Just heard Dia Frampton’s ‘Inventing Shadows.’ She sings, “No, you’re never quite happy where you are with all that you are.” Moving from NYC to So. California–a life event I can’t stop mentioning though it happened 8 years ago–caused me to doubt everything I had ever known. It was a leap from security to “Anything Goes!;” from one-minded pursuit to new possibilities at every turn; from a safe place to hide to a place of too much freedom.
I had thought that I knew much, but I learned how much I didn’t know. My world was turned upside down, as I related to an old friend via phone six months in. “It’s a paradigm shift,” I said, wide-eyed in disbelief, gesticulating in the night air. It wasn’t a conversation I wanted to be overheard having. In hindsight, the move may have been exactly what I needed. Through these years, I’ve reoriented myself. I’ve found true security that depends not on where I am or how I feel. However, before I learned this, I took a detour to scarier depths and lower valleys than I had ever known. Though I’ve come out of the worst of it, I carry the trauma with me, and “keep on inventing shadows where there are none.”
In a piece for the NYTimes, “I Know What You Think Of Me,” Tim Kreider writes that to be loved is to first submit to the mortifying ordeal of being known. Suppose, however, that a person who invents shadows where there are none, like me, can’t submit to being known. Has forgotten how! And might remember only on the occasion of being loved. Then I pose the question, “Am I willing to love someone without knowing their quirks and tempers with the understanding that those will eventually come to light, on the premise that they may have forgotten how to be themselves until this happens, the reason being, I am the same way?”
I may hesitate to fully love someone until I 100% know who they are and what they’re about. I may think the only way I can be certain that I love them is if I have proper advance warning — but maybe to break the cycle, I have to turn fear on its head and love even before I know them.
So, to those about whom I don’t yet know their “infuriating flaws and essential absurdities,” I say, I love you already, with the hope that you’ll love me, too.
With Xanga closing, I originally didn’t think I’d need a new blog. I figured old-fashioned writing, on paper, would hold me over. Then, I reconsidered, because having a blog is not just for my need to write, but a way of keeping connections alive.
Now I see that starting with a clean slate is exactly what I need. I may not do much more than curate a compilation of artists and articles that resonate within me, or I may actually work on my craft. With Xanga, I was tied down. Here, is a chance for experimentation…