I wonder if this is something that only artists do, or if it’s common or universal, to move through life while simultaneously watching and mentally composing and memorizing the story for later use. Now that I think about it, I suspect it might be very common now, in this age of Twitter and Facebook status updates; but, then again, maybe these new social networks don’t create, but just provide a convenient forum for, a natural human tendency to crystallize and flourish.
I have to say it has felt a little edgy, writing about my breakup here, immediately making public all the really intense, awful stuff. Live-blogging my heartbreak.
I feel compelled. It’s like when J and R and I were on the road and things started spinning out of control, there was a part of J and me that was like, “Grab the camera and point it this way, some shit’s about to go down.” I just feel compelled.
Besides whatever value it might have for others to read, the writing is where I organize my thoughts. I write down whatever I’m feeling or thinking about, but then I spend a substantial amount of time rewriting and editing, moving stuff around, finding a better word, with the goal of being as simple and clear and truthful as I can be. I’m not just organizing the writing: organizing the sentences and paragraphs is a way of organizing my thoughts.
And it suspends the pain and pressure for a while, too, it really does. I think it’s because when I write I am at a critical distance, a philosophical distance. And the fact that I can sit down and do this reassures me that, when everything is fucked up and I can’t manage my life, at least this one important part of me is functioning.
A couple friends have sent me appreciative emails about this little chronicle; so I feel like it’s okay.
The only thing I’ve been slightly reticent about is some of the specific content of communication I’ve had with M. In the last few days, we’ve emailed a couple times about my bicycle, which I left at his house. I took the opportunity to ask him questions about what happened, and he has shared some of his thoughts, and it’s been calm and clear and nice. We have plans to meet this weekend and talk more. I’ve been reticent to share much of that conversation because for some reason I don’t want to make him feel like it’s his life being scrutinized along with mine. (But actually I just remembered having a conversation with him a couple months ago about the ethics of an artist working in an autobiographical idiom using the details of others’ lives in his work, and M expressed a much more permissive attitude than I did, so I’m probably safe.)
I don’t know if he even reads this. I think he used to from time to time, but I’ve never imagined him as being in the audience. Hm.