31 Dec 2009
I suppose it is an expected thing, insofar as it is a trope inherent to the genre, to provide some kind of programmatic statement in the first official post of a blog. Some intrepid writers may place it in the “about” section, to be sure, but as you can see, I prefer to eschew this practice in favor of long literary quotes instead.
However, reader with whom I am forging a contract, I shan’t let you down.
I have been thinking that it’s time I create some kind of non-ironic personal zone. It’s not that I find myself so pervasively ridden by irony, and it’s not that my relationships, both personal and professional, are founded upon it. In fact, it’s a bit hard for me to think of someone with whom that is the case.
This has more to do with irony and writing: namely, that I need a space in which I am not afraid to be wholly non-ironic, not afraid to feel what I feel, to fear what I fear, to examine freely all of the different selves in me with complete emotional generosity. The idea, then, is to write honestly about the things and the people that I love, about the experiences and the history that make me who I am.
You can’t help but notice, attentive reader, that this blog is beginning just as the year is ending. Is this some kind of ambitious New Years’s resolution? No. In the first place, I like to think that time is more fluid than that sort of institution implies, and that you can make a new year begin whenever you’d like it to. But aside from my own temporal proclivities, the truth of the matter is that the issue at hand is quite tangibly upon me. I am at home, in the place where I did some pretty substantial growing up, with the only people who knew me when I was as I was, who knew me before I knew myself, and who know me still. This experience, combined with some spatial distance from the life I have built for myself elsewhere and the work that usually keeps me occupied, has left me feeling closer to the person I believe I am.
What exactly is that supposed to mean? It means, at least at this moment, that I can perceive some synthesis of my selves- they are circling me like translucent slips of paper in muted tones, which, when they inevitably intersect, create rich slivers of color. Look: there is the me that is a writer and a photographer, there is the me that is a girlfriend (now a wife!) and a daughter and a sister, there is the me that is writing a dissertation on something that even I will admit is at least moderately esoteric, but which is nonetheless very important to me.
I’m aware more than ever these days of the amalgamations that make up each one of us- we are all shaped by the books we’ve read, the ideas we’ve birthed, the places we’ve lived, the friends who have given us comfort and company. By my calculation, each one of us becomes more markedly unique with every moment that passes, with every breath of air that moves through our lungs. We forge and chisel our identities with every decision that we make, with every thought that we harbor. We clear a discrete and wholly individual path for ourselves with every beat of our hearts. So here are some stones I’ve gathered, some tree bark patterns I’ve traced, some leaves I’ve brushed up against as I’ve made my way.