There Are No Fixed Stars – Day Seventeen – The Point of Shelter

Nothing can grow without shelter. Nothing can spread its wings and fly without a solid point from which to take off – but, once established, fly it must.
The notion of sanctuary conjures up feelings of comfort; of safety, and of care. But to remain there is to thwart the nurturing in the fulfilment of its purpose, and to deny the nurtured all the fullness of a lived life.
Surveillance of progress is part of any growth process. But, watch too long – beyond the point at which freedom is necessary – and disassociation can begin to occur. Through being over-scrutinised, what is seen ironically becomes unfamiliar, and it is then that we find ourselves asking that most meaningful of questions; who am I?
The stage is well-trodden, the costume, a second skin. The props and scenery can be found and negotiated without any thought. The player cites the script by rote. But the dialogue has come to be at odds with the internal monologue. The action is no longer fitting. The part, worn out.
There is safety in the easily performed. But, when the gut knows of an unscripted other – an empty space that only risk and courage can fill – we have only two choices: remain, or fly.

By Emma Hynes

This image and story are part of a project I have devised called There Are No Fixed Starsmy creative response to living with COVID-19 restrictions. On 22 October 2020, Ireland’s highest level of protective measures was invoked nationwide for a period of six weeks. Starting on that date, and continuing for the duration, I plan to capture a new image each day, and write a piece inspired by it. The only restrictions are that I take the photograph and write the text within this timeframe. To receive these daily posts to your inbox, you can subscribe by hitting the follow button to the right, and entering your email address. They will also be posted to my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook profiles; I may even read a selection on my YouTube channel. You can follow or subscribe to any of those at the links below. In a time when variety, freedom, stimulation and spontaneity are necessarily inhibited, my hope is to experience these each day through the creation of something new, and that the resulting pieces might do the same for anyone who chooses to view or read them.

Emma Hynes
Instagram: @emmahyneswriter
Twitter: @emmahyneswriter
Facebook: EmmaHynesWriter
YouTube: Emma Hynes

There Are No Fixed Stars
Day One – A Creative Response to Now
Day Two – Suspension
Day Three – From the Perspective of the Dahlia
Day Four – The Writer at Dawn
Day Five – Beneath the Viaduct
Day Six – Nature’s Book
Day Seven – The Lighthouse
Day Eight – Formations
Day Nine – Rebirth
Day Ten – Light Source
Day Eleven –Takeaway
Day Twelve – Vigilance
Day Thirteen – Defiance
Day Fourteen – Exposure
Day Fifteen – Platform
Day Sixteen – Momentum


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