Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Odd

I just got a response on something I wrote last year. It's like a voice coming from the past, making me revisit, reread what I wrote, which is funny because what I wrote had to do with The Time Traveler's Wife.

While I was reading, and thinking, it occurred to me that I liked the blue background of my blogspot set up. So why did I stop writing here?

It might have had something to do with the split attention--writing here, writing in Livejournal is my default, I guess. Plus, I can lock it (heh) when I want to say something incendiary.

Wait. I'm always blowing things up. In fact, (at least in the past), to blow things up is one of my prime motivations.

So that can't be the real reason.

I said when I made the split--the split between the nitty gritty details of my personal life, such as they are, and the somewhat mundane details of my intellectual life--that I needed to keep spheres separate. Facebook, I declared, for the teaching stuff. Livejournal for the ranting about hemorrhoids, children, pets, husbands, grocery shopping, etcetera. Blogspot for the heady musings about books and written babies (so what if most of them are miscarriages or family planning non-events?).

Maybe I haven't had an intellectual life for the last year and a half. That's a possibility.

I have been reading, though, and rather voraciously. I've become, too, a slattern in my reading habits, picking books up, reading half way, a chapter or two, even to the last 20 pages, and then letting plots, characters, nonfiction investigations, and poets go. I've been reading trash, and high art, and creative nonfiction, and letters, and blogs, and online journals, the New York Times Sunday edition...

So I suppose I have had an intellectual life of some sort--a slutty life, but a life nonetheless.

Maybe the real reason I haven't been here is something I can only explore in the locked environment of Livejournal. Maybe it has something to do with grief, depression, loss, denial.

I'm dipping into a variety of books right now--sort of the Old Country buffet of reading. Yesterday, I slipped for a twenty minute block into Vivian Gornick's The Situation and the Story, in preparation for teaching a creative nonfiction workshop. She says she had to create a persona for herself in order to write personal nonfiction (something approaching memoir but not there yet). She says she's discovered that it's crucial to find this person, this self, the "who" talking in the essay or book, in order to tackle a subject with focus and detail and oomph. "I longed each day to meet up again with her," Gornick writes, "this other one telling the story that I alone--in my everyday person--would not have been able to tell."

Yeah. Maybe I've lost that person, the one who used to write this blog with such aplomb, the one who loves to drop bombs for the sheer sake of hearing the weeeeee-thump and then seeing the pieces rain down.

Or it could be that I'm just lazy.

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