Updated: Feb 19
This year, I started sharing my ‘thoughts’ from the day onto my Instagram stories. And whilst not intending for it to become a ‘thing', I have been positively overwhelmed by the incredible response from you all - so much so that I have chosen to dedicate a blog post to them every week.
Each Thursday, I'll be expanding upon three of my thoughts from the previous week, acting as an extension of the shorter thoughts I share (a 'mid-week musing' of sorts, into how these relate to myself and my poetry). Please feel free to let me know if this is something you enjoy or are interested in, either by commenting below or getting in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my socials.
08.02.20: ‘Slow down. It's ok to miss your train and it's ok to wait a little later than you first planned.'
I took an unplanned trip into Lewes the other weekend, just to get out and to have a little look around, without an agenda or time frame or need to be anywhere at any given time. The weather was beautiful, the town wasn't too busy for a weekend and I had a vague idea of reading a book in the Grange, or nosy-ing round the charity shops, or possibly going up to the Downs - I was essentially just going to see what I felt like and go with that (how very unlike me). So I had a great afternoon, took my time and had a relaxing potter about, blah de blah de...but when I went to get my train, by the time I got to the station I could see there was one leaving in one minute. And my platform was across the other side. So naturally, I sprinted my way over - because I had to get on this train - and I missed it by a few seconds. Initially I was annoyed; I wouldn't be able to get a train home for another half an hour, and now I have to go and sit on a cold bench as all the good leaning spots are taken. It is only in this waiting that I realised I had no plans for this day, I didn't have to get that train back - why was I so upset at missing it? Now I know I'm only talking half an hour here, but it is crazy how quickly my mind went from 'we get home when we get home' to 'we need to get home now'; this sudden urgency that is built out of habit and the instinct to rush. This thought I wrote on my Instagram stories is what I wrote into the 'Notes' function of my phone after I'd sat down, looked at the stunning blue of the sky, and realised that it didn't matter. If I had rushed, I wouldn't have had that extra half hour of reading, the extra observations of the flowers and trees at the station, or the calm before a packed train ride. My sister has a tattoo on her arm that says 'there is blessing in the waiting', and whilst I'm sure for her it means more than missing your train and enjoying some downtime, I think this kind of thinking is so important in our everyday lives, and yet so easy to overlook. It is almost instinctive to think the opposite, but it is ok to slow down every now and then; it's a learning process that takes strength and a willpower that goes against every other known inclination.
09.02.20: ‘Uncontrollable laughter is essential to surviving the day.’
You know when you make those faces where your eyes are all screwed up and all your teeth and gums are showing. You can see the tops of your cheeks if you look down because you're smiling so wide and you are temporarily frozen in some oddly contorted expression whilst you snort, snigger, shout and cry with laughter? That kind of 'uncontrollable' is what I'm talking about here. And whilst it may not look 'pretty', and you may not feel it too often as usually we can keep control of what we're doing and learn to 'laugh sociably' (I could write an essay on this, let me know if you're interested), this kind of laughter and pure joy is one of the only antidotes to a whole manner of experiences all else beyond our control. It is ironic that when we are out of control in other aspects of our lives (perhaps things are not going to plan, for example) it is a negative feeling, to be so out of control with something so positive is a feeling of pure pleasure, elation and necessary to getting through whatever life decides should happen to us. And it doesn't necessarily have to be with someone else; now I love have a good old giggle (*uncontrollable snorting) with my partner or my family, but I laugh A LOT with my cat (who is a nutjob, but can't speak English); there could be a really funny podcast that makes you laugh out loud - a literal LOL for a change... - or even a good tv show, film, picture, sound, observation...I don't know, but whatever it is, pure joy is uncontrollable, unfilter-able and impossible to ignore or change. Feel it. Feel it all., even if it is just for a few moments; that point where you are detached from your issues or from your current situation and focused on the sheer happiness is what you need to hold on to, for it allows you to survive your day, week, month, but also your hour, minutes or moment. Find what you need to get you through, however small, and never take it for granted.
11.02.20: ‘Everything is interconnected if you look long enough for the links, which is both a blessing and a curse.’
I'm doing a lot of work and research on my next collection at the moment, the themes of which I touched upon in my 'How Valid Is Memory' blog post. And in doing this, it's very easy for me to go down a rabbit hole, only to resurface some hours later when I probably should be sleeping. What I mean by what I wrote here is almost a bit like the whole 'six-degrees-of-separation' thing, in that you can always make some link (no matter how strong or tenuous) if you look for the connection long enough. Specifically here when I first had this thought, I was talking more academically, or with reading conclusions in texts or making interpretations (I don't recommend making a tenuous link or throwaway comment in a heated or emotive debate, particularly if there is little evidence to back you up). But if you can read into a text in a certain way. then that way is valid; the answer is there, in the text, because you've had the interpretation based on what you've read - it all comes full circle and it all links in. I guess the more negative side of saying that 'Everything is interconnected' is that it also can involve ruminative thought processes, again something I have touched upon in the aforementioned blog post if you're interested. This way of thinking is something that can be so easy to fall into; at different times in response to situations, we all overthink and keep going over the 'what ifs', uncertainties and hypothetical situations, but we cannot account for everything. And whilst this is terrifying (and I say this coming from a place where uncertainties are, at times, impossible for me to deal with), we are all having to face unknowns in our lives. I think I am trying to say, yes look for links, yes look for patterns and utilise these in a way that helps your work, situation, thoughts or relationships. But the minute you give in and give over to this way of thinking, it will become harder and harder to untangle yourself from the knots and webs you will have created; learning how to read into things and making associations can simultaneously bring you joy and pain and it is only through experiencing both of these can you learn to make and find a balance between the two.
Until next time, H.M.
References and Further Reading:
- All pictures taken by H.M. Reynolds and posted on the @hmrwrites Instagram account between 08.02.20 and 11.02.20.
- A little information about what 'The Six Degress Of Separation' is, https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/six-degrees-of-separation
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you want to be featured, have new ideas or want to write for The hmrwrites Blog; I’m always looking for new people to collaborate with. Feel free to drop your own blog/website/socials in the comments.