January's Post-it note art from Instagram

Over on our Instagram page, we’re posting a weekly installation from Clare Johnson’s Post-it Note Project, a long running daily project. Here’s her wrap-up and statement from January's posts.

January's theme: Ordinary Impossibilities

Last month I was at a party full of strangers, trying to find ways to talk. There were several queer women; naturally I wanted to make friends. (Multiple queer women in the same place, so exciting! We are so few! How magical to happen upon a gathering that is more than three percent us! I was playing it cool.) We worked effortfully through typical small talk, before brilliantly hitting on television—a conversational jackpot, because TV and film have treated LGBTQ people so badly. The higher the production caliber, the more torturous the story—pretty much the best we can hope for is devastatingly failed romance. Comparing notes on which shows kill off lesbian characters is a real must for my psychological well-being. Someone reminded me of the movie Carol, which pulled a surprise happy ending out of the usual bleakness. I’d say spoiler alert, but it doesn’t spoil anything—I wish gay stories all came with one so I’d know what’s worth putting myself through. It turns out in January 2016 I’d made a post-it about watching Carol. David Bowie died that same month; I have to accept that I will never know or be known by this person whose work meant so much to me, and there is no perfect likeness to be made of him. But I can make that feeling into something anyway. These are instances when something ordinarily impossible works out. I hold on so tightly to memories, but every now and then I can let go, find I’ve forgotten something about someone who hurt me. Or, randomly discovering a single surviving Victorian farmhouse perched between huge new buildings, like a secret from the past waiting for me to walk a new route to work. These moments never solve the giant wrongness of our world right now, but they do solve something inside me.