Today is The Lockwood Echo’s 5th Anniversary. Although, having been absent for 2 years and 9 months, I don’t know if the anniversary stands. I say ‘absent’; more honestly ‘lost’. So very very lost.
My last post was October 2019, and I said then I would be away for a while. I didn’t know if I’d ever come back.
You see, a Thing Happened. And that’s where the details end. It’s changed me immeasurably. Alas, not for the better. But let’s be honest, I was pretty perfect; hard to improve on that.
And then Lots of Things Happened. So many Things. I kid you not that I now frame The Pandemic as a footnote. Of course, I’m as impacted by it as anyone. I’m not being insensitive, nor disrespectful to other situations. Every single one of us has experienced the hardest of times, the most frightening of times, the most punishing of times. I say it in the context that The Pandemic started to tumble down my increasingly long list of Major Changes and Things to Fall Apart About. But wherever its position on that list, all the Things That Happened were magnified and extra surrealistically unbearable because of it. Support and comfort out of arm’s reach. Literally. I felt unable to engage with my social networks which had understandably turned in on themselves. Everyone’s focus and energy was within their own homes and their own worlds, quite rightly.
I no longer recognised my life.
I launched The Lockwood Echo as a longed-for creative platform. A place to purge, process and play. There was no great plan. No direction. No ambition. I just needed to find Something. And goodness, did I find it! It turned out to be one of the most fulfilling experiences of my entire life. Equally attested by fellow creatives; I found ‘My Tribe’. Clichéd but true (clichés exist because they exist). However, it’s a world I then excused myself from because I needed to. It’s impossible to face out when you can’t face in.
I’ve struggled to find a way back. And to do it without explanation. I don’t want to tear up what already exists. I don’t want to edit my offerings, change or re-launch. I put so much thought, time and energy into the original version (the OG I believe you kidz call it), I can’t imagine altering one iota of it. All the choices I made on its look and feel, its quirky touches, its ridiculous images. I love every aspect. When I make a decision, it’s usually underlined.
Along the way I’ve used a variety of comparisons and analogies to describe this concoction of mine; paper aeroplane, printing press, movie theatre. So I guess in those terms, I need to find a way to sharpen the creases of my wings, polish my typeface, re-wallpaper the auditorium.
Whilst I navigate the logistics of all that, I need to, at the very least, say how much I’ve missed you all. Yes, YOU. You at the back there, who’s stumbled in off the street and found yourself in the wrong building. Please stay. I’m a work in progress and could do with the company.
It’s been such a very very very long time. That somehow feels like just yesterday. I’ve not only been absent from writing, I’ve been absent from reading too. Realistically, I’ve no chance of catching up on 2 years and 9 months. For a variety of reasons, I don’t have the free time I used to. I’ve continued to use Twitter as my go to for news, views, controversy, companionship and cats (Duh!). I’ve become one of those non-engaging lurkers. Via which I’ve seen so many of you out there with books, publications, projects and all kinds of exciting fruits being nurtured and devoured. Gosh, it’s been a pure joy to witness.
If anyone happens along here, please use the comments to point me in the direction of a ‘must see’. One of your favourite posts, finds, photographs, artwork, anything you’re wildly proud of and bursting to share. It would be a lovely way to find myself a seat around the campfire again and warm my hands and heart. Keep it family friendly though, I’m delicately balanced.
I’ll apologise up front if I limit my interaction to a ‘like’ and I may choose to keep comments private. But I absolutely promise to look at everything you send my way, and I’ll try to do that in a timely manner.
How ever the last 2 years and 9 months has treated you, although I’m sadly sure there’s been some heart-breaking times (worse things are happening to better people than me), I sincerely hope there’s also been some positivity, kindness and a reason to get up and go again. I hope you’ve all found a means to peace and a path through your own personal Things That Happened. Life’s hard. They never said it’d be easy but they did say it’d be worth it. I’m gonna loiter on the corner to see if that’s still true.
I’ve missed you all immensely, so let’s see how this goes and maybe I’ll swing by here again.
(Editor in Chief & Bottle Washer)