There Are No Fixed Stars – Day Twenty – Selfhood

When you were born,
There was just
That word,
With no appendages,
Was all there was;
Was all that was needed.
You were born.
You were new.
You were unique.
You were loved.
You existed,
And that was enough.
And then the rest came,
When you
Started speaking
And you
Were funny;
And expressive;
And inventive;
And in pain, and upset, or happy, and / or all the things
That living entails.
You went to this school;
To that place;
You took that job, you
And you knew,
Yet you thought
You should
Try, and you did
And that was not
When really,
It always was –
And you
Told yourself that
Still knew
There was something else
For you,
That you
Were something else,
But it took
To realise
And see
For yourself
Your self
Reflecting back
At you,
As you.

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
Day Seventeen – The Point of Shelter
Day Eighteen – The Honest Writer
Day Nineteen – Moored


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