I have been sitting on this new blog like the scenario of the Princess and the Pea, letting the green seed fester as I waited to find the right moment, stacking on the months like mattresses. I wrote this post at the end of March 2020. This was also the end of the first fortnight of the pandemic lock-down in Mallorca, Spain. I had set out to share the blog in January of 2019. What was I waiting for, exactly? Back then, I was recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning and experiencing a burst of clarity that lead me to become engaged to marry again, again. In that mindset, the moment felt ripe. A brush with death gave me a renewed vigor for living and paved the way for another try at unconditional love. What a perfect setting for a betrothal to myself too - for a commitment to write more often and more honestly. In February and March of 2019, I chipped away at the art portfolio on my website, first on the to-do list, then had planned to begin posting anecdotal entries on a range of subjects.
I aimed to connect with others through storytelling with the hope of understanding the many ways we humans process life and heal from trauma.
Then my father died. I had suspected his passing was not far off and that it would soon be my turn to receive this mighty blow to the core of the self. Fearing he would die while I was far away, I had made some effort to have good conversations and forgive old wounds beforehand. One can never truly prepare, though, because the full impact of such a departure is unknowable and every parent-child dynamic is one of a kind. That is how this new kind of grief has been for me over the past year, incomparable.
After the funeral, I forged through my professional responsibilities at work and celebrated two weddings, one in Massachusetts and one in Mallorca. They were wonderful and sad. There was so much generosity of spirit coming from the guests and in the suspension of grief held by the immediate family, at least for a few hours here and there. My father’s presence was prominent as we planned the events and traveled from Spain to the US and back again. Yet, I felt an eerie calm in my behavior. At times it was peaceful, it felt like grace and genuine gratitude at how instantly my father’s own generous spirit was distilled from any pain and showed up for me in voices and smells and objects.
I was suspicious of my calm as well because there was a quality of numbness to it, a well-rehearsed dissociation. I had work to do and there was no room for collapse.
It all went according to plan, until a few days after the second celebration when I crumbled like a brittle wafer. No, the effect was more like a soufflé, first I bloated up with rage then I became completely deflated, depleted, and depressed. Now I have some time to just curl up with these three Ds and have found a new calm in the collapse. I don't identify as a princess of any sort, but royally sensitive? YES! I cannot ignore the nagging little pea, lodged under all my layers, that impels me to return to creative work again and again. As I blend my days mixing my job as a teacher with motherhood, partnership, and looking after myself, the 'coming soon' notice on my blog page has been flashing across my mind. There isn't really anything to wait for, no correct moment. This is the perfect moment. After all, it’s not the first time I’ve kept a blog. Earlier incarnations were focused on the creative process of making visual art after my arrival to Mallorca over fifteen years ago, followed by an attempt at a post-divorce reboot of more of the same about five years after that. What I haven't shared is that I write as often as I produce visual works of art, if not more. I have only shared my writing tentatively.
I intend Autoephemera to be different - less fairy tale and more true story.
Welcome and Thank You,