So far this blog has been a haphazard poetry blog where I have explored issues relating to my personal feminine experience. There was also the poem titled ‘An Arthritic Love Affair’ that chronicled some of my feelings of living with a chronic pain condition.
2018 served as a year where I used pain as creative material. This was useful. Cathartic even. But I want the coming year to have a slightly different focus.
I will still use poetry and words to process the world around me. If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t be being true to myself and the identity called ‘Writer’ I so wholly and fully embrace as part of who I am.
But in addition to my creative lyrical work of poems, stories and my longer ongoing novel project I seek to write a bit more about The World ‘Out There.’
It’s not going to be a Trump rant. Or an environmental diatribe. Although it would be easy enough to do either. No. I plan to write about the ways I manage a very frightening world. This is a world that is shit scary even for someone who does not struggle with anxiety. And I am a worrier. I worry well. It’s a not-very-well-kept-secret skill. One marked by bitten nails, nervous tapping feet and a sometimes too inward focused self-obsession.
As a feminist I hesitate to ascribe myself to such words as ‘domesticity’ and ‘women’s work.’ However, the areas I find myself gravitating towards in my daily life in order to cope with this (I quote myself) ‘shit scary world,’ are those of the hearth and home. Cooking, baking, gardening and textile crafts like DIY dressmaking and knitting.
This gravitation towards the domestic is a theme I hope to explore more in future blog posts drawing on the writings of investigative journalist Emily Matchar and peak oil writer Sharon Asytk as well as radical homemaking advocate Shannon Hayes. These three women all negotiate women’s roles and rights in the 21st century in slightly different, but I feel, equally interesting and important ways. But more on that later.
The domain name of this blog ‘Geographic Hearts’ was created on a whim of fancy. I liked it for its poetic effect. And its intended obscurity of meaning. I imagined it as a fashion label marked in a flowing cursive script adorning locally made eco-dyed clothes in soft earthen hues. It would claim rights to upcycled denim dresses with gradations of blues like a twilit sky. It owned the look of nana knit cardigans upcycled with velvet flower and bird-in-flight-embroideries.
However, as cool as it would be to have Geographic Hearts purely as a poetry/ fashion blog, I have evolved alongside it. I now realise how suitable this name is for all I hope this blog will grow to be. The title (as stated in my bio) is about loving where I am in the world. While that is my little South Pacific city of Wellington and the islands of Aotearoa New Zealand it is also, I think, a feeling one finds inside themselves. This is a feeling most of us search for with no map, compass or even any sense of direction.
So, this blog will contain (as well as poems) missives about the World I find myself in. Both daily routines where tea stews in vintage tea pots, i harvest herbs from my container garden and I make time to watch the sky, but also the Wider World and my interactions with the politics and issues of our times.
How I negotiate, process and make sense of them is the story I hope to convey in this blog. It is a little bit alternative, or ‘hippie’ as my brother would say. There is a distinctly green tinge to its politics. There is also an overarching theme of believing in the power of creativity to get you through.
I leave you with these questions. Where is your ‘Geographic Heart?’ Is it a place? A feeling? A person? A pet? A favourite dress or pair of denims? Is it all the above? Do you feel safe in your skin? Do you want to change the world by loving it from where you are right now?