Letting go is an essential part of moving on, I know. I like to think that I’m good at it. I often am not bothered by other people and their behaviors. I’m never more at peace than when I’ve lost my keys or my wallet. I’ve purged so much from my closet that I am actually in need of clothes to wear. But things and people are easy to walk away from. I’m delusional to think I have any skill at all.
It’s the past—the secret past that I always want in my clutches. My stowed-away diaries. The dreams I awoke from suddenly and carried with me for days. The poems borne from triumph and fury. Those things I never shared but with myself. I as their sole keeper am the only one who can keep or discard them.
Blogging for me has been another sort of secret life. I started it for myself, as a way of giving those secrets over to some other force. Writing for the blog had me time travelling back to the childhood I sometimes want to forget; back along the rails of self-discovery; back through grief and betrayal, through love and ambition. Weaving it all into an endless narrative, the blog has become a statement of record. My testimony. It gives voice to my shadow. And that is why I write.
But as you can see, not all of this is the juicy stuff of squelched desire. It’s an unorganized shoebox of receipts: the red-berry stains of my 12-year-old fingers, unsolicited advice, my auto-replies, my Sisyphean feats. And all the blah, boring stuff of work.
The ether of the Internet is my bank. And I tender my memories to it. The blog is also the journal that doesn’t end. There is no satisfying last page that will close out any chapter of my life. It keeps getting writ. The Internet never forgets, I know this too. I cannot withdraw from this bank. That fact causes another careful scrimmage at the edge of my comfort zone.
I am resigned to losing that fight. I keep reminding myself that someone may read, claim, or compromise what I toss into the Internet’s fire. I will be angry and sad; I will blame myself. But I keep unpacking those dusty boxes. And I am watching them all crinkle and flutter away as they turn into ash, as they keep me warm a little while longer. Here into the flames they go: the Metro cards, the carefully kept stamps, the definitions of rain, the dancing, and the lost and emptying nights typing, typing. Here I go, destroying the binds that keep me from the present moment.
If I continue to blog, it is because I am still clearing house. Until I am clean, clean, as hollow as a bamboo pole, then will I be as transmutable—grass, fiber, tree, food.
This is all a very long convoluted way of saying thanks to my friend Shaw Israel Izikson, who has been helping me these past few weeks to preserve the blog and transfer my domain name so I can keep shining light on the dark corners I am excavating.
Photos are mine, of contents recently unearthed, from a box I thought I’d lost.