this post has taken hours to write... and it's not nearly what it should be. i'm sure there are flaws and confusion all through it. i'm sure i've said it wrong.
but every now and then, it becomes necessary to talk about my private life here. every now and then...
i know that it's everywhere and that there's no real, dire need for yet another blog post about all the death in the news lately... and honestly, i need a bit of a break from it too... and honestly, i don't really feel ready or even equipped to speak about those deaths in any specific way... and honestly, i feel beaten up and weary and useless and confused...
and i feel this way because of the work i make. a lot of my work deals with death... and it all deals with loss in one way or another... with grief and identity and victimization and robbery and abuse and marginalization... a lot of really uncomfortable subject matter in general. and so the news of late and watching the world stop and stare and cry has effected my mood. i woke up feeling a bit lost today... dazed... like a piano has been dropped on me...
i called my sister and we talked for hours. conversations weaved in to one another and we covered as many topics as possible until the battery got too low and the call was dropped. we talked about grief mainly. how it is a different experience for everyone and yet there seems to be a culturally prescribed way to deal with loss... and a very dominant expectation for everyone to feel the same way about the same thing. it's not a moment to rock the boat or go against the grain in any way... all cultures have it to one degree or another... appropriate displays of grief are a culturally mandated thing... and it's hard to watch. at least for me, it is. i'm not pointing any fingers or making any judgements here... it's just that the prescribed model doesn't fit me and it feels bad not to fit in sometimes.
i'm coming face to face with one ethical or philosophical or emotional dilemma after another and it's a lot to contend with. my boat has been rocked. my grain has been splintered.
i don't know where i stand and i'm tired of thinking about it but i can't stop thinking about it and it's reminding me of leah's death. it's reminding me how i felt when i got the news and how, to this day, i'm still angry with her over a great many things she did during her life... cruel things, mean things, and lies.
and it feels mean of me to still feel angry, to harbour resentment...
who am i screaming at?
does all the crap from the past even matter? exactly what am i having such a hard time getting over? of what nature is my loss?
i don't want to become bitter. i never want to become so soured against humanity that compassion becomes impossible. i want to be compassionate and extend forgiveness and love and understanding...
leah used to say, "if you came looking for sympathy, you came to the wrong person". i don't want to be like that... but i know that i have been in regard to her life and her experiences... experiences that made her sarcastic and mistrustful and hateful and judgemental and manipulative. i've tried to take my knowledge of her and make it explain how she could do the horrible things she did. i've tried to excuse it all. i've tried to find a path of forgiveness. i've tried. and i've failed and failed and failed. i guess i'm not done trying...
but it's hard when your heart has been eaten by a person you loved and trusted and admired... a person whom you felt safe with, whose presence in your life was prized, a friend you wanted forever and talked with about being two old ladies together, laughing in our rocking chairs on the front porch and giving children a hard time...
it's hard when that person puts all your secrets on display... removed from it's context and twisted to get the biggest laugh. it's hard when you've been victimized by someone so close, so trusted, so elite in your life. it's hard when you've got no recourse, no power and no voice... no way to explain yourself because no one cares to hear it... the damage has been done and everyone believes the worst and no one cares about the truth. it's hard when you've been humiliated and used and your pain gets laughed at. it's hard to have your private life and emotions put on stage by the one person you trusted most in the world. it's very hard to know what to do or how to feel or how to forgive when then that person dies and you never had it out with them, never called them out on their bullshit, never defended yourself...
i never defended myself.
i chose to leave her life quietly.
i was tired of all the yelling and i was tired of defending myself against the opinions of strangers and co-workers, whoever. i was tired of the cruelty and i knew i couldn't win and that it'd never stop as long as i kept responding. i was tired and beaten down. i handed her the crown and i walked away. when she died, i hadn't seen or spoken to her in over 5 years.
5 years. i didn't think of her very often and i didn't care about what was going on in her life. i had no curiosity, not even the morbid kind and, as far as i was concerned, no news was good news. i felt betrayed. still. and i referred to her as Brutus in the corner of my heart and mind and memory. i did not regret letting go of the friendship. it'd hadn't been a real friendship after all. i did not miss her... but i really missed who i thought she was when we first met. i really missed the persona... the late night conversations and silliness and sharing and kinship i had felt... that mask she built from lies and deceptions- i missed it horribly.
and so today, the weight of all that hurt is back on me... and i don't know what to do with it or how to set it down. it feels like shit to admit that after all these years i'm still hurt and i still feel betrayed. it feels like shit to be mad at a dead woman... to still be afraid of her.
leah is the person who first exposed me to earth, wind, and fire... to de barge... to billy ocean... and to old michael jackson. i learned all the words to P.Y.T because of her... to make her laugh at karaoke. she would be in bed crying her eyes out right now if she were alive. she'd refuse to eat or leave the house or get out from behind her quilt. she'd collapse and stay collapsed for a week or two and call off from work and just crawl inside herself and hide. she'd be wounded by yesterday's news in a huge, horribly deep way. she'd have been traumatized and it would've taken her a long, long, long time to crawl back out of her cave.
i need to learn how to forgive her. i need to learn how to tell good, happy stories about her. i loved her best when she was in my life. i need to find a way to move passed everything else. it does no good to hold on to all this. it has no value anymore. some one's daughter is in the ground and i'd never wish it on anyone to have to bury their own child. no one. and my heart broke for leah's mama. it still breaks for her. i need to learn how to set it down and be okay and remember her in a better way and hold on to the good that was in her in spite of everything else. i think i'm finally mourning her... and i feel inappropriate and too late and my grain is flying all over the place- splintered and useless and adding up to nothing.
these texts are an archive of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area from march 2007 - march 2015. it stands as a record of close to a decade of my life, charting the struggles i faced as an artist, daughter, and lover. messy and chaotic at times, eloquent and poetic at others, these texts are an index i am proud of. it was here in this electric box that i learned how to be honest about my experiences and the person i needed to become. it was here that i first learned the truism that words make the world and how to trust such a beautiful, rife, hard fact.
thank you for meeting me here in such tall grass.
my artist website is here.
my artist website is here.