Anxiety

Beautiful but damaged.

Beautiful but damaged. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Beautiful but damaged. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I had a bad dream last night.

A house that was haunted, but beautiful, but damaged.

We wanted to live in it.

Reimagine it.

Reinvent.

Restore it.

I felt frightened that the house was too damaged to regenerate.

But moved into it anyway.

When I woke up, I could feel the house was me.

That the haunted, damaged past was part of the beauty.

I could see that ghosts of events that happened through me are not me.

A kind piano to play,

in the corner,

sings the darkness away.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,345

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The dread worm.

The dread worm. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The dread worm. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I am holding in my left hand, which is thrust deeply into my left pocket, a sense of something. Weighty and foreboding.

I find that I can, occasionally, open my palm and take my hand out of my pocket and do what needs to be done. But this sense of heaviness remains stagnant in my pocket, nonetheless.

Randomly, more often, I take my hand out of my pocket and look at it. I sense the gross, dull life form squirming inside my clutched fingers. But I don’t seem to be able to will myself to unfurl my fingers and look at it directly.

Not yet.

Generally, it appears about 24 hours before I am able to look at it.

And so, for a day or so, I live with it.

For about a day, or a bit longer, or a bit shorter depending on the circumstances.

Uncomfortable and awkward and uncertain and icky.

When the time has passed, I take my hand from my pocket and stare for a moment at my fingers and then, like a dive into cold water, open them and place the thing on the table in front of me.

A grey, fleshy, smooth skinned worm squirms upon the table.

I can still feel the dread that it emanates seep into my now empty palm, into my pocket, through my bowels and up into my chest and back of throat.

It’s the dread worm.

And I don’t like it.

It wriggles benignly on the table and I look at. Eventually I do what I know needs to be done and I reach out and touch it.

In what is always a surprise, which means it should never be one, I’m taken aback by its response.

This time the surface where I touched it changes from its morbid grey into a late day sunlight orange.

As I continue to touch and get to know it a little better it starts to morph and change shape. It becomes playful. Joyful.

This transformation is rapid.

And accelerates, almost without me noticing.

Soon it has transfigured itself into an entirely different animal.

A new one every time.

In this process there are awkward moments, painful ones even, but also funny and light hearted and inspiring ones.

And soon enough it has run off and become a thing in the world that has little to do with me anymore.

Mostly it’s a good experience, mostly.

And then I wonder, as I watch it run away, I wonder…why don’t I remember this feeling of lightness and relief when the worm first appears clutched inside my hand thrust into my pocket?

How come I can only feel the dread at that moment?

What I would like is to be able to feel the dread worm appear and know, inside my bones, that this too will turn out ok, even if some bits of the experience are less than ideal, in the end I’ll probably have a reasonably good time.

That.

Next time.

I’ll work on that.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,332

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Enjoying all the things.

Enjoying all the things. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Enjoying all the things. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I have a lot to do and only a limited number of days to do it in.

And, I’d like to enjoy all those things.

Ok, that’s good to note. All these things are things I have chosen to do. They all make the world a better place, so – well worth the effort.

Then, once they are all done, I’m going on a holiday!

So, do lots of great things you love and then go on a holiday and have fun.

No problems.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,308

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I lack perfection.

I lack perfection. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I lack perfection. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I lack perfection.

I don’t know why this comes as a surprise to me.

Over and over again.

I’ve always lacked perfection.

It’s never been any different.

Would I even like how perfection felt if I did, miraculously, achieve it?

I don’t think I am actually in pursuit of ‘perfection’.

I hand sew things because I love the imperfection of it…but I do try and sew as perfectly as I can…whilst choosing contrasting fabrics and cotton that highlight any imperfections that exist.

Hmmm.

It’s imperfections in my personality that I find the hardest to manage.

I appreciate how my hand sewn imperfections can be endearing…but my quirks of personality?

I find those much harder to highlight and embrace.

Could I, possibly, highlight and embrace all the things that make me imperfect?

It sounds good in theory, but the reality…

I wonder.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,301

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Frightened of buttonholes.

Frightened of buttonholes. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Frightened of buttonholes. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m frightened of doing the buttonholes on the shirt I am making.

They are kind of irreversible.

Once the fabric is cut (which you do as you start making them) then there is no going back.

It feels like I could really stuff this up.

What if I get it wrong and all the hours of sewing this shirt are for nothing?

Ah, that’s interesting.

I’m worried about the outcome…which is the opposite of how I approach making a shirt.

When I make a shirt I’m most interested in the process. I encourage myself to let go of the time it takes me to do make it and how the shirt will look in the end…and just do this step, now.

I find making shirts such an interesting metaphor for my life. I avoid getting things wrong, which means I find finishing things I really care about can be difficult. It’s ok to get things wrong.

Ok, it’s time to make the buttonholes. 

If they don’t work, they don’t work.

At least I will be moving forwards.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,281

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Nebulous and sharp.

Nebulous and sharp. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Nebulous and sharp. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Life is fleeting.

The edges and shape of it are blurry and ill defined.

It is painful and joyful.

All at once.

Generous and selfish.

At the same time.

A moment crystallises and then evaporates.

Nebulous and sharp.

What next, then.

What next?

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,260

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If I feel anxious...

If I feel anxious. Drawing Luke Hockley.

If I feel anxious. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

If I feel anxious then I have to be anxious about something…right?

Right?

So, then…what?

What is it?

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,234

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Boredom is like anger.

Boredom is like anger. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Boredom is like anger. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

The boring bits are the hardest part.

When I am making something it’s easy to do the exciting, interesting, fun bits.

The bits where it feels like something is happening, or at least it feels like I am making progress…or even when there is some great struggle to be had.

The in-between bits, that’s what gets me.

It’s hard to see that any of the effort is worth it when I am bored and nothing much seems to be happening.

I suppose boredom is hard to interpret in a creative process.

Does it mean things aren’t working and that it is time to change something? Or are things about to all click into place and something amazing is about to happen?

I feel like boredom is like anger. It is an emotion that is a front for something else altogether.

But what, I wonder?

Restless, shifting, in transition, searching, uncertain, curious, contemplative.

Yes, I’m wondering what’s next.

I think that’s it.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,232

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Anticipation.

Anticipation. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Anticipation. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Before the thing happens there is all the thinking about the thing.

The good and the bad.

The expectations and hope.

The anticipation.

Even though the thing, in the end, is never much like all the thinking thought it might be like…the thinking is still an important part of the thing.

The anticipation makes up a part of what the thing is and will become.

That’s just the way it is.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,218

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I use the internet to avoid myself.

I use the internet to avoid myself. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I use the internet to avoid myself. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I use the internet to avoid myself.

I just did it then.

Endless clicking and searching, anything really, just so that I don’t have to turn up to this conversation with myself.

That’s why having this moment locked in is so great.

There is somewhere to come back to.

Something I can use as a reference point.

An agreed point of reflection.

And so…

I come back.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,207

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.