I have not posted on this blog for awhile now. While I occasionally have begun to frame a piece, I have not gotten around to the writing. It seems that I get caught between the urge to get it all down and the wish to let it all go. And if I must write, why not just keep a diary or journal? This would be infinitely more practical, as I could engage in diatribes that only I would see. I could write on some of the things that I tend to avoid on a more open forum. I could be a crank, a barnyard philosopher, and a fool of six different flavors and I would not be embarrassing myself in front of my friends and family.
There are some topics with which my mind waltzes around now and again, topics which have been central to my life, yet ones which I have thus far avoided: youthful indiscretions, failures of character, moments of regret, a divorce. If I chose to write about my experience at Happy Valley School, I am sure that I could conjure unending stories, though many of them are personal to students and teachers, so perhaps theirs to blog. I suppose that I could write only positive memories, perhaps less incriminating pieces, but for some reason it is the outlandish, the sometimes salacious or at least bizarre that stick in my memory or call out to be framed. Perhaps I can get past all that and focus on lessons learned, moments of small triumph, insight, or simply learning. Yet part of me knows if I got into writing HVS I would have to eventually write about the circumstances of my leaving, the loss that I felt, that Meredy felt, my deep disappointment in some people and perhaps in human nature in general and that pain remains raw to this day.
It does not help that I am part curmudgeon, sometimes content to observe, critique, and parody the world, sniping from my chair at this and that like the old fart that I am slowly becoming. On other days I am Pollyanna, rhapsodizing about dogs and gardens, and the simple pleasures of life. Yet both of these affects tend to get boring fast, somehow lacking the meat of what I hope to get at here. But what is that meat? Do I feel as if writing the stories will somehow slowly reveal the truth of my life? Will “getting it out” facilitate “letting it go”? Are these memories and reflections so ephemeral that the writing of them might capture their existence, frame them on a page? But to whom are they important besides me? It is always hard to tell who is reading this stuff. While I get very little feedback on the blog itself….sometimes if I post to Facebook, I will get a couple of comments there…I can be standing in the market or at a party and some acquaintance will offer that they love reading my blog. At this, I feel both grateful and shocked, as if I just realized that I accidently exposed myself.
I was laughing with a friend the other night about the time that a famously eccentric HVS science teacher was showing the school his slideshow from a backpack trip and suddenly the room gasped as a slide of him bathing naked in a stream (rear view) lit up the wall and forever etched itself on the brains of several dozen teenagers. He remarked: “I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. It is merely a buttocks.” I suppose that this blogging is much the same. It is my memories and reflections. We all have them. Mine are nothing special. If I continue to do this, perhaps I will just consider it like skinny dipping in time.