10 April, 2011

Just call me Shrek.

It’s quite a process, really; this sloughing off of my life prior. I continue to be amazed by the correlation between object and experience, property and memory. I recognize that this is a tired metaphor, but I really feel like I’m peeling an onion. For every layer I manage to pry away from the center, there are an infinite number of remaining layers. Some of the layers burn. Some make me cry. Some set me salivating. Some are sticky and hard to release tidily. And some just plain stink. But if one can get beyond all of the difficulties of peeling an onion, then one is rewarded with a seductive sweetness. For a full-flavored life, I suppose I can keep on peeling.

It’s trippy watching the teleplay. Every so often I find myself overwhelmed with a strange sense of nostalgia for very particular periods of my past. Right now I seem to be wading through the mid to late 1990s. It was a pretty fun time for me, though, so I don’t really mind resting (wallowing?) here a while. It was during this time that I think I may have felt most comfortable in my skin. (Or, at least, that’s how I remember it while glancing back through Sister Nostalgia’s rosy hued specs.) I hadn’t realized how uncomfortable I had become until I began to reflect on the era.

Freeze Frame: It was a time of Girl Power; third wave feminism; renewed interest in mysticism and the occult; Buffy, the Vampire Slayer; the WB network. Fashion was plastic, shiny and sparkly. A mixture of Brit Pop,

Punk Pop,

and Chick Pop

was playing in the dance halls and on the radio waves. Lilith Fair was born. Dawson had Joey. Felicity had Ben. Horror movies went glam. Ally McBeal’s hemlines were a topic of national debate. Life was light and bubbly and fun.

These, of course, are my personal [college girl] recollections. Yours may be quite different. In my world, the late nineties represent fun, friends, and frivolity, or, to quote the brilliant Baz Luhrmann (whose Romeo + Juliet was rocking cinemas at the time): Truth. Beauty. Freedom. Love. A bohemian storm was brewing, alright; it was brewing inside of me.

This was one of the few times in my life when I have felt fully connected with the world around me. I had friends. I had fun. I was creative, and active. I was participating in life. I was learning, and laughing and loving. And I was having a blast doing it. That doesn’t mean that I was always happy as a sorority sister on uppers. I still had my moments of depression, worry and stress, but I dealt with these emotions creatively. I would write … a lot. I would draw. I would go for a drive, play music, and sing out my frustrations … always very loudly … sometimes very badly. I would dance. And dance. And dance.

I don’t do those things much anymore. And I’m not sure why.

This afternoon, as I was burning all of my CDs into my iTunes library (in preparation for selling them), I found myself poring over several of my old favorite CD liners. Most of these were from – you guessed it – the 1990s. Suddenly, I felt an almost violent desire to create. Something. Anything. (Ironically, I ended up playing some Tori Amos and writing this blog entry. Not really what I was craving, but I’m hoping to get the insight and inspiration I need to figure out what my creative outlets are now.) I suppose I will forever be surprised by the recurring realization that I both am and am not at all the person I’ve always been. Okay, Brain, chew on that a while longer.

I’m not really sure where this is all going. Nor am I sure I need to know. I just know that I need to get it out here. Somehow I have to figure out how to marry the old me with the now me. But, first, I must discover who each of these women really are. They whisper secrets in my ears, but like a good game of Gossip, the messages sometimes get garbled on the way to my brain. It’s like the poetry I used to write: It was always very personal and emotional and, well, crude, I suppose. I rarely shared it with people, and when I did, it was more an exercise for me to symbolically open myself to the larger world than to have my poetic skill judged. In fact, I imagine that most of those words read as ridiculous gibberish to anyone not a denizen of my headspace. Still, I miss those moments of enchantment when the Muses would light a spark for me and set my pen to scribbling. Those moments when all that was churning around inside me could be purged onto paper into something that was beautiful and tangible and could be deciphered later if it needed deciphering at all. I miss that rush of releasing the residue and remains of experience into the ethers. That symbolic exorcism via practical magick.


That sounds kind of like what I am doing now with my material belongings. Wait a minute: Am I having a light bulb moment? Is this ‘material unloading’ my creative process right now? Perhaps. Or, perhaps, Sister Nostalgia is wearing me out, and it’s time for a nap. Either way, I think I’ll wrap things up so I can ruminate while I rest. I hope this entry gives you pause – if not to think, then to take a little stroll down memory lane. Enjoy, and thanks for reading.

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