Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Turning Defensive

I've got an online stalker. I was enrolled in an online dating service while I lived in Magnolia. Funny how living in the back of one’s parents’ home doesn’t lead to a riveting social life...hence signing up. This guy fell all over the witty way I’d worded my profile and the fact that I had red mittens with the fingers cut off in my photograph. This sort of charmed me because I, too, appreciate the details. After he sent me one too many bible-length emails that raised every red flag on my field, I stopped corresponding. He hasn't.

For two years now this guy has been tracking my every online maneuver giving me his verbose, sharp criticism of what I’m doing with my life, how I’m progressing as an artist, as a writer, what I should do with my business, how I should improve my relationship with my mother, why I should leave Greece, why I should talk more about this “historic recession..”

His last comment was, in about 400 words, all about my last post falling short of my potential. In short, I believe he thinks I'm being trite. He gave five hundred pieces of advice on how to correct it.

I would like to tell him, and you, that it is because of him, and the idea of more "hims" out there, that I’ve shrunk away from giving too many personal tidbits. I don’t talk about the fact that I usually make it day to day with nothing in my pocket and a storm of self-doubt in my head, or how in spite of living my dream, my dream is unbelievably tough to live and I would like sometimes to disappear from this world completely, and how forcing myself to keep up with a blog and a job that puts me in the faces of countless strangers is 100% contradictory to this urge. I would like to ask how anyone can possibly put this into words while they’re living it?

How especially would they manage to put it into words if the moment they are trying to come out of their hidey-hole to slowly ease into a steady rhythm of writing, creating, if every fledgling attempt was critiqued as though it was supposed to be the finished product?

The idea of this blog was to put down quickly, without too much thought or reflection, what I was experiencing abroad, culturally as an outsider, for people who are curious back "home". It is not a place where I am going to stand on my tree-stump and tear out my hair and cry, to show everyone all of the darkest most secret parts of myself. That is for me and God alone. It is also not a place where I am going to preach about injustices I've experienced or tragedies I've seen unless my muse guides me to do so, because all in all, if anything has happened to me in the last year and a half, it is that I am humbled. I realize I know very little about very very little. My challenges pale in comparison to so many others that I don't even know if I know the depth of what heartache can be.

My struggle, currently, is to continue to have the courage to stay committed to the act of writing, to portray things in an interesting way that reflects the world through my eyes, but does not alienate anyone. At least that’s what I believe the purpose of this platform, ridiculously dubbed a “blog” can be used for. If someone wants me to write about something more specific, I would willingly take up the challenge but with some fair terms of structure and expectation, and even recognition, which is not what my stalker has offered.

When I am older and on the other side of these trials I am going through, and this could be next week or when I am sixty, I might feel that some of the meatier things that I’ve been through are safe to show. I alone will know when that time is here because it is when I will be able to face the easy shots of critics, such as my own personal stalker, knowing that I’m at peace with all the decisions I have made and all of the consequences that have come by way of them. It will be written in solitude, not revealed until ready, and published in a proper book, on pages, between two solid pieces of cardboard and a gloriously illustrated cover.

Now, to return to the subject,

Τους Λαιστρυγόνας και τους Κὐκλοπας,
τον θυμωμἐνο Ποσειδὠνα μη φοβἀσαι,
Τἐτοια στον δρὀμο σου ποτἐ σου δεν θα βρεἰς,
αν μἐν᾽ η σκἐψις σου υψυλἠ, αν εκλεκτἠ,
συγκίνησις το πvεὐμα ( soul) και το σὠμα σου αγγἰζει. (touch)

The Lestrygonian and the Cyclops,
the Angry Poseidon -- Do not fear them.
You will never find such as these on your path
if you do not carry them within your soul,
If your soul does not set them up before you