Friday, September 16, 2011

Bad breaks, setbacks

Flowers on the banks of the Saint John's River

Waking up at two o’clock yesterday afternoon made me realize that my schedule has shifted too far deep into the night-time, and also that no one in the world of the internet cares about my translation of Sanskrit, my thoughts on yoga and enlightenment. I’m mourning the disappearance of my friends, and grieving the loss of another school semester. It’s one more fall I could have spent reading Sartre and Stein. I’ve been spending too much time in Presque Isle, the big city, and not enough time at my desk. Even tonight, now, I’m writing at 12:54 am.

And yet: I need friends. I need a community. The worst thing about living here is the isolation. It’s also the best thing.

I was out in the moonlight and I said: I just have to accept that I’m a night person.

The response: then why are you obsessed with daylight and the sun?

I don’t know. I’m a dysfunctional night person.

I connected to this website recently: dodie-bellamy.blogspot.com

Dodie Bellamy also wrote a book, the buddhist, a collection of blog posts that’s been turned into a book. It’s actually the first book like that I’ve begun to read—I knew it would happen, but I didn’t know it had happened. I’ve read books by ex-bloggers, books based on blogs, but never one that actually is a collection of posts, posts as lyric essays, each one dated and self-referential.

Word to the wise: bloggers should not read the blogs of poets. Or: they should. Every little thing I write now seems consumed by disgusting cliché. This is what I believe right now. Sometimes something else is so profoundly good that it makes me want to shoot myself in the head. How can I measure up? It makes me wonder if I’ve lost my ability to read deeply, that maybe my words only do well with the 140-character attention span. I hate that.

So what do I do? Conscious predatory plagiaristic exercises?

I’m waking up two hours into afternoon, bare leg curled out in sunlight, hips braced against the wall. I never sleep this late, yet here I am, watered-down orange juice on the headboard.
No. Today I spent fighting my bank for all of the money that some hacker cleared out to order flowers on FTD. Who steals a credit card and orders flowers? I reading recently the idea that people should just replace the F-bomb with racist. I’m still fighting the bank for all the money that some racist cleared out.

Ha.

Then, this evening, I attended a community meeting, a group of women artists coming together, and almost 20 of us showed up. It proved what I have believed for a long time, that art can save the world. Seeing women at all stages of their lives joining forces made me feel like I was part of something primal, something feminine, in the original sense of that word, femininity as strength. It takes courage for women to come away from their men and their children and their homes and come together and speak with their own voices. It takes courage for Dodie Bellamy to tell the truth about religion, and sex, and the internet and the digital age and how it is changing our personal relationships.

My goal is to speak that same kind of truth. And to believe, as David Foster Wallace said, that simple ideas are more powerful than complex ones.

4 comments:

One Woman in Search of Everything said...

Melissa- I love reading your thoughts very inspiring and genuine

Melissa said...

OWiSoE-- Thank you so much. It's good to hear, and it's good to allow my thoughts to stand on their own without comparing them to anyone else's.

Emily Franklin said...

You said it girl!
"It takes courage for women to come
away from their men and their children and their homes and come together and speak with their own voices."
How did we get so responsible for so much??

Melissa said...

We bear the weight of the world... But we're gaining our courage back, too.