Start Again, Buttercup

One of my favorite albums is Interpol's Antics: The Special Edition. I listen to it on repeat for hours at a time at work as I find it simultaneously soothing and invigorating. There is a track called Song Seven wherein Mr. Banks croons

"Start again, buttercup...
Start again, 
oh start again, dear"

I get a bit misty at that part. I've started a lot of things again recently. I can tell you that it's not easy and, if it's a positive thing you enjoy doing, you'd do well to just never stop.

I've looked at this blank page, off and on, since November. For a year before that I didn't even come here. The bookmark was there, and domain paid for, but I felt like I couldn't write anything well enough for it to communicate what I was trying to say. And I wasn't sure that what I did manage to write was worth sharing. It was a repetitive, and negative, violent inner monologue trying too hard to be Tyler Durden sans the benefit of fearlessness or quality time with Marla Singer.

Fearlessness. I'm unskilled at quickly identifying feelings, mostly because my experience of what I think the feeling is often doesn't match the scenario or reactions that I see when others express the same feeling. In the moment, I cry when I'm frustrated and feel indifferent around loved ones I haven't seen in ages. It takes some time and consideration for me to understand and identify what I felt or didn't feel, sometimes hours to years later. I took forever to figure out that I'd stopped writing* out of fear, and out of holding myself to a quality standard that never applied here before (I don't think). I doubted whether I had any fearlessness in me but when I asked friends if they'd ever seen me do anything fearless, I was genuinely surprised to learn that I had, and that blogging was one of them.

I know the fear is irrational and a bit pretentious. But I'm afraid I'll say something I can't take back. And I'm afraid I'll never live up to my own expectations. And I'm afraid it's all shit and no one will say it's shit or never stop saying it's shit. And I'm afraid to be vulnerable and raw despite knowing that I write well when I go to those places and the sky doesn't fall. I'm concerned about telling the truth because I don't know that it is truth, and if it is, I know from experience that it's subject to change. But if it changes was it ever true? What does it matter?

Recently I've seen several creatives I admire discuss "getting out of your head" when it comes to creating things. The general advice has been to just make stuff, be creative, don't worry about what people will think, don't worry about quality... just keep making and learning and enjoying. And while my first thought is that it's easier said than done, let's try nonetheless.

Start again, buttercup... 
Do right.  

*Writing being a broad term covering anything from hastily-written blog scrawl to a carefully crafted and edited essay


A Happy Blogiversary Welcome Back

Dear friends,


Thank you for dropping in for this silly blog's eighth anniversary. I don't remember why I started it, and certainly it's seen a lot of incarnations over time. I've been lucky enough to meet some great friends here, and appreciated the folks who followed along with my mundane adventures.

Over the past couple years, and mostly in this year, I've had some mental companions that've made wanting to write anything difficult. My priorities changed as my perspective changed as my life changed and this place needed a little hiatus. The last five years have been the most untypical of my life; there were deaths, and divorce, and depression. There was a major move and resettling, and there were things that were easy to identify but took a while to understand. I think things are better now.

When I used to post here regularly, I wrote more non-blog stuff regularly. I practiced writing and I read more. I have some sort-of secret writing goals and to meet them, I need practice. So as part of that process, I'll try to write here a bit more. I also hope to keep far-flung friends and family updated on what's happening in my little world.

A few administrative updates. All past posts have been unpublished, and comments have been turned off. If you'd like to comment on something I say here, I encourage you to send an email or contact me however you usually do. Comments by mail especially welcome.

With gratitude,