In the past 15 years or so, since I started blogging and being a part of the internet community — the world wide web — this blog has undergone many changes and formats. I have written on dealing with chronic pain and long term illness, art, books, and life around me. My appreciation for it all. Gratitude, beauty, reality.
I’ve posted from my journal, my visual journal. I’ve promoted my art. So much thinking, observing and blathering. I wanted to share the interesting, ephemeral, and beautiful things that pass through my life.
Shifts in my life, cause shifts in the blog.
About 10 years ago, I began keeping a morning journal, where I just write. I start the day with words, trying to improve my memory, trying to keep some tenuous relationship to story and poetry. For a while I kept one journal that had both stories and sketches and art. At some point, I separated out the morning write, the diary part. Too much personal information and rumination in it. I liked to show my visual journal, but I also want to write about private things — puzzle out life in a secret place.
I feel that I haven’t really written “real” stories and essays for a long time — other than this blog.
I’m now organizing my studio and journals. I have the space now to put them in chronological order. I’ve moved so much, that I have at times purged all my journals, but since 2010, I’ve tried to avoid that urge. That insecure feeling that my writing is worthless, that what I do takes up too much space.
And why I am hanging on to all this? Why shouldn’t I let the past flow on by me like river water, let it go, let it drift away.
But since life is a puzzle, I write and draw to try to figure out it. I try to preserve bits of my life and thoughts, good and bad.
Years and years ago, I read an interview with the poet Audre Lorde. She was going through cancer treatment and couldn’t write poetry. She kept a journal though. When she was well, she went back and looked through her journals and found an abundance of poetry. It wasn’t something she set out to do, but it was part of her, she wrote and when she was ready, she read and found her poems, bits of herself. She held the space for the future in which all she’d been through began to make sense, or at least shine with a kind of beauty that became poetry.
Though I started writing poetry in my teens, I leaned more toward prose as I got older and then in my 30s, I started making visual art. First in fabric, then in watercolor, now in acrylic and collage.
My artistic inclinations are married to my physical being. If not for art and stories, I don’t know if I would have survived my Hereditary Spastic Paraparalysis (HSP), a rare degenerative disorder, most likely caused by a genetic mutation. My symptoms started when I was 16 and for 30 years I had no diagnosis, and was considered abnormal, with possible MS. Then I got a diagnosis of Transverse Myelitis. Now the diagnosis is HSP.
So, as I organize my journals, I’m going to glean out what strikes me as relevant to others, or particularly important to me — things I did to keep living and cultivating delight. Even if it is infused with tragedy, there is delight here on this confusing earth. This imperfect, beautiful mystery, entwined, riddled with tragedy. Filled with light, muted by night, giving so much, explaining so little.
And that’s what I’ll be sharing more of here. The stories I find as I re-read the life I wrote of myself out a compulsion to understand my life, and to capture the stories that swirls around me. It won’t be in chronological order. Just what I find as I read through the piles of blather.
I guess that’s not so much different than what I’ve been doing with this blog all along.
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