Over on our Instagram page, we’re posting a weekly installation from Clare Johnson’s Post-it Note Project, a long running daily project. Here’s her wrap-up and statement from October’s posts.
Sometimes when I look back at post-its from certain times, I feel self-conscious, embarrassed to expose how caught up in my own personal moments I can be. At any given date some huge thing was happening in the news, and yet here’s my post-it from that night, and it’s talking about... the weather. How excited I am that it’s raining—I have SO MANY of those (my rain love is, admittedly, unwaveringly earnest and pervasive). Or it’s about my bad sleep; something a friend said; that movie I just watched; a strange sentence overheard outside the grocery store; looking up at the exact right moment to discover a house’s fancy weather vane far above me during a walk; humdrum magic of yet another cup of tea. It’s been over a decade now of making a new post-it each night, and while the bigger world certainly leaves its mark, most of the drawings are actually little things. I worry they look trivial in light of everything else developing at the same time; in recent years, part of me feels guilty not using every bit of space I have to vigilantly shout about what’s happening on a larger scale. But it also makes me happy to uncover all these tiny observations, interior thoughts, ordinary interactions—little things that make each day so much more than the news. I don’t know what redeemed that late February day, made me feel better at the last minute. It could have been any little late night detail—I just like to remember that it can happen, and it doesn’t have to take much. In March, my friend’s boyfriend’s friend was passing through town again after lots of travel—I won’t ever know him well, but he’s lovely to hang out with when he’s around. The idea of him in Hawaiian shirts added a funny mystery to his personality that I enjoy thinking about. PJ Harvey days means an April already packed with mundane rejection and mess and anxieties suddenly escalating into real fear. Clustered attack of homophobic hate mail from someone who knew where I worked—there’s not really much that fixes that. Walking across the city from thing to thing, listening to Rid of Me on my headphones—the little solution to what happened inside me, my anger and helplessness, the rawness. That old favorite helped me hold myself, feel known, remember where I’m powerful. And in May playing with a dearest dear friend’s baby—I’m smiling just writing this. She really gets my look-my-fingers-are-a-little-creature-making-funny-noises-and-walking-on-your-arm jokes.