An intangible gift.

An intangible gift. Drawing Luke Hockley.

An intangible gift. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

My fear is that I sit just outside of really talented at anything.

That I’m ok.

Adequate.

While others are gifted and inspiring.

I am afraid that I am destined for a life of mediocre.

I’d really like to be able to see through this. To see this for what it is…

But what is it?

It is a desire to have a natural, technical gift and to have honed that gift to a point of excellence.

What would having this kind of gift mean? What do I think it would give me?

I want to say ‘recognition’, I want to put this desire down to a need to be liked, a need to be celebrated by others…validated, but that’s not it. That’s not what I feel when I think of having this kind of gift.

I feel ‘freedom’. I am searching for the ability to use this ‘gift’ to make things.

At the moment I have music in my head. The ability to create music. To sit at the piano and play and sing, to create something from nothing.

I think I do have a gift. It’s just not so tangible. Which confuses me, I think.

Insight.

I think I have an ability to look at something and see the fabric of beliefs and ideas and history and story that is making that thing be the way that it is.

Then, I respond to that fabric.

I draw on my creative skills, as they are, to question, to challenge, to reflect…to imagine something new in the hope that we can see the fabric and choose how we want it to look in the future.

It seems like such an intangible gift.

I don’t think that makes it less valuable.

There’s something else.

I’m a dedicated craftsperson. I love learning. I have an ability to hone my skills. Then, when I respond creatively to some insight I’ve had, I have the tools at the ready to create.

The other day, at the gym, a friend said to me they wished they had lean muscle, rather than the bulky kind. I laughed…because they have the kind of body that most people at the gym are desperately looking to have.

I laughed because humans tend to do this. Or, at least, I certainly do this.

I look at the world and find the opposite of what I have and decide that that, that thing that I am not, is the most desirable thing to be in the world.

That if I only had that, then I would be happier and more creative and more special and unique and…everything, you know?

This is crap, though.

Really, it is crap.

The people I admire become distinct and interesting and beautiful because they take exactly what they have and amplify that.

Spending energy on a desire to be something else is a way of avoiding doing the work it takes to amplify what I’ve got.

It may also be a way of avoiding taking the risk of being seen, really seen, for what I am.

This is where it comes back to external validation.

My experience is that people living in their ‘gift’, whatever that may be, are not liked by everyone. Being liked by everyone is impossible and unlikely. The pursuit of this dubious goals is also likely to induce a kind of ‘mediocre’ that stifles things.

The unconscious goal of being liked by everyone is incredibly unhelpful to me.

Accepting…no, embracing, that the stuff I make will appeal to the people it is meant to appeal to, that’s where the gold is.

It frees me up.

To use my gifts.

To do something.

Right.

Thanks.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,379

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Ah spring!

Ah spring! Drawing Luke Hockley.

Ah spring! Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Ah spring!

You are an utter joy and a bit of a pain in the arse.

The light! Oh, the light. The bursting forth or plants, the warmth creeping into the days…

And the unannounced snap back cold and the pollen, oh yes, the pollen that plays havoc with my head.

On balance, given the miracle of antihistamines, I’d have to give spring the thumbs up.

Mainly because I love watching the jasmine come to life.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,378

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The last buttonhole

The last buttonhole. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The last buttonhole. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

A year after I started making this shirt, I am finally about to sew the last buttonhole.

It will take me about an hour, and then…this shirt is complete.

It takes a long time to hand sew a shirt…but it doesn’t take a year. I think for the last 6 months I’ve spent the time avoiding sewing these buttonholes. In case I stuff them up. This shirt has been awkward at times. I’ve taken the collar off and totally remade it – which took ages. The stitching is a strong contrast to the main fabric. Which I did, on purpose, so that the imperfect handmade nature of the shirt was obvious…but I couldn’t come to terms with how messy the stitching on the collar was. The collar is different to all the other parts of the shirt. Being circular there are no obvious ‘inside’ and ‘outside’…or the inside and outside change halfway through a line of stitching. You see, I can make one side reasonably neat…the other, well it’s pretty scrappy.

Anyway.

It’s taken a long time, most of that time has been taken up with my battle with myself to be perfect.

But also, some of that time has been dedicated to the fact that shirt making is all process. Like painting a room every new exploration is a lot of preparation before I actually get to sew, which I don’t find takes that long.

In this case the buttonholes took so long because I got curious about how handmade buttonholes are actually meant to be made. I had just made up my own technique…but I knew that there was going to be a ‘proper’ way to do it.

As I explored different techniques my buttonholes got a lot worse before they finally shaped up into something passable.

If that was the only delay, learning a new technique, then I may have slowed a little, but that wouldn’t have worried me. I like that shirt making is a process of discovery. It’s all the angst in between that I could do without.

It’s important for me to remember that the process is the point. To slow down and enjoy each piece of the puzzle.

That same old lesson coming back to visit me once again.

There is only now.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,377

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Which one?

Which one? Drawing Luke Hockley

Which one? Drawing Luke Hockley

Dear Self,

Acceptance.

Release.

Kindness.

Complacency.

Choice.

Which one, I do wonder.

Which one?

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,376

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

A bad metaphor.

A bad metaphor. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A bad metaphor. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I have a new laptop. Well, it was a new laptop…but I would no longer call it new.

The reason?

The screen has greasy finger marks and unexplainable splotches all over it.

When it was new it was completely clean.

I loved it being new…but also there was something too pristine about it.

It’s like ageing I suppose.

Something is both lost and gained as I get older.

That’s a pretty bad metaphor.

I think that is probably the worst metaphor I’ve ever written.

Blah.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,375

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Stand here.

Stand here. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Stand here. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

The change of season.

Can be rough.

Messy.

Transitions are like that.

I’m standing in a place that feels unlike the place I’ve been and not quite like the place I imagine I am going.

Here is the only place that exists.

Stand here.

That’s it.

All there is.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,374

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

Anywhere, but here.

Anywhere, but here. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Anywhere, but here. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Pulled out of myself.

Up and floating just beyond where I am actually sitting

Striving.

Striving to be at the next thing on my list.

The next place in my life.

Anywhere, but here.

Drinking my cup of tea in my lovely home writing a letter to myself.

It doesn’t feel like enough.

It’s one of the most important things I’ve ever done…and that’s not enough?

What’s going on?

Why doesn’t that feel like enough?

No one makes me do this. I choose to do it.

It’s not easier to do than not do…

It makes my life richer.

And that’s enough.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,373

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

Hmph!

Hmph! Drawing Luke Hockley.

Hmph! Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I want to run away from this.

Today, I want to do anything but write this letter to myself.

Why? I wonder…

I’m looking for anything to look at but myself.

But here I am.

Sitting on the couch.

Looking at myself and wondering who I am today.

There doesn’t seem to be any immediate answers to this question.

Just a lot of mush.

Hmph!

Well, that’s what we’ve got.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,372

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

Slowly pottering.

Slowly pottering. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Slowly pottering. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Rest.

It’s ok. Really. You are allowed to have a slow morning once in a while.

That’s just what it is. Just how the system works.

Slowly pottering around isn’t a sign that you are wasting time.

It just is.

One of those things.

You do.

When you need to recover.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,371

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.

Something so delightful.

Something so delightful. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Something so delightful. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Something so delightful

In my life

People around the Campfire.

Breakfast with friends

Alby asking for cuddles

Cup of tea and life plans with family

Sewing buttonholes on the train

Dinner with family

Phone call with loved ones.

Something so delightful.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,370

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.