Monday, October 4, 2010

processing...

It has been so hard for me to write here within the last couple of months. I've been spending a lot of energy writing in other places, as of yet, places that are simply not as public as this one is, and that makes it hard to share. It isn't that I'm not reflecting, not thinking or speaking or engaged with the world. It's that I'm doing so much of that other places, that trying to do it here also feels somehow a little forced. I think, "what can I write about on my blog today/this week?" which feels a lot less genuine than the things that I have to scribble down urgently at night, or for hours while the sun is still high.

I've been reading lots of others' papers. Diane Arbus, an American photographer I didn't know until a dear friend exposed me to her work. Her photos make me think of what we know as our American experience, and what we show or hide from the camera, from the world. Sylvia Plath. I suppose it's no accident that I happen to be reading these women at the same time, reading the prose of a poet who struggled with things that were and still are challenging for me: identity, commitment, vulnerability, discovery and the ever moving beast that is making art. A Moveable Feast, a book that languished on my shelf for years until I recently picked it up; I am kicking myself for not having read it sooner, despite my Hemingway bias, but now is better than never--better for my writing, for certain. Francine Prose and her discussion of books and writing, that I want to use both as a writing and teaching tool.

I am thinking, sometimes with lust, sometimes with fear, always with intensity, about travel. Movement, and work and relationship, and how to see and do and know more of the world in a safe and risky way that will invest in my private life and my shared life.

I am teaching, and off to a rip-roaring and quite fun start.

I am working, writing, so hard.

On top of which, I've been processing, slowly, like chewing cabbage, a lot of history that is locked in my body and mind, some recent, some long past, and it makes touching and engaging the real world--being present and meeting the demands of others--at times quite difficult.

It's hard to shed light on what's on my mind these days. It'd look rather like a mind map or a bulletin board of some kind: snippets of quotes and images, some of things I never thought I'd look at, and receipts with phrases jotted down on the back of them and a map of Paris and a found red mitten.

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