I was writing for the Fresh Eyes writing course this morning, and when Amy Kennedy provided the prompt to write about cracks, I wanted to write an additional post about a specific book I have read and piece of writing by the author Bertie Blackman. This is what she wrote about cracks on the first page of Bohemian Negligence:

“Find a spot. Find a crack in a wall. Find the air whistling through an open window. Follow the sunlight as it moves across the floor. Find the silence between others worlds. Sit in those cracks. Nuzzle in and wait there till it’s over. Stare at those cracks till they become one, two, seven deep cracks and there is enough space to hide, enough space to make a new world”.

I think this is a beautiful piece of writing from Bertie Blackman. It speaks to the idea of finding solitude and inspiration in small, unnoticed spaces and moments. The act of observing minute details and magnifying their significance can lead to a deep, immersive introspection. I think her philosophy could be applied in various contexts, whether you’re a writer, artist, or just someone looking to find a quiet moment in the midst of chaos.  I have thought about the notion of cracks, both literal and metaphorical, becoming gateways to expansive, unseen worlds  and I believe it is a poetic and powerful form of imagery.

Blackman’s words resonate deeply with the idea that sometimes the only escape we have from the external world is the internal world we create. In my life, there are moments where reality feels too heavy to bear, where external circumstances become overwhelming, and the weight of existence can be stifling. It’s in these moments that the small, often overlooked aspects of our environment become profound sanctuaries.

The “cracks” Blackman speaks of are not just physical fissures in walls or gaps between spoken words; they are moments of respite, pockets of solace in a tumultuous world. For those who have felt trapped, confined, or lost, these minute details, which you might be tempted overlook, can become vast landscapes of imagination and relief.

The idea that imagination can craft worlds more comforting than reality is a testament to the power of the human mind. It suggests that even in the harshest conditions, the mind has the ability to weave stories, landscapes, and scenarios that offer solace. This kind of imagination isn’t escapism in a negative sense, but I think its a survival mechanism. It’s an adaptive response to a world that sometimes feels too constraining or painful.

What’s more poignant about Blackman’s reflection is the acknowledgement that these imagined worlds can sometimes be “better than life.” Maybe that’s why I have created work that relates to the metaphor of Arcadia. It’s a raw and honest confession, one that many might feel, but hesitate to admit. There’s a bravery in accepting and expressing the fact that sometimes our created worlds are more comforting, more freeing, than the reality we live in.

In essence, I think Blackman’s words serve as a reminder that solace can be found in the unlikeliest of places. In the minuscule, the mundane, the overlooked. And in those tiny cracks, a big world wait for those who are prepared to open their eyes and be brave.

This is me being brave.