Sunday, March 24, 2019


She had sat there, she said, and thought about her own lifelong habit of explaining herself, and she thought about this power of silence, which put people out of one another's reach....Yet if people were silent about the things that happened to them, was something not being betrayed, even if only the version of themselves that had experienced them? —Rachel Cusk, Outline

More and more I wondered what the point was of constantly chronicling my own experience. How could I possibly say anything original, or worth reading? And why was I even trying to, when so many talented writers could do it so much better than I, and meanwhile, people were paying me to write other, far more practical things?

After awhile, even writing in my own "journal," which had transitioned from paper books to a Word document, because typing was so much faster than writing and I was always rushing somehow to "catch up" the story as if a coherent narrative needed to be maintained, began to seem pointless. Well, pointless and painful. Why dwell on emotions I didn't like to have, or worse yet, chronicle a stretch that felt bland and unremarkable? Why did I need to make some sense of order of my experience? Wasn't that just a way of avoiding the experience itself?

I silenced myself. If I thought of it, the blame would go to my freelance work, which felt unrelenting, or my fatigue, which also felt unrelenting, or just life, with someone or something else's needs constantly on the verge of neglect. Too much going on. Plus, you know, Trump.

But really there was still plenty of time to write for myself. I just declined to take it and instead looked at my phone a lot. Most days, I didn't miss the writing or even recognize that, yes, I was betraying myself. Not because everyone should do this, but because in the moments when I am restored to myself, I do this.

I composed a long farewell post here, saying that I was going to keep this blog up as a sort of archive, but that I would not be writing here anymore, and how I appreciated anyone who had ever visited this blog. 

I still appreciate anyone who has ever visited this blog. And I guess I still feel that there is some value, if only for myself, in framing my experience on a page. Why does it have to be public, though, when half the time I feel embarrassed to think anyone would actually "discover" what I had written and, god forbid, actually read it? Why, in other words, does there have to be a reader?

Sir Uncmo asked me this once. Why did I want to put personal stuff out there for people to read? He wasn't being accusatory, just curious. I couldn't come up with an answer that made sense, and still can't. 

I guess when you've spent a lot of your life feeling locked in, apart somehow from other people, there is a thrill in thinking that you might show something of yourself that you could never adequately speak, and have someone—even a stranger—nod in recognition. It's like assembling the various parts inside yourself into a different body, one that is tied to you but exists separately, and which goes out like a satellite to find other sympathetic beings, even if in the end it's just a different version of yourself a few years down the road.