I haven’t been getting much of what I expected out of this Stifled Artist blog lately, and I have to admit, often I think of announcing, “I’ve failed in my mission! Taking this piece of shit down now!”
But yet I persist. Because when I started this thing years ago, I believed I had something to say, whether to myself or others (seems mostly myself). And I wanted to keep up my writing practice. I also wanted to connect.
I was hiking my normal hills of doom in Wildcat Canyon out in the Richmond area on my lunch break, thinking about what I normally think about, which is mainly the sentence, “What’s the point?” over and over again.
Flash forward to that night, where I would be sitting around a bonfire, shooting the shit with a local lit star who is actually very humble about his “celebrity,” and he would go off on one of his rants, stating, “People always talk about having an existential crisis. Existentialism is actually calming for me.” Because if we are responsible for our own meaning, via philosophers like Sartre, then it is ultimately our own responsibility to choose what IS meaningful. Even Victor Frankl, in “Man’s Search For Meaning” talked about the ability we have to choose our own attitude in any given set of circumstances.
Back to hiking and what’s the point. I was thinking about how I kept this blog up for years and not a soul responded aside from two of my good friends, one from college and one from across the country. But that was OK, because I was experimenting with my voice. I didn’t really know quite what I wanted to say yet.
I was also thinking about how I found out about another writer who runs a reading series through this blog, and because I had my work up here he was able to say, “Hey, your work would fit the reading series I run, consider submitting something.” So I did, and then I ended up reading three times for that same reading series, and once for another, all because I had put some concerted effort into this blog. So that’s something this blog was good for.
I also tried to experiment with things like interviewing artists and writers and talking about themes, which worked pretty well–I got a lot of traffic from those things. But I still find that the main traffic I get is from two posts: Live Life With No Regrets and Why Do You Have So Many Tattoos?.
I love tattoos, and I spent a considerable deal of time researching and writing about them earlier last year. But then, after an article of mine got accepted for Bound by Ink and never ran because of lack of photographs coordination (even though they PAID me for it), I got a bit bummed out and took a break from writing about tattoos. It’s typical of me to get obsessed with something, overdo it and then put it on the back burner for a while. Or to get discouraged when I’m not absolutely perfect.
So whats the point of this blog? Still what it was before. A place for me to practice my voice while letting random drivers by judge me however they want, a place to keep trying to connect with other artists, writers and musicians until I find a better means of doing so. A place for my friends and relatives and acquaintances to spy on me, sending me random emails once in a while, “Are you OK? I read your blog!” It all comes with the territory. Sometimes I think of having a more private life, but then I picture my mom saying to me, “We never share some of the things you share on your blog, we appreciate our privacy,” and I bristle.
Screw privacy. We live in the era of Thought Catalog, Facebook, Twitter and reality television. Big brother, security cameras, internet tracking by employers. There is no such thing. Might as well go with it, tap my brain into the growing slipstream of visible consciousness, spill my inner tempests into the clogged internet rivers full of chunked up bile. Why the hell not?
In other news, I picked up a book: “The Creative License,” by Danny Gregory. I looked at it about a year ago and was like, “Meh,” but this time I looked at it again. I don’t consider myself a visual artist, but I have always loved to draw.
Gregory encourages drawing every day in your journal, so after rolling my eyes a lot, I decided he’s actually right, no bad will come of slowing down enough to draw things I see around me instead of just yammering about people, places and things in so many words, so I decided to step left for today and draw some random things in my room for my journal.
Aside from that, it’s Labor Day weekend. Usually on this weekend, for the past 6 or 7 years, my husband and I would drive up to Auburn and sit in the sun, reading, hiking and talking, because our anniversary was August 30. I cannot even explain to you how sad I am today, but it doesn’t matter. Life is change and change is inevitable. Seldom do we understand the why or how of anything.
What’s the point? To live, right? Sadness, joy, pain and all. So I am going to celebrate today by myself. I’ll read books, take myself out to lunch, likely go on a hike and ponder my navel as I always do. I won’t die. And please, relatives, don’t email me and ask if I’m OK because you read my blog. I’m fine. F.I.N.E. Love you and all.
What are you doing for Labor Day weekend?