Very First Blog Post Ever!
One of my friends has a lovely blog she uses to meditate on the existence and practice of grace in the world. Another friend's blog is mostly a diary where in go all the insecurities, fears, and complaints about how deeply unfair and painful the world can be. My partner's blog is informative and entertaining; a comfortable middle ground between academic and everyone-friendly with accessible (often funny) prose, cool pictures, and links to primary sources and multimedia. I love all three blogs. Love how I feel closer to my people through reading them, love how much I learn getting to see through their perspective. Love it so much, I thought maybe I'll write one myself . . .
Before officially deciding, I asked myself (and a writer-friend who I respect, who just happens to also have a blog), "does the world really need another blog?" But that only lead to the question, "does the world really need another poem or short story, which led to "does the world need another movie, video game, type of mobile device, brand of car, coffee shop . . ." I kept going – because I can neurotically tumble down that rabbit hole in the twitch of a rabbit tail – but I won't here. You get the point. Clearly I decided to do it. Here's why: why the f*#k not? I just graduated from a degree program in English (first in my family to ever get this far - woot!) and my days are no longer structured with papers for class, reading peer's work and commenting, ducking the chatty Cathy down the hall who – though sweet – is a massive time burglar. This is not to say that I am blessed with nothing but free time (is time ever actually free?), but I had a funny realization - I can do anything I want. Not anything, of course, I'm not going to start chorus-line dancing, streaking, or bank robbing, nothing that'd get me thrown in jail (though if I could go to the Orange is the New Black prison . . .) but in terms of writing, in terms of communicating and what to communicate about, I'm a free agent.
I've been called a lot of things over the years, but reserved isn't one of them. And though the people who know me best know that I have a streak of the social phobia in me, ultimately, I feel enriched by discussion. And frankly, I don't see representations of myself too often in media. Where are the working-class, hyper-educated, body-modified, West Coast transplant mestizas? Where are the halfies?! And not just half ethnically (Heinz 57 white on mom's side, second generation Mexican American on mi padre's), but half emotionally, half morally. Where are the line-walkers, the border jumpers, the sexually inclusive, the people who say no and yes at once? I literally say no and yes at once. My dad does it too. Someone asks us a question:
Q. Have you eaten?
A. No, yeah . . .
The "yeah" is always the precursor of something specific, something that answers what we feel was the implied question - No I haven't eaten, yeah, I'll eat with you. No, I haven't seen that movie, yeah, I'm free, let's go. And sometime backwards - Yeah, no.
Q. Are you tired?
A. Yeah, no.
i.e. Yeah, I'm tired, no I don't plan on going to bed.
And sometimes I say it because I don't know. And that's the thing I'm most interested in exploring with this here blog, all the "I don't knows" I've come to hear so frequently from my own mouth. The I-don't-knows that really mean "both." I'm all about both, all about more, all about excess. I want to spill out of the small identity-driven, social space I was placed into, want to carve away at its edges, widen it two grains of dirt at a time until the excess bothness of me is like a river, swelling and lapping, murmuring softly in content.
Though “content” is not really what I’m looking for. It’s more like the story Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche tells in the beginning of his book, Joyful Wisdom, about a caravan of monks who hire as bodyguards bandits who try to rob them. The point being that it was useless trying to fight them off, and so rather than experience certain failure, they chance at making allies of their perceived enemies. He uses this as allegory for mindfulness and accepting the negative thoughts one might have. I’m going to stop trying to fight off all the anxiety, perceived missteps, feelings of failure, identity confusion and contradiction; I’m going to invite them in and give them a good long look. I’m going to ask them what they charge and see if they’re worth their salt.
And sometimes I’ll post about books and movies and blogs that I like and think are worth reading, and maybe even about stuff I'm doing, like travel or disturbing the peace. Don’t worry, it won’t always be heavy shit.
(Pssssst: These are my kinda bandits! ¿Qué onda Chavez y Chavez?)