L E T T E R – The Courage We Once Had – The Broad Place

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L E T T E R – The Courage We Once Had

When I was young, I was a strange little kid. I didn’t fit in at all. Eccentric, hyperactive, skinny and ultra curious, I was into lots of things other kids weren’t. I loved pottery, but it wasn’t cool back then like now, it was quite weird and a lady with a thick braid and hessian apron used to host classes in a hot shed. I did folk art classes, and any painting class I could get into.

Where I grew up was kind of country on the beach, and there was not anything for my age art class wise. So I did art classes with retired ladies. My mum never told me this was ridiculous and would drive me around to classes I had found all the time, and I wonder what she thought as all the old ladies waved goodbye to me aged 8. This was before the Internet so I really had to network with the old birds to find out where the live drawing classes were being held, and the classes where we collaged from magazines onto boxes and painted them in lacquer. I was teased when my friends found out about this, relentlessly.

I used to meditate having no idea it was meditation. Sit on tree branches with my eyes closed and see if I could stop hearing everything and for how long could this go on for. Likewise with climbing around the rocks at the beach and staring at the horizon. I would get into strange states. I adored it, the silence I could tap into. I was sick a lot and spent tonnes of time in the hospital, and between me and my brother who was disabled, these became like second homes. I read to escape it, furiously and obsessively.

My favourite place as to go was to my friends home. Her mum and dad used to make homemade bread and nut butters and were vegan. They burned incense and lit candles in the day time, and had mosaic tiles they hand painted. It was incredible, and all before doing that kind of thing was on trend. I relished hanging out there. Like I did health food stores and bookstores, the same sense of peace and being at home.

I lost my path for awhile, ashamed for a long time in my later teenage years and twenties about the weirdo that I was. And then I came back to myself. The little fruitcake that I truly am, I returned to.

I think we should return to your younger selves to be grateful for the courage we had when we were young, even if just because we knew no other. To recognise that a sequence of choices led us here today, and to be utterly grateful for them.

Sent with love,

Jac x

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