I had a dream last night that I was laughing hysterically and couldn't stop. Right now, I can't remember the actual setting/circumstances, but I know it was a more serious occasion than my wild laughter would indicate. A case of doing the forbidden, the uncharacteristic, which is one theme in my dream life? Or, a sign that I need an outlet? Maybe.
The fact is, I compose this inaugural post with some hesitation. I am a writer, but I am also a Minnesotan and a former Catholic, a child of stern parents who taught us not to draw too much attention to ourselves. When I was a child, I remember laughing loudly in a group and being told it sounded fake. That's not your real laugh, someone said. I was accused, guilty, but I hadn't done anything. I swear it was just me, an awkward 9-year old in a room of relatives.
Putting myself on display knocks at the door of one of my deepest neuroses, being exposed as a fake, an imposter. Until I was in my late 30s, I thought I was the only one who feared this. Now I see my naivete as just another sign that the Midwestern grain belt in which I grew up did its work, tightening around me so that I was not smothered so much as squeezed. I have lived a mostly normal life, made a living, raised children, with no noticeable outward traumas except divorce. I have stayed within the bounds of the expected. But I think about what happens to a peach when you grip it too tightly or catch it as it rolls off the counter. Juice leaks out of skin that looks unbroken.
That sounds dramatic, so maybe I am onto something. This blog is for those "leaks," the thoughts and ideas that squeeze out, even though I try to avoid editorializing or making long pronouncements in my classes. My thought life has remained mostly that--mine--unspooling in monologues when I run or hike or garden.
Trying to shape some of those tangles of ideas into mostly coherent pieces on writing, running, gardening, cooking--my daily life--is my goal. I don't plan to write a journal-like exploration of my emotional life; I'll leave that to my subconscious in my dreams.
So, blog on in peace.