Archive of Letters to Francis Gray
When I was a teenager, I wrote a song that captured an experience I had at a party. An experience of seeming insignificance that I have never forgotten about.
Little did I know then it was a glimpse of self-awareness for a young introverted highly sensitive person, who had no such frame of reference. It wasn’t until years later that I would know what the terms introvert or HSP even meant.
I remember it as clear as these words on this page.
I was sat outside with a couple of friends. We were drinking beer and looking at the sky. Conversation danced between silence, shooting stars, the universe, silence, and the meaning of life.
It was bliss.
A real moment of calm between the lines of chaos ensuing all around. Every so often someone would pile out of the house, wondering what we were up to and eventually we succumbed to the pressure to move inside to “where the fun was happening”.
Well that was the end of the fun for me. Stepping inside was like being smacked around the head with a frying pan. It was an attack on the senses. The brightness, the smells, the shouting and general drunkenness that a party produces in droves. I felt isolated, alone, and wishing I was back with my thoughts on the chair outside.
It sticks in my mind as a significant moment. Especially now when I look back with the knowledge of what was going on in terms of energy, introversion and sensitive overwhelm. The preference for the low stimulation and highly interesting conversation outside, and the feeling of being more alone within a crowd. In response to that experience I penned a song. It was called The Life of Francis Gray.
A Creative Muse
Francis Gray is a character who has appeared in other areas of my creative work as well. He was the protagonist of my novel, The Prisoner, in 2011.
He has always been a highly self-reflective character with a great deal of courage and integrity. He reflects what is possible if we look at things differently. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and has a different perspective on most things. He is a rebel and an artist.
Until 2017 I had no idea Francis Gray would make a reappearance in my life and creative work. I thought he had hung up his paintbrushes at the end of The Prisoner and that was that. But I couldn't ignore the inner niggle that was telling me that he needed to join us in The Haven.
Exclusive to The Haven community, these are letters that will arrive here every so often. I use it as a tool to unpack experiences, questions, and observations from being a highly sensitive creative introvert in a noisy and overwhelming world.
It is my hope and belief that this will be a great way to deepen the encouragement, inspiration, and support that The Haven can bring you.