Oh Lourdes! “Real-Time Memoir” and Other Things That Might Not Make Sense
I don’t want to go back to my About page. I really don’t, so I won’t. Not today. Sometimes I do heed my gut. 😉 I remember the gist and my one goal for keeping a blog, which is to be achieved in less than a year — so fewer than 300 days from now. What I don’t remember is how I thought blogging could support or help me meet my goal, how in the world I thought it would not take away from the small store of available time/energy for working on my fiction that I had then, which is now even smaller. And how could I not recognize that for me anyway (knowing myself as I do), blogging could turn out to be just another form of procrastination, the blog itself another place to dawdle, a way to psyche myself into thinking I’m making some sort of progress … when really I have been here — exactly, precisely here — creatively speaking, for 20+ years?
Also, how could I not anticipate (knowing myself as I do) that this world, your world — inhabited, cultivated by so many committed, serious writers — would become one that would matter to me, one that I might care about and want to belong to and even stand out in? I don’t know. Part of the reason is inexperience, ignorance, whatever. I’m not trying to flog myself here, but I never dreamed I’d blog, rarely read blogs up till now (except my mom’s and a handful of friends’), and really, simply had no idea what was going on out here. I thought they were mostly about making crafts; getting super-awesomely organized or happy or healthy or just BETTER in some big way; or making/saving/managing money — not that there’s anything wrong with any of those things. But I see now: I have been more than a little out of it and this out-of-it-ness has been deliberate on some level, I suspect, a fearful reaction to something I could sense but not bear to look at directly, find out more about: the world of writing, and publishing, is forever changed and changing still! It’s eye-opening and maybe a little intimidating, not just the quality of some of the writing here (in my own humble opinion), but also the sense of community and the thought, care, and generosity that obviously go into reading and commenting on one another’s work.
So I look and cannot help wondering, is there hope for me, my stories? I do think so, but I can’t seem to figure out how blogging fits in — I mean, in a way that makes sense to me as/where I am right now. I get the obvious benefits: the very real opportunities that blogging has brought to some, the success many of you have found, and even the immense satisfaction — of which I’ve had a taste or two — of simply connecting with a few others.
Why all this angst now?Well one, I couldn’t stop thinking about the Daily Prompt guy’s post yesterday re: gimmicks (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/raymond-carver-simplicity/) …………… And I had to ask myself, what is a “Real-Time Memoir” anyway? (This term is in my blog’s subtitle.) I can’t really answer that, so I start thinking: gimmick! Now, I’m not crushed here, not going to panic, but I do think it warrants some thought and that, ultimately, I should have some sort of explanation. I must have had something in mind when I came up with it, which I sort of remember (yammering on about it to a friend while walking the dog, months before Sarah came), but all’s a bit fuzzy now. Maybe the cure for this bout of doubt, the answer to my questions about my blog, lies somewhere in exploring the idea, though. Maybe I’m just not clear on what my blog is for. [Can’t seem to get rid of these italics.]
Two, and I almost hate to put this into words: after a long conversation with my six-year-old about lots of things, mostly what we’ve got going on for the rest of the summer, which led to talk about the new school year and how we will try to be better organized in the morning, not so rushed, on time on a more regular basis. Always, even? ………………. I run late, which means WE run late. A lot. We are late as we are having this conversation. So when it comes up, he says, point blank: “You should know better, Mommy” — in the gentlest way possible. But ugh. I should. I do. I start to think about the blog again. Real-time nothing!
Three, I read: “Night Is Young” (http://abozdar.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/night-is-young/), an apparent response to today’s prompt about writer’s block (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/writers-block-party/). And boom! Somehow the juxtaposition hit me like the final line in that Rilke poem, the first time I read it, about the torso of Apollo (see below if you don’t know it; image borrowed from The Paleo Periodical). I started to think about the blog again, doubting it and somehow so much more, slowly but surely inching my way into a comfortable shadow that remains.
Archaic Torso of Apollo
by Rainer Maria Rilke
We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,
gleams in all its power. Otherwise
the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs
to that dark center where procreation flared.
Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur:
would not, from all the borders of itself,
burst like a star: for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.
Like the time I read Nausea and Grendall during the same summer vacation (bad idea for me at the time), somehow this combination of events has packed a good punch.
I hate the way all this sounds, by the way.
May need to reconsider my space-time coordinates (0r those of my goal, rather), recalibrate, reboot, re-re. Or just go out and celebrate my eighth anniversary with my husband tonight (night is sooooooo young now) and, later, sleep on it. 😉