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Absence, Presence and Objects Imbued with Love

Photo by Nick Kenrick

Many moons ago, I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and it changed the way I thought about creativity. In it, Julia recommends journalling, termed by her as morning pages, as a conduit to clearing our minds and greater creativity. 

I’ve journaled since I was a teenager, but sometimes I leave months between entries. I was reminded recently that that the beauty of morning pages is excavating our minds of the burdens we carry, and as a tool to explore thoughts we might otherwise bury. 

Scrawled handwriting on a page can be pleasurable, but so too the flight of fingers across a keyboard. I have fallen out of the habit of blogging but, in some ways, it has a similar impact to journaling. An unclogging, a meandering. Thoughts teased, deepened, sometimes just left in the void where no one finds them, but nonetheless important. Nonetheless a record of our state of mind. A deep dive from which we surface and continue to swim through the mysteries of our lives.

The house is quiet today. I am less comfortable with quiet than I used to be. The pandemic changed us all in small and big ways. I grew accustomed to family under my feet. J has worked from home more since then. There was home learning. Networks shrunk and our gaze turned inwards. 

I’m more dependent now. I notice it in myself, even if my behaviour hasn’t changed. It’s those comfort levels again. Can I fly solo at that event? Yes. But I’d much rather have my family there. They are crutches. I am as dependent on them as they are on me. Is this a deepening of love or a reduction of freedom? It’s hard to distinguish symptom from cause. 

Podcasts are my go to news source these days. A dwindling of trust in print media or maybe a need to fill the empty house with voices. I sit in the living room. The dog is still. The candle crackles. The podcast hosts exuberant and confounded by the twists in the political landscape. My eyes find objects around the room. My son’s guitar abandoned on the sofa. The school trophy on the mantelpiece. The freshly laundered unpaired socks piled on the floor. Clutter. Reminders of people I love.

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