Saturday, February 19, 2011

But, Lizzie, it doesn't matter...(with silly edit)(with less silly edit)

(started at about 11 a.m.)

I've been trying to catch up with and follow a conversation on Twitter and elsewhere about the nature of blogging and the ways in which it maybe could/should/might change? I must admit, I'm lost. The lovely woman who initiated this trend or project or process scrubbed away her "presence," so I can't read back to follow her journey. There's nothing I love more than following someone's journey. Oh well.

The discussion seems to be about wiping one's Internet slate clean (I'm sorry. I cannot seem to think or use "clean slate" as a verb. Must be the editor in me) and starting over again with a more "focused" intent (that would never do for me. I'm a haphazard journal keeper)? I've done that before online. Sort of. I've done it in life a bit, too, but mostly as a child.

I was an Army brat, and each time we moved, I would leave behind bits of myself because we had a weight limit for how much a family of six was allowed to ship to the next location. (you know, Gwen Bell dear, you might have triggered a poem! Thank you! I've been a little less than prolific lately).

We always chose to keep our books over everything else (even furniture), to keep the repositories of words and story.

It's possible I've just encountered a community by accident that isn't mine, isn't meant to be mine, where I could never fit. And that's fine. Hell, I barely fit here where I live, but I'm a pleasant and innocuous enough person (hold back enough when necessary) that people who may not understand me don't mind me, think I'm charmingly eccentric.

What I'm wondering is if it's now considered disgusting narcissism to keep a blog. Well, of course it is. I've been a narcissistic diarist since I was a preteen.

As I type this, I've come to the conclusion that there's nothing wrong with writing down my life, my memories, my history, with sharing it here or there or anywhere. It's a way for me to connect. I love a good connection the way I love following other people's journeys. I love story, and in my past, in your past, my family's past, my daughter's present, my own future, I find story. Story, story, story.

I love exchanging ideas and opinions. I find that I do this on Facebook with a certain group of friends who are politically aware. I am not as charismatic or confident in my own thoughts as they are, but I'm learning to trust myself. I'm learning to use my voice.

Tempting though it would be to join the discussion that seems to be unfolding about this issue, to share ideas, to open up my mind by looking into other minds in the way that this group seems to be suggesting, I cannot justify the $20 a month to join. Not with a daughter heading to college in a couple of years, not with this urge I have to go to grad school, not with my diminishing funds. Well, no loss to them, I suppose.

I wouldn't have anyway. I don't have time.

May continue this later, a discussion I'm having with myself about something puzzling but not "shattering." This doesn't matter. I will continue to be what I am. Writing here (and elsewhere) helps me to grow into what I want to become. Or just helps me to release thoughts that clog me up and puzzle me.

For now, I need to live. I need to pick up my daughter from Winter Percussion, figure out if I need to scour the house in the event of an impromptu sleepover (though how can one plan for an impromptu anything?).

ciao bella baby.


(12:24 p.m.)

I need to let go of what other people think "blogs" should be. It really doesn't matter. I ought to be a bit careful about admitting this here since people who know me in real life now have access to this "journal" type stuff, but I will admit it as a way of practicing honesty. I've had an online diary since late February 2000, started it eight months after my father died partly as a way to write through my grief. My life was complicated then, as lives tend to be. My marriage was complicated. I was a full-time, stay-at-home mother but also did freelance work. I was lonely. I was lost. I was sad and happy. I was searching. I wrote through it all.

The first version of that diary is no longer on the Internet, but I do have it downloaded to my hard drive. I use that diary when I'm writing poem or story or essay (a new thing for me, the concept of "essay" writing). When I reread my entries from all those years ago, I find myself able to read the story as if someone else wrote it. I feel great compassion for that woman. She did the best she could and fuck all, she managed to keep her sense of humor and all her hair. I'd be so sad if I couldn't go back and read her story whenever I wanted to.


I have nothing to sell to this digital world. I don't mind if I'm just writing here to myself, not really. Now and then, I want someone to hear me or see me, true enough. But I'm a rather happy, little fly on the wall most of the time.

When I go to meetings or try to participate in discussions in classes and workshops I've taken, I often find that I cannot get in my words. People talk over me. I don't quite know how to interject without being rude and interrupting someone. Raising a hand doesn't seem to do it. So I sit back and wait for someone else to say what I wanted to say or to ask the question I had. What I find more and more lately is that no one does say what I meant to say, no one else does ask the question I wanted to ask.

I would like to teach myself how to speak up more.


Distracted. Went to gather the mail from our mailbox, muttered to myself as I glanced through to find a bank statement, credit card bill, invitation to yet another grad school open house.

"You're talking to yourself again," my girl said.

"Yes, I am," I said.

"You're always talking to yourself."

She's right. I'm always talking to myself. Here, there, everywhere. Maybe that's what I mean when I say that it doesn't really matter to me if anyone reads here or hears me. I'll "talk" anyway.

And, oh, I am so grateful for the right to speak out. I need to use my voice more often.


1:41 p.m.

Still thinking about this, but as a friend suggested, the whole wiping slate clean and evolving into new digital creatures is a bit abstract for me. I didn't acknowledge that I am a concrete person until I was in my 30s and took a kind of a survey.

When my father's cancer metastasized from lung and bone to his brain, he began to forget things that made him feel like his true self. For me, he continued to be Daddy, a bit confused and muddled, fragile and more emotional (though my father was never afraid to show emotion), but still Daddy. For him, loss of memory meant loss of self. It was the thing he most feared when he was diagnosed with terminal, stage 4 adenocarcinoma. He wasn't afraid of dying. He was certain that he would join our mother when he died, whatever that meant to him. He was afraid of losing his intellect, his ability to read, to write, to think, to converse.

He never reached the state where he forgot us, his children, though I think he got a little confused about who was who, maybe confused my sister with me, a grandson with a son now and then. He always knew my daughter, saw her there with us in his little duplex in Texas even when she was home in Ohio, those last days, at least.

I haven't quite made the connection between wiping digital slates clean and my father's brain mets, but I'll get there eventually. This is not a finished thought. I suspect I rarely do finish thoughts. That's all right. I'll just think of myself as a conversation I pick up with myself after hours or days or months or years.


  1. This little fly on your wall has really enjoyed "following" your train of thought and struggling along with you. I too use my blog to talk to myself and try to make connection with me in the world. Looking forward to hearing the further connections made. Thanks for your openness.

  2. I really like your voice. Excellent post.

  3. Oh I love reading your words. I also need to let go of what other people feel blogs should be. I also have nothing to sell. It's just for me really - and like you I want to be seen and heard occasionally. I really love your words and hope you can teach yourself to speak up more. I think that maybe you will when the time is right.