Presence

The last buttonhole

The last buttonhole. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The last buttonhole. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

A year after I started making this shirt, I am finally about to sew the last buttonhole.

It will take me about an hour, and then…this shirt is complete.

It takes a long time to hand sew a shirt…but it doesn’t take a year. I think for the last 6 months I’ve spent the time avoiding sewing these buttonholes. In case I stuff them up. This shirt has been awkward at times. I’ve taken the collar off and totally remade it – which took ages. The stitching is a strong contrast to the main fabric. Which I did, on purpose, so that the imperfect handmade nature of the shirt was obvious…but I couldn’t come to terms with how messy the stitching on the collar was. The collar is different to all the other parts of the shirt. Being circular there are no obvious ‘inside’ and ‘outside’…or the inside and outside change halfway through a line of stitching. You see, I can make one side reasonably neat…the other, well it’s pretty scrappy.

Anyway.

It’s taken a long time, most of that time has been taken up with my battle with myself to be perfect.

But also, some of that time has been dedicated to the fact that shirt making is all process. Like painting a room every new exploration is a lot of preparation before I actually get to sew, which I don’t find takes that long.

In this case the buttonholes took so long because I got curious about how handmade buttonholes are actually meant to be made. I had just made up my own technique…but I knew that there was going to be a ‘proper’ way to do it.

As I explored different techniques my buttonholes got a lot worse before they finally shaped up into something passable.

If that was the only delay, learning a new technique, then I may have slowed a little, but that wouldn’t have worried me. I like that shirt making is a process of discovery. It’s all the angst in between that I could do without.

It’s important for me to remember that the process is the point. To slow down and enjoy each piece of the puzzle.

That same old lesson coming back to visit me once again.

There is only now.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,377

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Stand here.

Stand here. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Stand here. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

The change of season.

Can be rough.

Messy.

Transitions are like that.

I’m standing in a place that feels unlike the place I’ve been and not quite like the place I imagine I am going.

Here is the only place that exists.

Stand here.

That’s it.

All there is.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,374

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Get moving.

Get moving. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Get moving. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Get moving.

Cooperate, coordinate, go!

What’s needed is obvious.

Make it happen.

Kindly, gently, quickly.

Get moving.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,366

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A busy day resting.

A busy day resting. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A busy day resting. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

On the go all day.

Resting by doing lots of things.

Washing, shopping, cooking.

I must also remember to rest by doing nothing.

Every now and then that would be well worth the investment I reckon.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,363

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I let it go.

I let it go. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I let it go. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I am a heavy, satisfied weight.

I lay the weight of me down upon the couch.

And let go.

I let go of holding it all together.

Of getting it right.

Of choosing a path.

Of making a decision.

Of worrying it till it is free of wrinkles.

I let it go.

And rest.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,362

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Arrival.

Arrival. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Arrival. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Scatter, scatter.

I ping pong my thoughts from rapid place to rapid place.

Solving small parts of many different problems in quick succession.

Never arriving, never landing, never seeing something through to the.

End.

I crave that long slow time.

I crave that place I get to where I am breathing into this thing I am doing.

I crave arrival.

Where does that live?

It lives in how I approach the thing I am doing.

It lives with me.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,348

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The knowing

The knowing. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The knowing. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Laying on my back

My legs up the wall

Warm blankets wrapped around me

I’ve just been exercising, hard.

I’m tired, relieved even.

A window of ease and kindness opens

My back spreading in cooperation with gravity

My legs heavy and heavy and heavy.

My experience of the world expands

I’m bathed in knowing

Attentive

Free from internal discussion about that moment or the moment coming

I’m here. Knowing that, without using words to name it.

Here.

As quickly as it arrived, the open window shuts.

I think some words.

Distracted.

I don’t fully recover the knowing, equally, the knowing doesn’t really leave me.

That moment refills me.

An energy reboot.

That holds me for much longer than I would imagine it could.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,334

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.

The infinite tight rope.

The infinite tight rope. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The infinite tight rope. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m holding a thread in one hand that connects to my future (as yet unwritten) and another that stretches throughout my past in the other.

These two threads are connected to each other. They are one single thread that runs from my front hand to beneath my feet to my back hand.

The infinite tight rope that I am confidently but carefully walking along.

The game, if it can be called a game, is to hold each of the threads lightly and firmly but not be drawn too far into the thread of the future nor of the past.

The game, as it is, is to enjoy each step on the tight rope, knowing that these steps are possible because of the existence of this thread, without being pulled off the tight rope by my obsession with the impossible tasks of solving the past or dreaming the future.

The game is to be right here.

In this step.

Now.

Love

Luke.

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

Day 1,331

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I can only live today.

I can only live today. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I can only live today. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Looking forwards there is so much to worry about.

What’s going to happen?

How will things work out?

Will things work out?

I’m afraid of ending up alone.

There’s nothing I can do about tomorrow.

Today, I’m not alone.

I can only live today.

Tomorrow is for tomorrow.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,320

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Running in the rain

Running in the rain. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Running in the rain. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Today a friend of mine and I ran in the rain

It was joyful and outrageous and cold and uncomfortable and very satisfying.

Love

Luke

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

Day 1,313

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.