Expectations

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

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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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The things I do.

The things I do. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The things I do. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

The things I do.

Things I don’t expect I would do.

Uncomfortable things.

Unusual things.

Ridiculous things.

Difficult things.

Funny things.

For the people I love.

The things I do.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,325

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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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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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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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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

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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

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Enjoying success.

Enjoying success. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Enjoying success. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I have a long-standing tradition of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Not letting myself actually enjoy the good things that I am experiencing.

But I can feel that starting to shift.

Things are good, and I’m kind of enjoying it.

I’ll take the win.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,304

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The only way to find out is to ask.

The only way to find out is to ask. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The only way to find out is to ask. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Sometimes I have imaginary conversations with people in my life.

It’s usually when things haven’t gone well, or I haven’t heard from someone in a long time and I seem to be trying to fill in the gap of what the other person might be thinking.

The problem with these thought experiments is that, even though I’m in charge of both sides of the conversation, I can find myself believing the other person has said or at least thinks the things I have imagined they are thinking or saying.

Of course, none of this is real. I am filling a gap here by making up both sides of the conversation.

The only way to find out what someone is thinking is to ask them.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,292

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.