Joy and knowledge

The Wondering

Over the last 18 months, a pesky idea had been incessantly nudging me. In the beginning, I sent it away with excuses.

“I don’t have time for something like that… My life doesn’t have space for this right now… This isn’t worth it.”

The idea was insistent. I responded with doubt.

“There are many words in the world, what value could mine possibly add?… I’ve tried to keep this habit before, how will this be any different?”

Last month, after a solo adventure where I created the space for my soul to speak, writing was its message. I returned home from my trip with confidence and created a new online space where I could begin a weekly writing practice. I began with grand ambitions of producing an essay every week. I managed this for a fortnight before I recognised how unsustainable this would be alongside my full-time rather writing-focused job. Classic Hannah.

Setting this goal for myself had created unnecessary pressure and pushed out the joy. In attempting to write long essays, none of my noticings felt complete enough to share with the world. I panicked. I felt the temptation to delete the publication and return to writing on my blog ‘whenever I had the time’. But deletion would deny my dream and dim my light. Not the answer.

Instead, I chose to trust that my soul had been speaking the truth. I walked. I waited. And once I had truly ceased forcing an answer, it arrived. A resounding knowing about why I had created this space in the first place. A way forward that wouldn’t result in yet another burnout. I listened. New Hannah.

Like many habits that are good for me, writing is something I Ieave for later and save for best. I no longer want this to be my truth. In their poem, When to Write, Sophia Thakur suggests that ‘when your skin lingers high above your bones and you’re so out of touch with self, write.’ Writing is my way of processing life, drawing connections and making sense of the chaos. Without writing, my thoughts thread knots, stagnate and confuse. With writing, my thoughts form beautiful connections and guide me onwards with clarity.

This Joy and Knowledge website will remain my online home for my reading log and collections, and writing archive. My newsletter, The Wondering, will now house my weekly writing practice. Each day, I’ll seek to capture the many wonderings that occupy my mind, accompany my walks, and influence my work. Each week, on a Wednesday, I’ll share some of these wonderings with you.

The first issue, on resistance, explores windows and mirrors in stories and the curriculum, ethical issues associated with AI, false narratives about work, and what ‘success’ really means.

You can subscribe to The Wondering for free

I’d love to see you there!

My writing commitment: I’m learning to honour my thoughts. I’m learning that my words can be shared before I’ve connected all the dots or learned everything there is to know. My writing can be a snapshot of a single moment in continually-evolving time.

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