Waste not, want more

No variations on a theme.

Getting Blogged Down

I believe I’ve written before about my blogging woes. Not the ‘howcome I can’t spend my whole life blogging?’ woes, but the ‘ack, people I actually know might be/could be/are reading this,’ ‘might be/could be/are ridiculing my dorky/lack of discretion/boring/lack of ingenuity’ woes. I’ve worried about school people, family people, hypothetical people. Coming in a close second are the ‘this could have consequences in my personal and professional life’ woes. They aren’t much better.

This is part of a blogger’s struggle. I realize. Once again, I don’t feel as though I’m being very creative here. I have friends who have written much more eloquently about this than I ever could. [Two that stand out in my mind this minute are Dana’s A Visit from the Overshare Fairy and Kathy’s Muted No More: How Memoir Complicates the Notion of Privacy.] So while I won’t say this well, or uniquely, I’d like to get the troubling thoughts off my chest.

It has always been difficult for me to write or act in most circumstances without wondering what others could think, which is both a blessing and surprisingly inconvenient. On the one hand, this makes me a born communicator. I have my audience in mind. I can anticipate communication gaps or difference in style. I write and behave according to the situation at hand. This probably also helped my acting abilities back in the day. On the other hand, I unconsciously, and sometimes more consciously, self-censor pretty extensively. Though it is very habitual and not a thing I set out to do everyday, it can be very frustrating in hindsight, and exhausting. I have a very hard time with more explosive people. My mind runs a marathon every minute thinking about how to avoid nuclear war. At worst, I worry that this “flexibility” makes me a shape shifter – a fakey-fakerson that just “acts” depending on who she’s around. Only upon reflection do I worry. But I digress. The point is I’m very conscious of others. This can make me sensitive but can also make me silent or different than I would otherwise be.

I’m slowly coming to sense that part of my reticence can be attributed to my, er, upbringin’. I come from a family that is and was about as publicly or politically active as a cotton ball. I can think of only one publicly vocal member of my family – an actual card carrying party member. This family of mine is the opposite of radical or staunchly ___ or anything that you could point a finger at and name. It would be fun to blame it on my parents’ growing up in an era of dictatorship and repression. In reality, I think it comes down to humble people living their lives and keeping their heads down. I don’t know that anyone else would see it that way. However, like my family, I am not prone to public displays, conflicts, or embarrassment of myself or others.

As it turns out anything I say or do can display, conflict with or embarrass someone, me included. I don’t kid myself. I know that I’ve probably cheesed off a good number of people in my day, both on and off the blog. But I like to keep that sort of thing to a minimum. These concerns have for the longest time kept me from intentionally expanding my readership. I have been quite comfortable limiting the readers who know where I live to a couple of friends that I might cheese off occasionally but that I suspect will accept me anyway. Only very recently have I highlighted blog posts on Facebook, though in passive fashion I’ve listed my blog as my website from Day 1.

My most recent bout of anxiety came when two of my school friends, Jess and Racquel (hi, ladies!) subscribed to my blog. While I was in no way concerned about these particular superstars of telling it like it is following along, their appearance served as a stark reminder that people I know in life might also read my desperate attempts at whatever this is. It was scary.

And thus I marvel at those of you in blog-land who dish it out, take it, talk about your families, spank your friends or otherwise deal with life. I know some of you sweat it more than others. Some of you have very difficult and painful reasons for sharing, or not sharing. For others it’s merely a practical matter. Many of you rage at censorship in all its forms. Some would perhaps tell me to strap on a pair and start living.

Admittedly, some of my boundaries are imposed by others. Some I’ve assumed on behalf of people who know nothing about this “secret” of mine. I haven’t really sorted this out much. Nor am I facing a particular dilemma. Frankly, I think it’s hard to blog the way I’d really like to without being self-employed and completely orphaned – for me. I’m not prepared to deal with the consequences. I imagine there are creative solutions I haven’t yet grasped.

In the meantime, a friend recently wrote to me that she enjoyed blog intimacy, referring to mine to some extent. I was stunned. In the vast expanse of all that I haven’t written, I’ve managed to evoke intimacy in one valued person’s opinion? I’ll take it for now.

Happy Friday the 13th – I promise it’s still the 13th here. You’ll be pleased or disgruntled to know there are three F – the – 13s this year!

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January 14, 2012 Posted by | Community, Self-reflection, Writing | , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Unsettled and other Tales of YIKES

Things are a little unsettled over here in my neck of the woods. Good news, weird goings on, and the usual impending doom mean I’m all a flutter, quivering like butter. The wind mocks my inward state.

 

When every utterance makes your heart jump

but not with romance

and when your stomach sinks

at the sight of entrance

is it selfless concern

or self-preservation?

when your imagination runs wild

and you question your safety

are these unfair assumptions

or animal responses?

when it’s not about you

but you is all you know

the fear of tongue-lashing raises tension so high

collective avoidance

or unified support?

Watch the plaster come off

let it crumble

patch it back hastily, deficiently

or turn away

… hope it stops.

November 24, 2011 Posted by | Mr. Lonely, Self-reflection, Writing | , , , | 6 Comments

Putting the Freak in Freecycle – a Halloween special

I’ve written some about a lack of focus and motivation. It should come as no surprise that when I got a freecycle email at 10pm on a Wednesday announcing that a working stand up lamp is out on the street a few blocks away, I jumped in my car (thinking this time it might be smart not to attempt a retrieval by bike. I am, after all, still recovering from the superman incident).

I drove along the darkly lit street feeling like a desperate junk collector looking to score. I was sure that people were hiding behind their curtains and blinds, writing down license plate numbers, repeating inaccurate descriptions of me and Forest in their heads should the police come knocking tomorrow. I was jittery with the thrill of the chase. In the dark, I looked longingly for 947… or a lamp parked inconspicuously at the curb … 901, 907, 923 …. The anticipation was building as well as the sense that I should be prepared for disappointment. You’ve been scooped before, Rose, it could happen again. I cursed myself for not wearing running shoes and a headlamp. … 927, 931…

Then lo and behold, from the corner of my eye, I spotted it standing tall but oddly embarrassed in the shadow of the streetlamp’s glaring light. Thar she blows! The little freebee was feeling emasculated under all that towering city light glory. It may have perked up a little as I approached, but things go fuzzy for me after 9, so maybe not.

I parked, pulled the secret seat hatch that gives me alternative access to the trunk, and left the car running, which is strange for me. I had gone from feeling like hunter to hunted. What if someone came from behind a tree with a bat, growling “Myyy laahhmp!” Thud. Probably a camera or two with crimestoppers on speed dial. At the very least, there were ghostly forms watching stealthily from keyholes and attic windows. A gate creaked eerily in the distance.

Despite all this paranoia, I took a moment to inspect the lamp, pretending to be picky, pretending I could see anything in the dark. I stumbled on a neutral grey yoga mat looking clean, unbuggy and tidily rolled. Why not? I slunk back to the car with the lamp in one hand and the mat in the other, working on not tripping over the cord, dropping the lamp, or unfurling the yoga carpet, more convinced than ever that someone was dialing 911 right at this moment to report a robbery. I hoped that the arresting officer would not cause permanent damage.

Back at the car, in the trusty light of the trunk the mat become substantially more lavender, not exactly my colour of choice. It did however remain free and unbuggy. It would also allow me to have one at home and one at the studio. Lavender shmavender. The lamp too came with a little surprise, about as much dust as anything in my home has on any given day. I wondered temporarily if other people’s dust was grosser than mine before wondering no more and popping it into the car. And by pop I mean struggle. I jiggled, I eased. I did not need the extra space afforded by the secret seat hatch. I am now one of those Darwin Award winning criminals you read about and snicker.

I jumped into the getaway car, sure that all the tires would deflate driving over getaway car foiling spike strips, waiting for the hiss. Only as I got a few blocks away, safely nestled into my parking garage, did my racing heart begin to slow. Just another non-adventure turned into excitement.

And the lamp? It only leans mildly to the left. Though occasionally it breathes, which is creepy.

October 31, 2011 Posted by | Free and cheap things, Travel and intrigue, Waste | , , , , | 6 Comments