Blind spot

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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That’s the deal.

That’s the deal. Drawing Luke Hockley.

That’s the deal. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Today it is hard for me to accept that I have set the bar so low for writing this daily letter.

I feel like it has been quite a few days of average writing. I’ve been on holidays and it can be hard to keep the rhythm up during these times.

I know that my agreement with myself is just to keep the metronome swinging…so that when my mojo comes back around the habit of writing is here ready to pick up the momentum and run.

But gosh it is hard for my ego to accept that I will write and publish things that may not be as interesting/entertaining/insightful as I might like!

Oh well.

That’s the deal.

And I really do enjoy the pay off.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,329

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Impatient

Impatient. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Impatient. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I can be so impatient with things.

Not always, not in every situation, but when my impatience strikes it is really quite distinct.

Not one of my more endearing character traits.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,328

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The rhythms of my life.

The rhythms of my life. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The rhythms of my life. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Holidays are a kind of limbo to me.

A partial suspension of things.

Some things are great to have a break from…but some things I don’t need to take a break from.

Actually, as much as I love a holiday…I don’t ‘need a break’ the way I hear other people talk about ‘needing a break’.

I like holidays because I get some deep time with people that I care a lot about…but I also miss a lot of my day to day life.

I enjoy the rhythms of my life.

That’s a lovely thing to realise.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,327

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Other people’s stuff.

Other people’s stuff. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Other people’s stuff. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I so easily look at other people’s stuff and know what they should do.

I can see their insecurities so clearly. Can see how they are undermining their own goals. Can see the logical, obvious, pathway through for them.

If they could just get over themselves everything would be fine.

Funny how I can’t seem to do all that for myself.

If I could just get over myself…

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,321

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Holding onto the thread of myself.

Holding onto the thread of myself. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Holding onto the thread of myself. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

It is hardest to keep up this daily writing habit during the holidays.

All the edges fray.

I stop shaving.

I get to bed late.

I don’t wake at 6 am.

I don’t get out of bed and sit down and write.

The day becomes a deconstructed series of events that have fewer edges than normal…and I forget.

Why not just stop writing for the holidays?

I’ve thought about that.

I keep writing because it means through periods of rest and regeneration I keep a hold of the thread of myself.

Which I find valuable.

And comforting.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,316

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Letting go.

Letting go. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Letting go. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

At the moment I am working on letting go of the need to be liked by everyone.

This is not an easy thing for me to do.

But important. Valuable.

I’d like to stop spending time with my wheels spinning thinking about what other people think about me.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,312

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Mean and funny v’s good and generous.

Mean and funny v’s good and generous. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Mean and funny v’s good and generous. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I have a reasonably quick wit.

When I was younger it would get me into a bit of trouble at times.

Because, for whatever reason, the ‘immediately funny’ view of a situation can often be the mean view of the situation.

So, I’ve learnt to forgo the laugh in order to remain true to my belief that seeing the good, the possible…the generous view of a situation is the kinder, more productive and more appropriate approach to just about everything.

Occasionally I fail at this. Mean and funny out competes good and generous.

Damn it.

I’m sorry about that. I really am.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,310

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When the weight lifts.

When the weight lifts. Drawing Luke Hockley.

When the weight lifts. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’ve been working through a whole bunch of things of late.

Life things.

Choices that I have.

Different roads I could go down.

Opportunity.

Which is all great. Except choices can sometimes lead to long periods of uncertainty and indecision. Which can be a bit weighty, at times.

Then, when the time comes, when the universe magically aligns and I’ve thought about things enough, from enough angles…the weight lifts.

Oh, the relief.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,306

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Nothing left to give…?

Nothing left to give…? Drawing Luke Hockley.

Nothing left to give…? Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

One day, quite a few years ago, I was sitting on the step to our bungalow in our falling apart rental in Northcote enjoying a bit of sun when our cat, Mamma - who died a few years ago, came up and started rubbing against my legs.

My endless jar of honey had trained her to be brushed at the back step with a special brush…and she loved it. So, she was pretty insistent.

I was very frustrated.

I couldn’t be bothered.

I was tired and a bit over it and just wanted to sit in the sun and recharge.

Later that day, when my endless jar of honey arrived home, I complained to him about all this…

“She just kept insisting that I pat her…and I just couldn’t. I just didn’t have anything to give her!”

He looked at me, patiently and said…

“Maybe it’s not about what you’ve got to give her…”

Ahhh….of course.

This lesson, that I am deeply energised by giving what I have to other living things, comes back to me again and again.

One more reason to be grateful for the endless jar of honey in my life.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,305

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.