Ten! TEN! I’ve had this website for ten years! Words escape, fall all over the place, wrestle, dance, shout What the how! T E N Y E A R S?! of stealing time to catch cadence and rrrsounds that sound like other sounds (playing witch you right now) wringing out rhythm, to what.
Show off? a bit. Express? I guess. Tell truth and lies, perfect the disguise of sunlicked in plain sight. Subtle grin a grand scheme, pull wool over everything, your whole body so we can be trick wolves together.
It feels like it’s outside of me, and it’s silly, I know. Like my website has an agenda and imagination of its own. I celebrate my life like it’s separate from myself—like I’m afraid of pride as much as pain.
The hurt being: I haven’t done enough. Writing projects? Plans? I don’t think about that stuff, I fret about family and adult responsibility. I can’t fail when it’s not my thing—when it’s separate, divorced, an independent extension, a brainchild birthed and reared but eventually turned loose. Your ten-year-old is worthless if she doesn’t try to run away.
Didn’t want that pride anyway. Didn’t want that disappointment.
A canard in the coalmine, yeah. I’m aware of the fallacy, the flaws and breaking down. I’m working on a better metaphor and systematically enforced motivation to Make Art instead of Consume Other People’s Garbage, and to put fewer band-saws through sections of my life.
Maybe it’s the Midwestern in me that feels obliged to disassociate. Forget dissolved dreams, we are not a proud people. We don’t like spotlights when we recognize we do succeed actually, yes, this means something is what it is and what it is is staggering, tremendous, marvelous and moving.
Kept under wraps. Shut your trap that means your mouth, kid your mouth is a trap for your tongue. Loosen the jaws, it’ll snap your foot right off. Beware and distrust the power within you.
OH SURE. We clap and congratulate the hell out of the intrepid, even amongst our own. But when it comes to personal selves, shucks, it was nothing.
When it’s everything.
When we mean well and do better and best the doubt persistence would prevail.
Maybe culture is a weak excuse. I don’t have poor esteem. I’m know I’m pretty damn amazing. Can’t just straight up say that, though, tell instead of show or show just enough that what’s concealed becomes the confession. The treasure and truth. The mystery is there is no mystery, I get scared like everybody. Ten years of crowing, floating sinking drowning soaring. Ten years of showing up, knowing I won’t ever get it figured out, a couple-few, now, of being fine with it. I’ve learned a thing or two about plot. Three or four of ache, five about love. Learned a sting and sicks about shutting up. Even if I keep my feet out my mouth, some things are better left unsaid.
And now, 31 years in—ten on the record for the reckoning—I don’t want to be so goddamned afraid. But I don’t want to make the same mistakes. But I don’t want to be a sad-sack host, an all tucked-in paralyzed milquetoast. I take life and telling it too seriously.
Once in a while I explore the archive, just like it says. I haunt the graveyard and offer blood again to my own hungry ghosts to see what I said. Learn what I was like from the best of ‘em. I shock me sometimes. I surprise me often—reminiscing, and in the moment writing, connections I couldn’t make in my brain appear when the words are before me. Looking back, I feel awful and great, wistful and overwhelmed I did this thing and it doesn’t define me, it reminds I’m doing all right.
Sam shows me deepsicks on his tablet. Google Currents reformats it, strips the dark color, makes it like a magazine, and it looks beautiful. Text flies around at the swipe of his finger, photos bounce and headlines wave hello. Familiar but unfamiliar. Look at you! lookin’ all new, lookit what you’re doing! Things I didn’t even know.
Ten years is a long time. There have been periods of neglect but never a moment of distress, wanting to scrub the internets, to throw my words and images away. To deep six deepsicks, deny and be done with all the me’s I’ve been and wanted to become.
It is not a diary, only barely a blog. A memory capsule time bomb I wish I could hug, that helps me remember, helps me put things together, teaches me humility and mindbendfucksmeup there is no division no fractured self, there is no self at all.
No author. No mother. No mentor or pupil. Transformation through reiteration? who’m I fooling anyway. I wasn’t reborn yesterday.
It’s me. It’s all me, it’s always been me, and always will be.
But I still can’t shake there’s no basis in believing, I can’t stop insisting I raised you up. Copy/paste code made you strong. Feed you CSS real slow, put you to my chest and burped you. A few times underestimated total overhauls but never rued the hours of making you smart and sharp and likeable. Of letting you have tantrums and letting you be terrible. Turn from light to dark to bright to bile to all better. To sing and dance and whoop then fall silent, hidden weeks on end. To surprise me, again and again.
Happy Birthday, deepsicks. I love you. I don’t know who I’d be without you.