I was sat there on my blue and white mosaic tiled rooftop terrace overlooking the Thai Gulf with watching the sun rise up in front of me. My matcha face mask that makes me look like Jim Carrey circa 1994 was melting down my cheeks and into my matcha tea.
I looked hideous but I felt good and smiled as the Route 4169 traffic below was being drowned out by a song that was playing on repeat in my head; Looking Back by Mike & The Mechanics.
One of my tasks for the day was to write an article for the Content Castle blog titled “Why looking back can help you look forward”. It was talking about techniques used by writers for storytelling and how they link to regression therapy.
And it couldn’t have been more perfect timing because I’d just spent the entire weekend with, well, a soulmate, looking back over our shoulders and bringing each other up to speed on ten year’s worth of life.
LOOKING BACK OVER MY SHOULDER
Looking back on a decade of existence is a surreal experience and telling my tales out loud in a quasi chronological order was totally cathartic in every way.
It felt like I was watching a film play out in my mind and narrating every scene. I saw myself, the protagonist, surrounded by the other characters; some that stuck around and others that came and went, and thousands of extras I sometimes barely even noticed.
I zoomed in and out of the details with vivid attention. I saw the colours, I noticed the lighting and I heard the soundtrack play. It was me but it wasn’t me if that makes sense, and I empathised with her every thought, her every move, her every word.
I saw time as this almost elastic and unfathomable concept. Things that happened years ago felt like they just happened yesterday. So many adventures, situations and experiences. So much growth.
The concept of age felt like something I could barely relate to as I transported myself back in time to when I was wearing a more youthful mask. I saw myself constantly morphing – mentally, physically and emotionally – into a state of newness with every moment that passed; I grew and I changed and I evolved.
But underneath the external chaos of change, there was a peaceful undercurrent flowing through me; the still and silent soul.
WRITERS LIVE TWICE
Our experiences not only shape what we write, but how we write it and by drawing on our past experiences we clear a space in our head for thinking and creativity.
We can revisit our memories or conjure up new ones, we can dance around a mythical realm full of unicorns if we want to. We reflect, we remember, we distort. We play around with words and we tell a story that we hope somebody, somewhere will want to hear.
And this is exactly what I love about writing. It’s not just about therapeutically draining the brain or unleashing your imagination, writing is a time machine. .
A writer’s attention to the smallest of details, their acute awareness of the present moment and their ability to revisit moments from the past with equal perception is what gives them a superpower that Natalie Goldberg nicely sums up with three simple words:
Writers live twice
It’s a gift of goodness and that’s one of the many reasons I’m almost hyperventilating with excitement that very soon, Eva and I are launching Mindless Mag.
It’s an organically growing, ever-evolving online magazine that focuses on Conscious Fashion but what gives us our edge is the fact that we’re creating a community of writers with consciences.
We want to create an online space for writers to scribble, to talk, to learn and to grow. We want people to zoom in on topics that really matter, and fall in love with writing as much as we have.
We want everybody to live twice.
Jonathan Caswell 31 January 2019
Yes we do…live twice!
allmyheroesareweirdos 4 February 2019
Sometimes a thousand times and it’s magic every time!