1. Worry

    I worry a lot. I worry that I am trying too hard. I worry that I am not trying hard enough. I worry that I am not doing my best. I worry that my best is not good enough. I worry that I forgot to lock the door and I worry that I forgot to wash my mug. I worry that I might not fall in love. I worry that I come across as strange. I worry that I am too quiet. I worry that I did not water the plants and I worry that I am not growing. I worry that I look odd and that other people think I look odd and about caring about what anyone else thinks. I worry that if things are not parallel then they will crash into each other. I worry about not being strong enough. I worry about people I love. I worry that I might not be able to make more beauty. I worry about worrying so much.

     

  2. Therapy

    It’s been almost two years since I stopped seeing a therapist, and I am much better, mostly. I think everyone should speak to a therapist. A therapist can be someone you pay to sit and talk to for an hour a week or someone that lets you talk for free – someone willing to listen to the nothing that might be consuming your soul and weighing you down. Nothingness can be heavy.

    Mostly, I think it’s important to talk. I think it’s important to talk for yourself and it’s important to talk for others. It’s important to talk about depression. It’s such a deeply personal thing that it might seem contrary, but it’s also a collective experience and however much it might feel like sharing won’t help anyone, it might. I feel that if more people had been open to me about being depressed, it might have made it more manageable to deal with when it hit me full force. It’s not something that has to be whispered about and it’s not something to be ashamed of, but it is something that some people have to live with, and it is something that can be managed and controlled.

    It’s part of me and it’s part of so many others. You don’t know until it’s hit you that you can feel so low, and you don’t know until you’re out of it for a bit that you can start feeling things that aren’t holes of heavy nothingness (the ultimate seemingly endless paradox).

    Talking might make some people uncomfortable, but some comfort zones need to be broken up to break down discomfort zones, to fill up voids and to start repairing broken souls.

    You have a voice.

    Speak up.

    The world needs to hear you.

     

  3. "It was already late
    enough, and a wild night,
    and the road full of fallen
    branches and stones."
    — Mary Oliver, The Journey
     

  4. "(He) made watercolour sketches in the most perilous circumstances, then at night read the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and poetry in the tent."
    — Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces
     

  5. My family makes me want to write about food.

    You’ll have to understand that for me, learning to cook happened in the same way as learning to walk – instinctively and without conscious knowledge. When you grow up in kitchens (for I had multiple homes growing up) surrounded by good food and good cooking, it leads on to being able to make good food.

    My family makes me want to write about food: real food, whole food, all the food that has started popping up as buzzwords in trendy circles, but on a simple, basic level. Pickles and fermentation have been tangible science experiments for me to watch throughout my life. Jam bubbling on a stove enthralled me with its delightful colours. Picking vegetables in a little basket was – and probably still is – one of the most rewarding exercises. Having thousands of strawberries one year, thousands of tomatoes another, and more marrows than you know what to do with the next makes you incredible resourceful in creating variations on a theme. It’s quite a creative process, and one that is as much a guiding light for cooking as it is for life.

    I have grown up eating experimental traditional food, food that would be called “artisanal” today, but that was simple and based on what we had available at any given meal. I learnt that chewing tough bread would build my character, when all I wanted was the soft-white-air-bread that my peers received in their lunchboxes, before the bread baking had been perfected to the lovely crust-to-crumb ratio that has been achieved now. I learnt that eating fruit was so much more satisfying than eating sweets. I learnt that eating a pea straight off the plant is the sweetest treat that you could dream about. I learnt that you can pull together a wonderful meal with less than ten ingredients and that it will most probably be a more balanced meal than if you have more to work with. 

    My family makes me want to write about food, because the lessons learnt and the stories told while working together in a homely kitchen are like none other, and they are stories that need to be told.

     

  6. I painted some leaves and ate some meat (which seems to give my soul a boost) and slept the whole afternoon and I think I am okay,

    just as long as I don’t get lost in my mind.

     

  7. "The past isn’t quaint while you’re in it. Only at a safe distance, later, when you can see it as décor, not as the shape your life’s been squeezed into."
    — Margaret Atwood
     

  8. "It’s as if her synapses were married directly to her fingers."
    — The Science of Sleep
     

  9. "I think we’re just going to have to be secretly in love with each other and leave it at that."
    — Margot Tenenbaum, The Royal Tenenbaums
     
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