I’ve been changing a lot since I first started this blog. And in fact, I believe with conviction that I have been changing the most in the past year that I have barely been publishing any new writing. Tonight, I looked back through over 300 posts, after thinking for several days that I need to simply nuke the entire site without saying a word of warning, and instead of deleting everything, I simply decided to unpublish almost all of it. I am not the person who began writing on this blog six years ago.
Over that six years, I have experienced repeated social assassinations, almost back-to-back in succession. My life had been imminently threatened several times. I swung like a pendulum between polar extremes of anger and grief, writing my demons down to drive them out of my head. I had a lot of moments of how alienating this must be for anyone observing from within a certain proximity, and so I frequently tried to distract myself from such powerful emotions and redirect that energy into something constructive. Looking back on some of that writing, I genuinely feel at this moment that I often failed to do anything constructive with all that angry energy, equal parts creative and destructive. I experienced homelessness. I hung from hooks. I received hate mail from my own biological parent (who refused to address me by any name at all). I learned a lot of new skills, stories, histories, and ways of engaging the world differently. I wrote about all of it, as it happened. I thought, regardless of how unlikely it is that anyone on the other side is even listening, I was helping myself by trying to write about it anyway.
I took the power of my voice for granted. I entered a cultic intentional community and experienced social assassination upon being exiled from it two years later. It wasn’t the first time, even in that six years. I learned the hard way that I have been able to maintain certain blind spots in relation to how to treat people I have differences with. My brother told me straight to my face that the look he saw in my eyes, he had seen in the face of another man suffering as much as I was just then, six months before that man took his own life. I woke up while sitting in his home. I cracked up while standing in a winter river high up on the mountain. I put myself back together and I fell asleep and began to dream, very deeply. I stopped taking for granted the power of dreaming, and I began to accept that these experiences are given to me, not for me to judge or doubt. I taught myself to believe in myself.
I chopped wood like my mother had taught me to, which I had also taken for granted, until an uncle showed me how to do it like a man who has been building ceremonial fires for longer than I have been alive on this planet. I learned to sing. I learned to recognise where I needed boundaries, and I learned to stand up for myself, and stop apologising for doing so. I learned the meaning of emotional incest. I learned how important it is to not let that experience define who I am today. I dreamed of crying, of singing, of eating ravenously without being sated, of transforming myself into something nonhuman. I dreamed of having sacred conversations with people both living and deceased, both compassionate to me and antagonistic. I learned to stop judging these experiences. I learned to forgive what I never thought I could.
I have boundaries I have never had before. I have perspective I never knew I craved. I have a sense of purpose I have needed all my life. I have a sense of direction that sometimes terrifies me. I prepare for my future and teach myself to stay in the present. I weave my dreams into fruition. I write without publishing. I publish without continuity.