so for tests and observation. Turns out MS had been nibbling at my brain stem and turned me into an epileptic. At least I finally understood why sometimes I would find my tongue all chewed up with no explanation.
Silver lining, right?

I’ll take what I can get …

At least things don’t vibrate so much anymore and my tongue is fine 🙂

Plus, this particular sketch holds a lot of unexpected personal reportage for me.

* Q: “Hold up 🖖! Now it’s epilepsy, too?”
A: Umm … 🫤