I’ve been holding on to all this writing… It’s a funny thing, to hoard thoughts like that. I think there’s a fear that I can’t say them out loud unless I know they make sense. But it’s not my job to make sense. It’s my job to be myself. So here they are, in no particular order, so that I can make room for what’s next…
It’s day 30 of my menstrual cycle. I seem to have regained the capacity to express myself. That usually means my period is about to start. The more I observe myself in my cycle, the more fascinated I become by how it influences me.
I can’t help but feel like rest is a dirty word. When I need to rest, how I need to rest… It always ends up making me feel like I’m scoring high on the mess-o-meter. But why is there a meter in the first place? What the fuck am I trying to measure?
I do this thing where I have imaginary conversations with people in my head. I came up with this line a while back: When they ask you what the hell I’m doing, tell them I’m trying to be alive before I die.
Always looking for the meaning of things, it’s a lot to ask for. It’s just that, free floating in the void of everything and nothing, I need something strong enough to keep me in orbit.
I don’t remember a single day of my life where I haven’t thought about death. Most days it’s only fleeting. Some days it’s compulsive. I think that’s why sex is at the heart of my art. Sex is one of the few things strong enough to keep me in orbit. To balance out death and loss, to take me back to life. And to take me back to love. Love is the only thing meaningful enough to stick. Everything else always seems to slide off after a while…
All the ways that I am torn
I want to be earnest
I think I’m coming off cheap
I want to free myself
I might just be needy
I want to mean something
I’m trapped by my inadequacies
I am by no means the only woman exploring her image. Some days that makes me feel like I belong, like I am one of my generation. Part of something bigger, part of something human. Most days though that just makes me feel insecure, like I’m being redundant, unimaginative, fake.
How can every opposite coexist inside my head? How much ping ponging can a mind handle without hurting its integrity?
I am not one to believe that cutting anything away is ever the solution. I would rather learn how to cool off the flames of contradictions, how to make peace out of enemies. I think learning to breathe with everything is the way to start.
I guess the question is, how do I feed more oxygen into my sense of self? Ha, and I’m right back to breathing! Maybe breathing is the answer to everything. I do know for a fact that it’s the only way I have of influencing my nervous system (cardiac coherence, check it out if you need a quick non-pharmaceutical fix). And I guess a lot of people have been talking about breathing for a lot of centuries…
The thing about breath is, it’s one thing that includes two poles. It’s not like you can skip one or prefer the other. There is no inhaling without exhaling, like there is no eating without shitting, no waking without sleeping, no living without dying.
Maybe that’s why even when I’m doing well, I’m still torn. Because that one way momentum I so wish for, that got-it-all-figured-out consistency I’m told to seek is actually unachievable. And undesirable. Because the light and the darkness, the void and the matter, the in and the out don’t exist without each other.
Something is coming into focus for me. One of the reasons I keep falling off track all the time is because of how involved I get with everything. I think I just can’t keep up with myself. It’s like I don’t know how to regulate my own volume, how to maintain sustainable levels.
I extract so much meaning, I engage so deeply with what I encounter… It turns almost everything into an all encompassing high. Of course that’s not necessarily a bad thing, that’s kind of a great thing actually. It just takes its toll in ways that make me need to retreat, give myself a chance to digest, come up for air, regain my footing. From letting so much light in, you end up with extra long processing times.
It’s probably one of the reasons I so often resist engaging with new things. Because I know that once I allow something in, it will seep in fast and deep. It’s also why I am most afraid of the things I actually want. I want them so much, and yet I wait and wait, taking my time, avoiding, a bit of both. Trying to make sure I am ready before I open myself. You don’t open the floodgates if you’re not sure you can handle it. Especially when you want to ride the rushing waters and not just be swept away by them.
A long time ago, I used to wonder if I was bipolar. I was worried for a while, but I honestly don’t think so anymore. Most of it is the flow of my menstrual cycle, something that should be normal, acceptable, and why not even enviable. Then the rest of it is just one of the many ways that I am me. One of my evil re-christened as what is best in me. I am an extra sensitive spirit with a fast revolving mind and a heart that somehow keeps expanding… My my, won’t you listen to that. I’m starting to sound like someone who likes herself!
Got herpes on my lip again. It appeared for the first time in a decade three months ago, then it took weeks to get under control while never seeming to completely heal, and now it’s back.
I feel like my body is a battleground. The forces of good and evil, the past and the future, all that I don’t want and all that I do want. Everything clink clonking like the sound of swords and axes hashing it out.
The herpes isn’t the only thing my body is struggling with. My menstrual cycle, my gut, my mood, my weight, my fitness… Everything keeps going up and down. I even have a cold and ear pain coming on and off. I’m working on it all, but I go from motivated to frustrated. The past few years, I’ve had big stretches of time where I was ruthless in my management of myself. These days I seem to have as much counter will as iron will. Honestly, I’m not convinced that being overly controlling is the way to go anymore. I was doing better to some extent because I was limiting myself. It may be easier if you don’t allow certain experiences, but then you’re not having those experiences. And I think, at this point in my life, I am starving for experiences. Whatever consequences they might bring can’t be worse than the pain of missing out.
I’ve been watching Margaret Atwood’s stories on the screen, and thinking about how different it is from reading her on the page. It’s late and it’s raining now, and this thought is stirring in my head… The page can be a woman’s refuge in ways that the screen cannot be, because the screen can be a woman’s dungeon in ways that the page cannot be.
Because of how our sexuality gets turned against us, we have to divorce it, or fear being participants in the hurt that happens to us. And/or the only other choice, the one that’s rarely a choice at all, to learn the way that we are wanted to be sexual, a way that can be used, sold, controlled. Either case, it makes us walk around life like our hearts have been cut out of our chests. Seeking in vain, in other places and other people, our own stolen power.
Unwhole. How can anyone who feels unwhole not be utterly sad, angry, despaired, depressed? Hysterical. From the Greek hystera, uterus. The origins of the world. Now not so doctor kosher a term, and yet I can’t help but feel it might very well be the perfect word to describe the state of this world.
When I write, do I hear the sound of my own voice? What do I see when I look at myself on the screen? Can I see the hollowed out parts? Can I hear the secrets I keep? Are all the reflections and artifacts adding up to a whole or are they patching up the holes?
I want to think that I am being clever. That I am an artist. That at least I’m trying. There is so much to be unearthed. There is so much noise and so much silence. What does it take to break through? What does it take to mend the broken seams?