Storytelling

A strange forest.

A strange forest. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A strange forest. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I am a strange forest full of trees.

The wind rustles me.

I challenge my limbs with weight.

I cry leaves when it hails on my branches.

A strange, strange forest that no one can understand.

People walk amongst my limbs.

Their rough hands feel along the smooth roots,

Their smooth hands feel along the rough trunks.

We whisper the unexpected into the canopy together.

Knowing each of us briefly

In my strange forest, full of trees.

Love

Luke.

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Day 766

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What is my bliss?

What is my bliss? Drawing Luke Hockley.

What is my bliss? Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I have admired Joseph Campbell for a long time. There is a podcast of an interview with him that I have listened to a lot.

In it he talks with a journalist, Bill Moyers, about his life’s work.

He was a researcher into humans and how we use story to make sense of the world.

He has this idea that all humans have a path, and when they follow that path things become more straight forward. He says you have to follow your bliss. You know when you are following your bliss because everything about you changes, you become clearer and walk more confidently towards this thing.

I don’t imagine he means that there are never difficult times. I think he means that no matter how difficult things are you know that this is what you are meant to be doing so you use the challenge to make you stronger.

It is a very appealing idea.

It would be nice to know, with certainty, that I was on the right path.

I feel torn. I feel like I understand a lot about what my bliss is and I feel like I have no idea what it is.

I wonder if my expectations around what I think it should be get in the way of what it really is?

I wonder.

Love

Luke

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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

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

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It’s time.

It's time. Drawing Luke Hockley.

It's time. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

It’s time.

All the planning, all the problem solving, all the writing, all the drawing, all the sitting at a piano, all the singing, all the training…all of that.

I’ve loved all of that, well not the planning and the problem-solving bit actually…I’ve loved most of that and now I get to share what I’ve made with some people who have bought themselves a ticket.

Be excited.

Be open hearted and generous. Be vulnerable and fallible. Be playful.

Find magic where magic is lurking.

Enjoy the ride.

Come what may.

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...)

Am I still learning?

Am I still learning? Drawing Luke Hockley.

Am I still learning? Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I just want to check in with you and make sure I am still learning.

I’m just a bit worried that I have fallen into that trap of seeing myself in the role of teacher and somehow mistakenly believing that learning is about what my students do.

When I am teaching learning feels alive in me.

Good, that’s good.

And I am always exploring movement and seeking to grow my capacity as a performer.

Again, excellent.

However, it has been a phase of building new things and I wonder if my questions about how I move have been a little quiet.

Or have they?

Perhaps it is that I am not in any formal study right now and I am craving that?

Or a specific teacher to help guide me deeper?

Maybe I feel like my learning is sitting too surface and I want to dive deeper but am not quite sure how to do that on my own.

Or is it just that I need to carve out the space to be in my studio spending deep time being curious and sound and movement and story?

If I look at it subjectively it would be difficult to accuse me of not being in a process of learning. It is kind of my default way of being in the world.

I just want to remember the importance of my curiosity.

Learning, always learning.

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...)

The Friendship Tree

The Friendship Tree

  

 Dear Self,

There is a grove of trees at the bottom of a ravine in a beautiful valley.

Everyday the sun shines magnificently upon these trees, but the trees themselves, at first glance, appear a little odd.

They have narrow, misshaped trunks that lead to spindly branches. On the end of these branches are muted coloured shapes that are a strange hybrid between leaf and fruit and dappled light.

They are standing at a reasonable distance from each other, independent, alone.

Each of them, when they look around, can see the beauty of the other trees that surround them, but not their own beauty.

Unexpectedly the coloured shapes on one of the trees begin to vibrate. They turn from the muted misshapen colours in to vibrant shimmering fruit, leaves and light.

The other trees see this vibrating tree’s branches are opening themselves up towards the sky. They look up and see a messy chaotic ball of light plummeting towards them.

As the tree’s limbs and leaves shimmer and shake in the direction of this messy ball of light they see that inside the ball of light is a person frantically building something.

The ball of falling human light speeds up.

The shimmering tree reaches towards this plummeting person, its branches outstretched, its shimmering light ready to act as a cushion.

But the falling is happening too fast.

There is no way this tree can absorb such intensity on its own.

But the tree reaches anyway.

Suddenly the leaves and fruit and light of another tree start to vibrate in the direction of the sky. And then another one does the same, and another, and another…until there is a circle around the original tree of other trees that have joined the vibration.

The falling human ball of light is getting closer and more frantic.

And then one of the trees starts to run.

Tearing their roots from the earth, loping across the space towards another tree. And then another does the same. And another, and another…

And the plummeting person is falling faster and faster and it becomes clear that they are building something that could save them from the fall.

The falling person is patching and fixing and hammering and stitching with all of their heart.

But the ground is coming towards them too quickly. And the falling human ball of light plummets towards the vibrating tree.

The other trees are running. As they arrive they interweave their branches and fit their odd shaped trunks together like a jigsaw puzzle. Their roots plunge deep into the earth and their vibrant shimmering fruit, leaves and light join together to create a giant shimmering ball of light ready to catch the falling person.

And the person builds furiously, and the tree leaves shimmer their encouragement brightly until eventually the falling ball of light and the shimmering trees merge into one.

There is an explosion of light that enters the earth, reflects high into the sky and illuminates the dark grey mist filled corners of the valley.

As the intense light clears there is a group of people left standing on the ground where the tree was. They are busily unpicking pieces of cloth and packing them away into a bag.

They laugh and cry and hug each other.

As they walk away, arms around each other, home for dinner, each of them plants a single seed in the ground, carefully covers it with a handful of vibrating dirt and allows a few of their happy sad tears to fall upon the earth and nourish the seed beneath the ground.

The tears slowly soak into the earth and eventually reach the seed where they dissolve into a dark grey mist that penetrates the seed. The mist swirls into the heart of the seed into a small glowing room where a small child stands facing away from us.

The child turns and reaches towards us. The dark grey mist and the glowing light merge and the seed bursts into life.

Lots of love.

Luke

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Building parachutes.

Bulding parachutes. Drawing by Luke Hockley

Bulding parachutes. Drawing by Luke Hockley

Dear Self,

I have this image that I can’t get out of my head.

It comes from a bunch of conversations I’ve been having with some friends of mine.

Really we wrote this together.

There is this person standing on the edge of a cliff.

They are looking out into a vast unknown space. And they know, even though they can’t quite see it, that they are staring at everything that matters to them.

They take a sharp breath in. And then, unexpectedly, they leap out into this unknown everything.

And suddenly they are falling.

They are terrified.

The air is rushing at their face, making it hard to breathe, and they are panicking, they can hardly see anything, blinded by the speed of the plummet and all the strange objects swirling around them.

Things that have no clear shape or name, things that are not recognisable continually crash into them…and they want to give up.

They nearly give up.

And then they remember this small backpack they are wearing and they wonder where it came from and they wonder what is in it.

They reach around and undo the zip and pull out meters and meters of brightly coloured silk fabric and they find scissors and a needle and thread and miles and miles of rope.

And they are as confused as hell.

They almost freeze and do nothing.

But then, something kicks in, and they start building.

They cut this and they stitch that. They start furiously piecing together a parachute. They can feel the ground is rushing closer and closer and they realise that they are nearly finished and that they might just get it done…

But the last bit of the fall just happens too quickly for them, they struggle to the very last breath, the last moment possible, and…they don’t make it.

Just as they are about to hit the ground they are unexpectedly caught by a group of people who have been standing at the bottom of the cliff. After a few moments they realise they are safe. And these people are standing all around them asking them about their adventure. Wondering what they saw on the way down. Looking at the beautifully imperfect, unfinished parachute they have woven together through all of the chaos.

Together they unpick the parachute. They fold each beautiful piece and carefully place it in the backpack along with the scissors and the thread and the rope. And once their spirits are buoyed, they have a meal together and then all go off to bed.

The next morning this figure is standing on the edge of the cliff again.

And once again they leap unexpectedly into this misty, grey everything space.

And again they are confused and build furiously and almost make it but don’t make it. And they are caught by the group and they have a meal and they go to bed and the next morning…

There they are.

Sometimes someone else is standing with them and they jump together and they build and are terrified and don’t make it and are caught and have a meal…

Sometimes there are lots of them standing on the cliff in the morning and they leap together and all the same things happen. Chaos and building and not quite making it and then a group of people catch them and then they have dinner and they go to bed…

Again and again these people step onto the cliff and leap.

Day after day.

Until one day, unexpectedly, a parachute gets made and instead of that last terrifying moment rushing at them with their heart pounding in the back of their throat, instead of that they float down and land gently on the ground.

As their feet touch the group of people are there, once again, just like normal, and they are chatting to them about the adventure, asking them what they discovered, unpicking the parachute, looking at the beauty of it, marvelling at its construction and just how well you did to get it done in time. They pack it piece by piece into the backpack and have dinner and then go off to bed as usual.

The next day this single figure is there again standing alone at the top of the cliff looking into this unknown space.

This time they run and leap.

They laugh at the chaos and they start building furiously, joyfully, wickedly enjoying every gasp and tumble. It’s frantic, but they aren’t. This unknown thing is a little clearer.

As they go about building their beautiful parachute they have the time occasionally to look down and see their friends down below them waving and cheering, they look around and see people all around them furiously building their parachutes. Some panicked, some laughing, some on their own, some in groups. As the ground rushes closer they realise they aren’t going to make it…and of course they are caught and the folding and chatting and food and sleeping happen all over again.

The next day that single figure is standing on the edge of the cliff, they run out into the furious unknown space ahead of them and as their last foot leaves the ground and they leap from the safety of earth into the everything that is important to them they think to themselves…

“This could all go terribly wrong. I can’t wait to tell my friends all about it.”

It is difficult to explain how different my life feels now that I know, now that I can see, that there are people building parachutes with me and all around me, and that there are people waiting to catch us regardless of whether we get the parachute made or not.

Love

Luke

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