privacy

The Writable Life

August 25, 2011

I haven’t been writing here much lately. I mean, I have, sort of, inasmuch as I continue to post here – photos, guest posts, links to stuff that I’ve written elsewhere – but I haven’t really, you know, written here. About things that are going on in my life, beyond the canoe trips and the vague allusions to some exciting things going on that I can’t quite summon the energy to talk about right now, okay you guys?!?, the sorts of things that I would have written the shit out of a year ago. Maybe even just six months ago. I don’t know. I don’t know when I start feeling all, you know, private.

It’s not just to do with the Really Big Changes going in my life (here’s a tidbit: we’re moving to New York. Like next week, or thereabouts. It involves immigration. It’s no small thing), because it kind of started before then. I didn’t write all that much about our trip with Tanner to DisneyWorld, nor have I written all that much – at all – about the fulfillment of his biggest wish, his wish to live out his life at home, which required a kind of Extreme Home Makeover, which is going on right now, and which is kind of an extraordinary story. And I’ll share that story – I owe you that story – but right now it feels, I don’t know, kind of sacred, something that I need to hold close and live with, before I write about it. Same goes for the story developing around my mom, the story where she’s pretty sick, and I’m scared of her dying, and things just turned a little scarier, and so I’m flying out there in morning, and, yeah, I’m scared. Once upon a time I’d have written a whole post about that, about being scared. Maybe two posts. Hell, I devoted months of posts to working through my grief over the death of my dad. I wrote to survive, emotionally. Why don’t I do that now?

Part of the answer is, I suppose, that my life has expanded so far beyond this writing space – for a long time, this was my only space. It’s not, anymore. I have other things to do. Things that are really, really exciting, and distracting. I’m not leaving this space – damn, y’all, I just renovated – no way. This will always be my sanctuary. But it feels like it’s changing. Like maybe parts of this space are my really personal space, my sacred space, and other parts are just fun spaces and other parts are whatever they are, and I just need to figure out how all those parts fit together, and how they fit with all the new parts of my life, digital and otherwise.

And I suppose that part of that ‘fitting together’ means asking myself what I’m writing for, and why I’m writing it. Some of the stories about my children feel so much more, I don’t know, private now. Jasper’s having behavioral struggles – do I write about that? Emilia has been developing what can only be called Freudian theories of gender that problematize – in every sense of the word – the penis. Do I write about that? (Actually: hell, yeah, I’m going to write about that. I just need to figure out how.) I’ve always written about everything. Now I no longer have the bandwidth or the will to write about everything. So.

All I know is, I’ll continue writing. Writing is like breathing for me: I’d end up flopping on the floor, clutching at my throat, gasping like a hooked fish if I tried to stop writing. So I’m not stopping, no way. But I am… editing, beforehand. Curating my own impulses. Moderating my own words.

And I think it will be good. I know it will.

First, though, I have to go see my mom.

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A History Of Looking; Or, Why I Post Pictures Of My Children On The Internet

June 3, 2011

A couple of years ago, I received a very sweet e-mail from a self-professed ‘dedicated lurker’ who asked the following question: I wonder if you are ever concerned that your daughter’s (beautiful) image will remain in cyberspace, with no mechanism for you — or her — to reclaim it or her privacy? She meant no [...]

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