Today I got a letter from my sister. She is starting a new life, over in Portugal, living close to the earth, under the stars and far away from the busy, hectic world of deadlines and schedules that I struggle with. The letter – all 20 pages of it, is handwritten, and I had to read it in instalments cause it was moving me so much. Now, several hours later as I sit down to write the first page of this blog, I am stunned about how timely it was, and how much it reaffirms all the reasons I wanted to start this project.
My sisters letter, gave me a very honest insight into how she goes about her day to day life, a life that is very different to mine, and one that if I am honest I both envied or disdained, depending on how healthy my psyche was that day. The letter did exactly what I hope this project can do, it opened the door to empathy and understanding, not only did I get how my sister was living, I saw for myself how I had unwittingly created a set of constructs around what was going on without ever taking that apart and really looking at it.
It reaffirmed for me, that as a society, it is easier for us to make value judgements on how people live, without really understanding what is going on for them, or realising that we all have more in common than we have differences. Of course, sisters should understand each other, but how often do we sit down and really listen to what somebody else feels, what makes them tick, what frightens them, what makes them excited. And other than in the first flush of romance, how often do we ever tell anyone what we are really thinking, or what is going on Behind Closed Doors.