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Location: California

I love paper. Books printed on acid-free paper and bound in cloth turn me on. I'm crazy about bookmarks, and I buy too many stickers. I could spend hours in the build-your-own-greeting card section of my neighborhood craft store. My favorite thing to eat is bread, and my second favorite is fruit. (Mm, pineapple.) I read too much and too fast, and I watch too many food shows (two ways of looking at gluttony). Gloomy, rainy weather calms me and so I can't wait to move out of California, which will happen, sadly, too many years from now to count. I'm vegan, though I haven't managed to eliminate honey from my diet yet. I practice yoga; it's the only way I can keep fit. I have a better life than I ever imagined I would (or deserve to) have, but I do my best to enjoy it rather than feel guilty about it. That's my daily struggle -- and also to be thoughtful and observant and honest with myself.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Good Bye, For Now

I heard on NPR that bears in Siberia haven't gone into hibernation this year because of unusual high winter temperatures in that part of the world. I understood suddenly and completely -- a heart-sinking epiphany -- what it means to live on this slightly squashed sphere that rotates in space, with its blue helmet of atmosphere beneath which burn fires, literal and metaphorical, that we cannot easily put out, and that are coming close, second by second and century by century, to killing us off. I suppose I've already dipped my toe into the awfully complicated and violent topic of global warming, but I don't want to go any further than that. All I want is to record a moment when I saw myself in a context. Life on this planet feels to me disjunct, fragmented. I don't see the connection between myself as a biological being and the life of my neighbor two doors down or of a professor in South Africa or a peasant in China, of sea plankton or extraterrestrial beings, except in abstract terms, as a result of intellectual effort.

I've written about this before. I've written before as well about what I'm about to write about now: my relationship to my body as a body with needs that I'm not sympathetic to most of the time, that discomfit me and that I feel compelled to reject or repress. I return to these topics, I roam about inside and on and under them until they become threadbare and full of holes. Shoddy. And so I thought maybe the time has come to bow out and be quiet for a while. Besides connection to the world outside myself, those bears in Siberia started me thinking about hibernation, about slinking away to a cave and keeping hidden for a while. Sleep. A small, temporary death (no allusion intended to la petite mort), a period of stillness, of silence, of nothing-doing.

My gut tells me that it's time for it in the space of this blog. The most important sign, the reason I trust my gut feeling, is a disenchantment I've started to feel with myself when I'm here, a faint boredom with the content of my thoughts. And if I don't care that much about what I have to say, then how can anyone else? I've been troubled by the public nature of this space since day one, and this discomfort never dissipated. I'm more familiar with it now, a little more at ease with it, but it's still there, a thorn-in-the-side kind of friend. Openness will never come easily to me, at least outside my close relationships. I've felt almost every week as I sat in front of the blank Blogger message window the impulse to hide, not to write my blog for fear that people I knew and people I didn't know would read it. I have to give myself credit for the courage to show up to write despite this very deep-seated reluctance. It seems a little silly to talk about having lived in the spotlight, but that's how this year of blogging felt to me. It's been a tiny and rather dim spotlight, but it seemed quite blinding and enormous to me.

So I'm going back into the shadows, at least for a while. I don't want to run without looking back, to bolt thoughtlessly back into my comfort zone, so this is my attempt at a graceful last bow on the stage. Thank you to everyone who has read. You gave me the feeling that I was a part of a community of minds, and that was an unexpectedly good feeling.


Blogger Rebel Girl said...

We'll always have Paris!

December 16, 2006  
Anonymous kameleon said...

i will miss you a lot. i am addicted to your writing. i hope there will be soon some sun rays tickling your nose, your imagination, your thoughts, to come out of hibernation.

December 26, 2006  

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