Drawing

A gentle gift.

A gentle gift. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A gentle gift. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

To make things, with my hands, is a real pleasure.

It’s always been like this.

A gentle, unseen, gift.

An ability that I never really valued.

Until now.

Now, I can see how deeply the knowledge of making things runs.

How important to survival it has been.

How much joy it brings.

A real pleasure.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,067

Stamp Money.
from 1.00

Buying some stamp money is a way to say thanks. A way to show your love and appreciation for the things I make and share.

How much?:
Quantity:
Stamp Money
 

Sometimes I feel anxious.

Sometimes I feel anxious. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Sometimes I feel anxious. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Sometimes I feel anxious.

I feel funny even saying that, because I know that anxiety, for some people, can be crippling.

That’s not the way it is for me, which I am very grateful for. My level of anxiety falls into the manageable, ‘normal’ range (I guess!)…but it is still uncomfortable and often unpredictable and therefore unexpected.

I’ll just feel a bit overwhelmed and unearthed. Short of breath and a racing heart.

It is only very occasionally that I experience this, so I don’t really understand what is happening or how to avoid it…but I have worked out a few things.

It is always an accumulation of things, not one specific thing.

When I become anxious getting certain tasks finished (that are worrying me) can relieve it…however it’s not always clear exactly which tasks I should do in order to relieve the pressure. And, interestingly, those same tasks at another time (where I hadn’t accumulated so much pressure) would be a walk in the park, not anxiety producing at all.

Also, exercise and music and dancing and making with my hands all help…but not always. They are important as part of the balance…but if I am using them to avoid doing the tasks that are worrying me…then they are not always helpful.

Saying what is going on out loud to a friend is very helpful.

So is trusting myself to know how to chart the course back to balance.

Balance…yes, balance.

When things are in balance then my ‘to do’ list is just a ‘list of things to do’, not a weight around my chest.

That’s worth remembering.

Love

Luke.

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

Day 884

Stamp Money.
from 1.00

Buying some stamp money is a way to say thanks. A way to show your love and appreciation for the things I make and share.

How much?:
Quantity:
Stamp Money
 

I stopped having fun.

I stopped having fun. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I stopped having fun. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I stopped having fun with my drawings.

When I first started adding drawings to my letters more than a year ago I was having so much fun.

I was curious about how my scribbles on a page might be able to convey some meaning, add something additional to my daily letter.

But then I got all worried about creating a picture that people would think looked good on Instagram.

That's not fun.

I feel like I’m at a cross roads with this whole project. I don’t think it is time to stop…but I also don't want to keep going with it feeling like this.

I want to get some perspective on it all.

Not sure what that looks like.

Actually, I want to start having some fun with it again.

Which means I have to make it clear to myself that this is a choice, no one is making me do this every day. I’m choosing to do it…but why?

I’m choosing to do it because I can see that over time I make progress in getting to know myself and that I am generally happier. Even if, for days on end, it can feel like I’m getting nowhere.

Why am I sharing that journey? Why not just do it for myself?

I’m hoping that seeing someone else persevere, kindly, with a project like this might encourage people to do their own version of generous self-reflection.

Do I want to keep going?

Yes. Right now I’m learning how to have a sense of humour about the fact that what I am creating each day is not that interesting. Staying in there when it gets tough is a life lesson that has great value to me.

Looks like I’m in for another day.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Day 864

Oh…I’m not good enough.

Oh...I'm not good enough. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Oh...I'm not good enough. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I look up at the marvelous creations of the people around me and I feel a terrible disappointment in myself.

Sometimes.

I see their magic and love the magic.

But sometimes I feel like I’m not magic.

Sometimes.

I’m not enough.

I think I just want to be good at things without any effort.

That hardly ever works though, does it.

Because magic looks magic because of all the hours of practice to make it look magic.

Sometimes I do something magic.

Not as often as I’d like…

But sometimes.

Perhaps sometimes is enough?

Love

Luke.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Day 812

Humans are born naked.

Humans are born naked. Image Luke Hockley.

Humans are born naked. Image Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I once heard Kat Lavers say how she fell in love with growing her own food.

She saw a bird pull a worm out of the earth and eat it and she thought to herself…

“What sought of self-respecting animal can’t feed itself?”

We have 3 vegie boxes in our backyard. We have the tiniest back yard that is filled to the brim with life. At the moment, we even have a burgeoning peach tree that is holding its very first peaches.

All of this happens via some miracle. The same way I have an endless jar of honey in the cupboard the green things in my life miraculously take care of themselves.

Which is very fortunate, because I really wouldn’t know how to grow my own food.

Humans are weird animals, we are born naked.

Most animals are born with the covering they need to survive.

At some stage, we evolved to a point, and migrated to places, where we needed to cover ourselves to survive.

Now, most humans wouldn’t know how to create the clothing they need to protect themselves.

What kind of self-respecting animal can’t make its own clothes?

I can.

I’ve just spent the past few days drafting a shirt pattern and now I am on the slow path to making myself a new shirt.

I used to do this kind of thing all the time as a child. I grew up on my Mum’s knee at the sewing machine.

I haven’t done it for years now.

But lately I have been thinking a lot about where my clothes come from. Who makes them and under what circumstances do they make them? Like our food I feel like we have become disconnected from the clothing we wear.

Yesterday I bought a t-shirt for my nephew for $1 and I bought some fabric for $8 and drafted and constructed a t-shirt for him. It took me a few hours. I didn’t need to do it…when you can buy one for a dollar why would you?

I wanted to see what it was like to make a t-shirt compared to buying it.

It is fiddly, not too hard, but much more work than spending a dollar.

My nephew was pretty excited. We transferred one of our drawings onto the front of it. He is now in the process of colouring it in.

Life has got to a point where I expect things to just happen. To be immediate. I can see how much my life has benefited from this…but I can also see how this means I have lost touch with what it means to take care of myself in the world.

Some things take effort. 

Being able to put that effort in makes me more robust.

I’d like to remember that.

Love

Luke.

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

Stamp Money.
from 1.00

Buying some stamp money is a way to say thanks. A way to show your love and appreciation for the things I make and share.

How much?:
Quantity:
Stamp Money
 

Where is my drawing hiding?

Dear Self,

Some days when I sit to write to you all I can do is sit here and wonder what interesting picture I can draw.

It happens on days when I don’t have a lot of time.

It’s not really that helpful.

The point of this daily practice isn’t to come up with an entertaining drawing each day, that feels a bit like being a monkey being told to dance by the organ grinder.

I find my drawing is completely unpredictable.

Some days I can draw something that feels like it comes straight from ‘the source’. It represents exactly where I am, it tells the story that is a true reflection of where I am today. Some days it is as if I have never drawn before. The image is terrible, I can’t even bare to look at it let alone publish it.

This isn’t very helpful. I don’t know what to do about it.

With my writing, I don’t find it as difficult to find the thread, but with my drawing it is like it is a mystery that alludes me sometimes.

Where is my drawing hiding?

Love

Luke

Stamp Money.
from 1.00

Buying some stamp money is a way to say thanks. A way to show your love and appreciation for the things I make and share.

How much?:
Quantity:
Stamp Money
 

To be strong.

To be strong. Drawing Luke Hockley.

To be strong. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’ve been approached by a company to collaborate and put my artwork on their clothing.

They are an ethical and sustainable fashion label and it seems very cool and I’m pretty excited…but it started me asking myself…why? Why would I put something I’ve created on an item of clothing?

All this thinking has helped me crystalize how important the story is to me, how important having an intention is and the importance of delivering on that intention.

What has come to me this morning is a range of Men’s t-shirts that have words on them that are reminders of what I believe it is to be a man…

“Be kind, be patient, be generous.”

“To be strong is to love and have feelings.”

“I’m here, ready to listen…”

“Beautiful things make me weep.”

I suppose what I am saying is that the act of buying and wearing this t-shirt would be an act of redefining masculinity. That the kind of men I know and love who believe these statements to be true could buy this clothing in order to remind themselves of what they believe and to spread these ideas to the people they come into contact with.

This feels like the seed of something exciting.

Love

Luke

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

Stamp Money.
from 1.00

Buying some stamp money is a way to say thanks. A way to show your love and appreciation for the things I make and share.

How much?:
Quantity:
Stamp Money
 

Looking for the earth.

Looking for the earth. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Looking for the earth. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

A tree in a pot will go looking for the earth.

Any plant in a pot will do that if it can.

Sending its roots down as far as they can go, looking for the ground beneath hoping to find nutrients and more water.

I’m the same really.

I can’t go endlessly up and out. I need to also go in and down.

I suppose it gives me something to anchor that expanse of canopy upon.

Home and food and doing the dishes and good friends and family and a sing-a-long and writing you a letter and drawing each day and moving about and picking things from the garden…

All these things are the earth beneath me.

Love

Luke

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

Stamp Money.
from 1.00

Buying some stamp money is a way to say thanks. A way to show your love and appreciation for the things I make and share.

How much?:
Quantity:
Stamp Money
 

Busy drawing pastel circles.

Busy drawing pastel circles. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Busy drawing pastel circles. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m busy drawing pastel circles with fluorescent rings I don’t have time to write to you today.

Love

Luke

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

Thanks for reading my daily letter. Stay in touch by joining my mailing list…

(scroll down to find the sign-up form)

The kitchen light.

The kitchen light. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The kitchen light. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I sit and dream of myself each morning.

Eggshells drying on the window sill.

Tea cups waiting for magic.

Piles of books.

Piles of cushions.

The light changing the room as it falls through the kitchen window.

Each day getting to know myself a little better.

Sewing another piece into the patchwork quilt.

Another question stitches into another question and into another question and into another and another and another…

And then a dive into another day.

Luke

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

Hello!
I’m performing a reading of selected Dear Self letters in the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Dear Self – Friendship.
 September 16th/23rd/30th (click the link, click the link...)