Resurrection

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Jacaranda

Los Angeles May jacaranda

My brain was a cluttered room with thoughts thrown about like scattered clothing.

                                                                                                                                                       
It’s been hard on me, not being here.

Three and a half weeks of unintended sabbatical feels like an entire season.  During this “season,” I’ve had a birthday, a fever, a death of a friend, a health scare, an existential crisis, a reconciliation, a flying adventure, an obsession with the guitar, a cure and a revelation.  It was just normal life.  But as you can imagine, a couple of those would stop me writing mid-sentence, and this is precisely what happened at the beginning of May.  I received the worst kind of news – a death.  I won’t be writing about it.  But because of it, I stopped writing about anything.  For a time.

That only twenty or so days have gone by since that moment is beyond my comprehension.  May has been jacarandas, thermometers, live music – so much of it, dances of friendship, visits to the clinic, and an array of fountains while scouting locations for my script.  So many events, sensations, and about-faces have taken place for me.  I shouldn’t even write such a sentence, because I’ll be compelled to give examples and make the task of this soft comeback more daunting.  Whatever needs to find its way out, will do so here and now, or succumb to a wakeless sleep.  I’m a little boat and too long afloat to imagine I have any control over the sea that sways me, and I’m not collecting any additional loose ends to graft into the “crazy tree.”

At least by “wakeless sleep,” I’m designating a romantic mortuary.  Do forgive me for any death-related poetics.  There’s far too much mystery and yes, romance, associated with death to deny it its literary moment, even in a little blog, especially when the blogger’s head was filled with it, namely her own, for part of the month.  I’m a stubborn hypochondriac:  When I get sick, I think I’m going to die, but when I need treatment, I refuse it.  Either way, I’m shockingly alive and obstinately healthy all over again.

Fountains

In terms of Gunmetal Geisha, I was drowning in an alphabet soup and expected relief once I made it to dry land.  But instead, when the daily alphabet posts reached letter Z, I went through separation anxiety.  I slipped into a depression about it, which of course, is not known for getting you back on track.

Then came the self-doubt.  Your blog is of no worth and you’re a fool.

I had lost a sense of purpose, and for a person who is happiest when most productive, this was a tiny…death.

A well-intentioned friend didn’t help.  In spite of all those who wrote to tell me they were waiting for the next post, and could I please hurry, I was affected by the one person who said, “You’re a good writer, dear, but I’m tired of reading about your life.  Write something bigger than you.”  Such as my death?  I wrote an entire stream of consciousness on my death.  Maybe I’ll post it here.  But I was still dismayed at his words.  How could he, of all people, not get that “my life” is merely the wrapping for GG?

As much as questioning the value of GG threw me off balance, I felt abandoned even as I had abandoned it.

And then, I hit on the beginning chapters of a book I’ve been struggling to write for a couple of years.  I could never get far with it because I didn’t have a beginning, and without one, there was no natural flow.  Imagine my joy, when it occurred to me that Gunmetal Geisha is a treasure trove of markers neatly splayed for me to reference for the novel, which is a coming of age story with autobiographical elements.

Who am I kidding.

The story doesn’t contain a single syllable of fiction.  Only some inventive name changes.

I then contented myself that if GG had no other value, it was at least a rich, organized outline for the novel.  Without it, my brain was a cluttered room with thoughts thrown about like scattered clothing.  But inadvertently, GG had picked up and placed them tidily on hangers.  And it turned out, it was underneath the overwhelming piles that my beginning chapters were hiding.

So I’ve been writing my book.  It’s flowing.  It keeps going and going.  Writing a story is watching it reveal itself to you, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s the most fun anyone can have.  With that, you’d think I might part ways with blogging.  But I realize, the outline aspect of the blog is only a bonus, a GG by-product.

The truth is, GG lives for its own sake, and I’ve been dying to come back.

Here I have license to structure words in ways I wouldn’t in a novel or a short story.  Here I get to break the fourth wall and speak directly to you.  Here I get to put everything that doesn’t fit in a novel but yearns to be expressed anyway.  Too many people think of a personal blog as a fluff-fest.  But I echo the many others who know the beauty of a blog lies in its capacity to be whatever one wants.

It’s true that people’s personal tastes can contaminate the experiences that bring us joy, as my friend’s well-intended “write something big” did to my little geisha dance.  But it wasn’t for long.

Because I’ve missed you.  And I’ll be sticking around.

 
Cathartic Monkeyism

  • There is endless value in self-expression, no matter what form it takes.
  • People’s tastes being different than our own can contaminate our experiences. It goes without saying, don’t let it.
  • More importantly, I learned not to end up in the role of accidental contaminator of someone else’s joy.  (Go ahead and like a crappy reality show, I will not scoff.  Not out loud.)

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51 comments

  1. Welcome home, darling! On that last Monkeyism, we have a saying in my house (we picked it up somewhere I don’t recall): “Don’t yuck my yum.”

    1. Ha, I really like that – “Don’t yuck my yum.”

  2. Paul · · Reply

    Exactly.

  3. GG, welcome home, I missed you.

    1. Ditto.

  4. P.J. · · Reply

    You know, the reality of a blog is several things. One, it’s a personal escape. When you have a personal blog — it’s just that. It’s different if it’s a revenue-generating spot. But to tell a blogger they are sick of reading about you … it’s a personal blog. That’s what most do.

    As for the Alphabet Challenge. I’ve always thought of doing that, but never did. Instead, I always did the daily blogging challenge a friend sets up in February. It’s tough. I used to be good after it — this year, not so much. Buried in work, my blogging has taken a hit as well. I understand your feelings. I am just getting back into it a bit more.

    Personal experiences make a blog. Whether it’s your health or death or something else. The personal touch on blogs (outside of “the big ones” or ones within a certain niche) are what make them great. I’ve missed reading many blogs and I am attempting to get back into it. I have a lot of catching up to do. I, too, have experienced some issues recently on the health side and have found it to be somewhat therapeutic to write about them.

    I say welcome back. Take your time, do your own schedule. Sometimes, breaks are needed and they help as you flow along. Keep up how you do things because it works and it works well.

    1. Nice to see you P.J., it’s been a long time. Sorry to hear about your health concerns, but sounds like things are better? And thanks for your thoughts; I agree.

  5. a=Awesome to see you back here. Missed you. Sorry for the loss of one near to you.

    1. Thanks so much, Maggie. Lovely to see you too.

  6. I am glad you are back, but not just that you are back…that you have the words and the confidence to be back. A-Z didn’t do great things for me either. I ended up revamping my entire blog afterwards. I felt like a stranger there and I wanted it all new. I also kind-of want to hit your friend, but I am so happy that your book is coming along.

    1. Didn’t know you didn’t enjoy your experience with A-Z! It’s so interesting to me that you ended up re-doing your blog because of it. Was this the first time you did a daily post?

      1. No, but it was the first time I did one so structured. I had asked my readers to choose the topics for me, so I found myself sort of losing what I came here (to my blog) to say. I needed to revamp and sort of get my head back together.

  7. lrconsiderer · · Reply

    Ahhhhhhh that’s better 😀 *happysigh*

    Fountains, huh? Sounds like you’ve been taking in the beautiful as well as the painful, the challenging and the ridiculous.

    I am glad you’re back, though. I missed your words, your brain and your crazy tree as it sits and grows thoughts, almost as you watch.

    1. Yes, definitely, all of those things.

      I’m glad to be back too, the crazy tree definitely needs pruning…

      1. lrconsiderer · ·

        Yes. My crazy carousel up and started spinning today. Ack. Hate that.

  8. “You’re a good writer, dear, but I’m tired of reading about your life. Write something bigger than you.” <–I find this maddening. There is nothing in this entire world to write about except things we have either lived or dreamed. I think there is infinitely more value in sharing stories that expose the raw flesh on life than waxing annoying about huge, "important" issues of politics or religion. Everything we need comes to us through the tiny moments and the months like you just had, and nothing is more powerful than sharing what seem to be tiny clods of dirt but which actually – upon reading – contain gold.

    Also, I have a novel that's not nearly as far along as yours, and the only way I can even conceive of writing it is because most of the events were gifted to me by life. My imagination isn't half as good as my perception.

    Love you. Welcome home.

    1. Every single word you wrote resonates deeply, Jennie. You are so right. Thank you from the heart.

  9. Welcome back, Geisha! Dance however you like!

    1. Thanks, Amy!

  10. That is pretty exciting when a book comes from the pages and pages of post you do huh? I’ve thought about a way to put together this blog too. I know for a fact that writing no matter how it is done is a release. Welcome back in your new form! (your resurrection)

    1. Hi Ben! Yeah, absolutely, it’s a release and therefore valuable in any form.

  11. the most magical thing in the world is when a story reveals itself to you, rather than the other way around. Happy writing, my friend. Welcome back. Very happy to see you here. 🙂

    1. Isn’t it?

      You are so warm, Beth. I love that about you. I’m actually quite thrilled to be back, and I have you guys to thank.

  12. I am so sorry to hear of your loss.
    From my entirely selfish perspective and for what it’s worth, I am happy to see you back. To be honest, I had not realised your break was so long, as I have myself been on a long blogging break since A to Z, in some kind of emptiness and exhaustion after April. I felt deep frustration, as I discovered a few breathtakingly amazing bloggers that I wanted to have more time to read but couldn’t, then. You are one of them.
    What you write here is bigger than you, and I’m really happy to know that you are writing again, both GG and your book. I just think the world needs you.

    1. I want you to know what you’ve written moved me immensely. I value what you say, and that you say such things about me, truly makes me blush. Thank you.

  13. First of all, I don’t feel like welcoming you back.

    I feel like when I saw a new GG post, that it was ME who was welcomed back: “I’m here! Welcome back, Jeff.” “Aw, thanks.” [takes deep breath] “Nice to be back.” [looks around, shuffles feet] “So. coffee and a drive? a few deftly over the speed limit daring gear shift sentences? That would be awesome.”

    Because in a way THAT’s what it’s like. Like WE’RE all back. And hey, here we are.

    //Jeff

    p.s. Nice to hear you’re working on a longer piece, and that GG has helped open up some material.

    1. Jeff! I fully echo that notion — it feels like a whole group that dispersed and then got back together again, and I can’t begin to describe how wonderful if feels.

  14. Welcome back GG. I agree with you about the fluff fest. Not my cup of tea either which is why I’m following you. I don’t fluff about on my blog. I’m shocked what an ‘eventful’ few weeks you’ve had.

    1. I’m kind of shocked too, when I think about it. It’s just too few days for such a variety of occurrences.

      It’s a great compliment to me that this blog appeals to you, thank you.

  15. Paul (above) recommended me this post, and I’m glad he did.

    Welcome back, sorry about the not-so-constructively-phrased criticism, and go on with using your space in a way that does stuff for you, whatever that stuff turns out to be.

    1. Well, thanks to Paul. And thanks to you for stopping by!

  16. Glad that you’re back! You did pack a lot into your time off, at least you never do things in half-measures. Very happy that you are alive (and kicking).

    1. Glad to be back!

      No half-measures — I wish that were true all the time. There are unfortunately plenty of things I do half-assedly…

  17. Welcome back! This is a lovely resurrection and I’m so glad you’ve decided to stick around.

    1. Thanks a lot, Sandy.

  18. GG, I would compare you more to a phoenix than the resurrected, always freshly reborn from the ashes cast through life, emerging beautifully anew and inspired.

    Welcome back 😉

    1. So lovely, thanks.

  19. Yes.
    Resurrection is quite nice.
    Death knocks the wind out of all of us.
    Glad to hear you have risen. x

    1. It sure does! And thanks.

  20. Fabulous. Welcome home. Glad to have you back in the blogsphere! I often question whether I should write about something bigger than me and the self doubt creeps in. But then I figure it doesn’t matter what I write. Some will like, some won’t and so I write for me.

    1. Joanne, I think in the end, if we’re compelled to write, then we should. That’s reason enough.

  21. maurnas · · Reply

    Your blog has so much worth. I am glad to see you back.

    In case you wonder if any of us care; I have thought about you almost every day for the past month. Wondering where you were and when you would be back. I assumed you were just burned out from those alphabet posts.

    I hope you are doing well after all you have been through. May has always been a bitch for me too. I am glad it is over.

    1. I’m very happy to see you. I’ve thought about you often too. Isn’t it interesting how that works?

  22. Glad to have you back. So very sorry about the death of your friend though.

    1. Thank you, Roshni.

  23. Excellent. It took me a while to get here but I’m glad to see you’re “back.” I’ve told you before but I’m so right there with you on assuming I’m dying every time I get very sick. It’s always avian flu or leukemia or something.

    I love that you’ve been working on a book. I’ve just started editing (like, yesterday) a manuscript that I’ve been ignoring for far too long and must try– one more time– to do something with. I love hearing about other people’s writing projects so this was well timed. You will have to tell me more about it at BlogHer!

    1. For sure. Is yours fiction?

      1. Not a word of it. Other than some names. So I don’t get sued, ha.

      2. Ha, same!

  24. Well, hello there Geisha! You and I are playing blog tag. I’m so sorry about the death that sent you off the rails, and even though I am a new reader To GG, I am glad your back.

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