Sunday, November 06, 2005

I clean my computer for visitors, but my apartment is a mess

One thing that appeals to me about 'the blog' is that you write a succinct paragraph or two and you seal it off with a press of a virtual publishing button. It is easy to keep things under control when they are small. Little pills go down smooth. I can go over and over the wording, finely tuning until my neurotic element has cooled off. While this most definately is an exercise in writing, for someone whose default is sterile technique, the true test would be to keep writing. Leave something undone and come back to it. Not once or twice, but over long periods of time, meandering in wide and unpredictable turns, writing without knowing where I am going, risking getting lost all together.
Several years ago I left home to move far away. From a small town to a big city. Brave. right? Not really. As soon as I arrived I found a small safe space, a handful of close friends, a careful career, and I have barely moved since. Around the same time I arrived, my boyfriend moved to the other side of the country. We tried to make things work, but my insecurities and the distance wore us away. I never really got past it. Up until then I was always in a relationship. At first I thought it was courageous to stay single. Glamorous even. I would walk the unfamiliar streets feeling like I was in the lead role, waiting for the drama to unfold. Now the city is smaller, the cement has set, and extracating myself from solitude feels next to impossible. Last night I tried. The wine wasn't enough.

No matter where I go I always find a hiding place or two. Like air and water, it is a necessity of life for me. I started this blog almost a year ago. Was it brave to let go and write for a potential audience for the first time? Since I could use a pen I have been writing for myself alone, putting it on paper, and hiding it in creative spaces in my bedroom, in my apartment. And now in cyberspace. At first I thought writing for the blog was a big step, but when I look at it this way I am not so sure. I am anonymous. No one I know, knows about this blog. My writing has not entered my life and my life has only come into my writing in small, unrecognizeable pieces. Where is the growth there? In fact, despite being anonymous, I am still unable to write with abandon. It turns out that all of the things in my real life that I allow to restrict me, continue to weigh on me here. It is a microcosm. Writing now is just like it was when I was writing before. It is me, leaking out the sides. I am tired.

What will happen when I meet someone and try to incoorporate them into my life. Will my writing go? Will I continue the slow leak in secrecy or will I ever grow the balls to share myself. A voice somewhere inside me screams, no. Never. I think I recognize it as the voice of the infant version of me, the toddler, the young child. The voice of someone whose world blew apart and had to do everything to prevent it from happening again. Hold it together, Rachel.

So I wonder, am I really living more boldly or am I just really good at pretending. Going through the motions of what bold would look like.

I need a drink. I need to shrug it off. One of these days, when I am truly brave, I am going to do all of these things, without cleaning up. I will leave my notebook on the table, someone I love will see it and they will not think it's crazy, or self-indulgent, or cheesy. And even if they did, they will still love me. Whoever it is will have to be special. They will be getting more than they bargained for.


HanktheDog said...

"One thing that appeals to me about 'the blog' is that you write a succinct paragraph or two and you seal it off with a press of a virtual publishing button."

Nicely put. I know what you mean. Keep writing, Rachel.

Lx said...

in the end, we still write for ourselves. my answer to the question: "why do you write?" has always been: "because I can't shoot people."

Well...I can, but you know what I mean.

ChapFu said...

i'm starting to see amp's point from a few posts back. the details are different but the sentiments are so similar that i'm starting to wonder if i'm a schizo.

anyway, great post. i'd say only a simple decision to keep trying, at life and writing, is all you need.

Lx said...

Chap, I certainly didn't mean that in an offensive way. But I see both of your threads in these web logs. They are similar.

Rachel said...

Thanks Hank the Dog. I will..

Amp: I agree on both counts. There are some people in this world that need to do something with what they see, feel, hear, and know. Also, we are not supposed to shoot people. Clearly we all fall into that category. I know I will always write things down - I have to. I do however think I would be happier if I was more comfortable being myself and I think I would consequently surround myself with people that better fit with that version of me.

Chapfu, I think we do have some similarities, but I think that makes sense. We are both people that write things down, we are probably similar in age, we both live in the same place...inevitably there will be some commonality. Probably why I like reading your stuff.

pseudonym said...

Hi Rachel,
Just been busy as of late. The energy has been routed else where. Looking forward to a weather change. The seasons seem to bring reason to write. email anytime.

Rachel said...

Ah, Nebraska, so true. I guess the change happens here first.