Meanness

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

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

Day 1,310

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.

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

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.

Darkness and joy.

Darkness and Joy. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Darkness and Joy. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

The dark murky mush of human complexness is sitting with me on the couch today.

That’s ok.

It is not nice, but it is a fact.

We are messy. Things are not simple.

I’m ok to sit here with it for a while.

But it can’t stay. Not all day.

Today I invite some of the joy to sit with me as well.

That’s where we are today.

Darkness and Joy.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,035

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.

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

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 little kind acts.

The little kind acts. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The little kind acts. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

It seems simple, to treat myself with kindness.

But when I need that kindness most is when it is hardest to do.

I get myself locked into patterns that are destructive.

Once they are triggered they are hard to turn off.

Kindness is delicate. It is moment to moment.

So easily swamped by irksome emotions that are unsettled and noisy.

And destructive.

It’s the choice of the delicate over the tornado that seems impossible.

But it works.

Choosing the little kind acts.

If I choose them, they work.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,025

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
 

Riot.

Riot. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Riot. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Last night we watched a tele-movie on the ABC called Riot.

It is the story of the first Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade held in Sydney.

I couldn’t believe the police brutality, I couldn’t believe how Australian’s condoned prejudice against people they knew, I couldn’t believe the laws that enabled all of this.

I was 2 years old when the first parade happened.

I grew up in this nasty soup. My sense of self was forged with this as a silent, unseen, poisonous background.

In my lifetime so much has changed.

I think I felt the depth of all this when marriage equality became law last year. I realised that I had been living as a second-class person and had completely accepted that…because that’s the way it always was.

We are not there yet.

How men and women view the roles of people with different genders and sexual orientations is the problem.

Watching this film, I felt the power of group action.

I felt emboldened to speak up.

To act out.

To use my voice.

To shake off my passive, comfortable life and say and do things that matter.

Rock the boat.

I’m scared.

But not nearly as frightened as someone who was detained and bashed by the police in 1978 for walking in a legally approved street march.

Forty years later the police march in the Mardi Gras parade. All because men and women were prepared to risk their lives to stand up for what was right.

So, I think I can say and do things that matter.

I think that is the least I can do to say thank you to the people who successfully fought for my right to be me.

The least I can do.

Love

Luke

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

Day 954

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
 

Generosity.

Generosity. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Generosity. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Generosity is an act that comes in many shapes.

It’s worth the effort, but sometimes it is an effort.

To be generous is to not want to and to do it anyhow.

To see something that needs doing and not walk past.

To love someone’s imperfections as the very thing that makes them special.

It means not saying nasty things because they are the easiest, most obvious things to say. It means taking the time to remember that every person has their own struggles. It means taking account for these battles when I talk about them.

Generosity is much easier said than done.

Love

Luke

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

Day 936

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
 

Mean.

Mean. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Mean. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Yesterday someone was mean to me.

Just your garden variety, high school, not very inventive or full of imagination, mean.

It was a ‘get back in your box, don’t think you’re so special, you can stop showing off now…’ snarky comment.

Two things about this have upset me.

For one thing, it worked.

I pulled my head in. I shrunk a little. I started questioning myself, doubting the things I have been doing this week. I’ve been thinking about my behaviour trawling over things I have said and done, wishing I hadn’t. Feeling like I don’t belong.

And that’s fucked.

Because I know it’s not true. I’m away on a residential with a big group of amazing people who have continually thanked me for everything I have done and bought to the group. It’s just that this teenage wound of being bullied is so deep that it doesn’t take much to open it and get me acting like a teenager again…

…and that’s the other thing. I’ve started thinking like a teenager again, I want to be mean. I want to take the person down. I have day dreamed about doing this one on one with them, delivering a withering line that will make them realise just how mean and small they have been…or with saying something to the whole group that would be a coded message for them…

But that’s not me.

I’m not mean.

So, what do I do with this hurt?

How do I respond in a way that reflects my values, not their hurt?

I suppose that’s a start. Seeing that their meanness is a reflection of a sadness or hurt that they are carrying. I’m pretty sure for them to act like that towards me that at some stage someone was mean to them.

Maybe I could choose to hear their meanness as a sharing of their sadness.

That feels better.

It doesn’t fix it…but it gives me something to do with it. I’d rather feel empathy than anger, hurt and meanness.

That might be all I can do for now.

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