Greed

Numbers on a page.

Numbers on a page. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Numbers on a page. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Even though money is only numbers on a page it seems to make quite a difference, at times, what those numbers are.

How can something be so important and so unimportant all at once?

It’s a mystery.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,138

Money is a strange thing.

Money is a strange thing. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Money is a strange thing. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

What is something worth?

Money is such a strange thing.

It’s this made up idea. This agreement we all have to represent value in an abstract way. Which is even weirder now that we hand that value over to banks as a series of 000000’s and 111111’s.

It is ‘make believe’, on one level, but very real on another.

Particularly if you don't have any of this fantasy to pay for things like food and shelter.

Getting caught up in money is far too easy. Dreaming about all the things money could do. Wishing I had more. Hungering after this virtual nothingness…

But it doesn’t represent what’s really important. (Particularly after I have enough to pay my bills and eat and all that).

People are what matter.

Relationships, connection and community.

Money is important, but only so important.

The people in my life are important. Really important.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,101

Stamp Money.
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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.

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Gratitude

Gratitude. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Gratitude. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I live a blessed life.

But I’m not always happy.

I can’t deny my feelings, but I also can’t deny the facts.

I am a very privileged person living in one of the most privileged countries in the world.

So, how do I justify feeling grumpy or sad about things?

I can’t.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel this way sometimes.

What I can do is acknowledge how I am feeling, take a deep breath and move on.

I live in a culture that has taught me to expect more than I have all the time.

That’s unsustainable and unhealthy.

Gratitude.

Being grateful for my life is the most important thing I can do.

That will help me see things for what they really are.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,099

Stamp Money.
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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:
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Epic.

Epic. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Epic. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I saw a dance piece last night called Colossus. Choreographed by Stephanie Lake as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival at The Arts Centre.

It was epic.

50 dancers on stage. Pulsing, throbbing, flocking. Unison and chaos.

En masse like that, the human form transforms itself. It suddenly becomes alien, or rather, it reveals itself as animal.

The work is a beautiful reflection of this moment. The joy and terrifying power of humans forming and breaking apart and reforming in tribes. Both live and virtually.

Most of the work reflected the magic that people create through intense cooperation. At one moment the group turns on one of its own. Singles them out.

Victim and hoard.

It was chilling. Frighteningly real. It triggered my experiences of having groups of people turn on me. It reminded me of how vulnerable I am to being abandoned by my village. How the invisible threads of support and trust keep each of us safe. For a moment I was that isolated human under attack. It was extremely uncomfortable.

Eventually this lone figure is delicately folded back into the group. This confused me. I accepted it, it seemed real…but is that it? Is there no retribution for the mass hysteria? No self-reflection from the group on its irrational seething anger? Why is their violence unpunished?

It was like the fog of irrational hatred cleared and it never happened.

It’s not right. How can they get away with this?

It may not be right...but it is sadly accurate. The victim gets chewed up and spat out on our social platforms…and then rapidly forgotten. We don’t see our own behaviour, our own hysteria, as part of the problem. It just happens for a moment and then it is gone. Like it never happened. The entertainment of it all finished so we move on, absolved of any responsibility for it all. The victim lucky if they are embraced back into the community.

These reflections are intensely uncomfortable. I don’t like how they make me feel. Don’t like that I see that I am a part of all that.

I much prefer the feeling I had when I watched the group in complex and profound cooperation. Which is where they were for the majority of the performance.

It was like watching a scene from a nature documentary. Calming. The natural world in harmony.

Colossus did that thing where performance morphs beyond entertainment into sense making. It helped me see something about myself and the worlds I inhabit.

Even though I was unsettled by some of what it had to say I am pleased that I live in a culture that gave space for this voice.

I feel richer this morning for that experience.

Filled.

Love.

Luke.

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Day 1,026

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
 

The dinosaur roars.

The dinosaur roars. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The dinosaur roars. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

The dinosaur has power.

He roars.

He feels the power.

And roars.

But power is on the move.

It appears in unexpected places.

It shocks the dinosaur to see the power outside of himself.

He believes that he owns the power.

That the power is rightfully his.

But the power is moving, morphing, shifting.

He roars louder. He roars wounded.

He roars sad and scared.

But no one ever taught him how to be sad. How to feel scared.

So, he roars louder and louder.

He starts to look silly.

Roaring when he is scared and sad and worried.

They start to laugh.

He is mortified. He is furious. He is fierce. He is outraged at the humiliation and injustice.

But, surprisingly, these feelings don’t kill him.

He wakes up the next morning and he is still alive.

And the power is sitting in the room looking at him.

He sees the power.

He understands the power is not him.

He understands the power does not owe him anything.

He understands the power is dangerous.

He understands that he does not own the power.

He understands that the power is safer if everyone is holding a little bit rather than him holding it all.

He thinks about this.

He thinks that maybe today he will let the power be with everyone rather than with just one.

The dinosaur lets the power go.

Luke.

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Day 941

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Make a donation to Our Watch - Your donation will help drive nationwide change in the culture, behaviours and power imbalances that lead to violence against women and their children.

I can’t open Facebook.

I can't open Facebook. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I can't open Facebook. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I can’t open Facebook at the moment.

It’s not very sensible. But every time I do I just feel icky.

I’ve been uncomfortable with how social media works for a long time.

I’ve really debated, seriously debated, with myself about the dream of not being on any social media platforms.

Why?

Well, because something about it feels dishonest. Something about it feels like we know, but don’t know, how it all works. We understand, but don’t understand what we are giving up.

It feels like we are part of a giant social experiment that has our money firmly in the middle of the experiment…but pretends that it doesn’t.

Why does all this matter to me?

Because I would like to do good in the world with the things I create.

And like it or not social media is now the way that I can speak to the world.

Facebook is the new Newspaper.

As a dancer I used to book an ad in the Newspaper (I know!) to advertise a dance piece I had made (it wasn’t that long ago). Now, very few people would do this. Advertising on Facebook is so easy, and targeted, and pretty effective (I think, but who can actually tell…).

And so, how can I make big change in the world without the new Newspaper?

Also, it’s how my friends keep in touch with what I am doing.

Also, what’s the alternative?

How would I spread what I am doing to a bigger audience if I don’t use social media?

I’m at a loss.

Self, what should I do?

Love

Luke.

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Day 836

Stamp Money.
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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
 

The calm before the Christmas storm.

The calm before the Christmas storm. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The calm before the Christmas storm. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Right now, I am enjoying the calm before the Christmas storm.

The Christmas storm is laughter and chaos and joy and people and food and presents and alcohol and sugar and jokes and tension and miscommunication and movies on the couch and walks with the dog and hugs and tears and missing people and family stories and sadness and kindness.

It is bookended with a moment of quietness.

In that quietness, I can see the beauty of the storm. I feel how it nourishes and challenges me. I appreciate the great gift of my family and am glad for this time I have with them every year.

If I can hold myself gently in the storm then it is so much fun, if I don’t then I can get thrown around quite a bit.

So, I will hold myself gently.

And feel the joy.

Love.

Luke.

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It’s a very Bitcoin Christmas.

It's a very Bitcoin Christmas. Drawing Luke Hockley.

It's a very Bitcoin Christmas. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I have this palpable sense that I am about to miss out on something. It feels like a rising anticipation and anxiety in my stomach.

It feels like a game that others are playing that I could play too.

It’s gambling, I’m clear about that.

But gambling on what?

In the short and long term that gamble is different.

Short term I would be gambling that others will get super excited about the game and invest their money and that I can then pull my money out before the things has a ‘correction’.

Long term I would be gambling that it is a ‘correction’ and not an all-mighty-house-of-cards collapse and that cryptocurrency becomes a genuine alternative to ‘money’ as we know it.

Long term the idea, as I understand it, is to be able to use cryptocurrency in the same way we use every day currency. To buy your bread and milk and the like. Then the banks will have less control over the way things are done.

Banks are pretty rotten. They have too much control, it is very tempting to want to be involved in something that disrupts the financial system as it is.

The problem is that it is not really clear to me who exactly is in charge of this new world and what they plan to do with it in the future.

Is it a global scam?

Even if it is not a scam what are the people who thought it all up really planning?

You see Governments and banks and regulations…well as bad as it all is at least I get to vote for the government that is controlling those regulations. And, in the past, there has been some very good things that have happened as a result of the financial market being regulated.

One thing for certain…there is going to be a lot of Bitcoin conversations this Christmas around the dinner table and that is only going to fuel the cryptocurrency hysteria…that doesn’t feel good.

It doesn’t really feel good at all.

Luke

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Where do I invest my attention?

Where do I invest my attention. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Where do I invest my attention. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I woke up this morning with a very clear question…Where do I choose to invest my attention each day?

If my attention was a pile of money and every time I chose to do a certain thing I was putting that money into a jar, would I be happy at the end of the day with my investment?

Something to think about in the coming weeks.

Love

Luke

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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...)

It feels dark to admit all this.

Dear Self,

I am standing in the fluorescent shop with my hands on an aluminium plastic coated red hot looking air filled packet of MSG soaked deep fried corn and I know that this isn’t a place I want to be but I can’t stop myself.

I look around furiously for an alternative. A magazine with half naked fat shamed men and women on the cover, a small log of sugar coco salt and peanuts, a container of water sugar bubbles and food colouring.

It is early evening, fast becoming late evening. I have had no dinner. I sat at my computer finishing words on a page for an hour or so longer than I had hoped.

The air pocket filled with deep fried corn wins.

I shove each triangle into my mouth as I run walk to the tram that will get me home. The crunch and zing in my mouth settles something in me.

I finish.

Then I am left with the wrong things.

I screw the empty plastic foil pillow up and dig a hole and bury it in landfill. It will never really disappear. I sit and feel a strange sensation in my mouth like I have taken one of those chemical wipes you use for a computer screen and scoured the internal surface of my mouth with it. I am thirsty, and this feeling lasts well into the next morning. I know because I wake up early with funny feeling lips, a bit snotty and this thirst.

When I chose this I felt that I deserved it, as a reward for my hard work, a treat.

I don’t deserve this.

Feeling guilty doesn’t work for me. I don’t do guilt.

Instead I just look at this, accept it, be curious about it, be kind about it.

I laugh at the absurdity of rewarding myself in this way.

It feels dark to admit all this.

Luke