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.

Aug 24, 2010

the regular fears

my internet connection has been failing off and on for the past week and half and has become totally unreliable. i called customer service and they let me know our modem is bad and so a man is coming out today to check it out and hopefully give us a new one. the upside to this is that yesterday after posting about kate's book, my internet was down all day- effectively hog tying me and keeping me from deleting the post... which i sorta wanted to do and was in a panic all day long, waiting for my phone to ring, and going over and over in my head fear-driven conversations and how to explain the difference between art and life, how to use one to inform the other, and that creative license and honesty are an imperative of our times, etc etc etc. ha!

and then i started thinking about lady gaga. yep. she is a recent fascination of mine. and i thought how a lot of people in this country seem to think she's the spawn of Satan and, looking at her work, listening to her songs, and paying attention to her message of self-acceptance and self-love... i really have no clue where these attacks on her are coming from. it's one thing not to like her work, a totally other to label her as "poison for the minds of our children". and i thought: here's this 24 years old girl that has somehow managed to acquire enough strength and stamina to endure such a massive onslaught of hatred and malice, and here i am, a 29 year old girl, fretting about a "review" i wrote about a book i love and posted on my personal blog. a blog which doesn't get a ton of traffic anyway. at least i don't think it does- i disabled the tracker on it months and months and months ago.

but there it is- the thing every person needs to overcome if they expect to be a writer (in the public sense of the word): getting beyond the fear that you will anger or embarrass your family, and speak from a site of truth and strength. let come what may. this is a very very VERY hard thing to do. very.

i love my family. of course i want them to be proud of me, the work i do, and the person i am. we've been through a lot of shit together and have come out on the other side with a deeper understanding of what it is to be resilient, capable, and how to truly practice forgiveness. still, there are some stories that need to be told. they need to be told because silence seems to have (strangely) become the dominant mode of our era. these stories we have need to be shared. and when i stumble across a piece of writing that i am able to see my own life story in, i feel such a huge comfort. i become stronger. i become more confident, more able to not only stand up for the rights of others, but also for my own. i also become more able to forgive, to see the other side. silence prevents forgiveness.

and so, i must find a way to let my words and work keep their wings. i must find a way to shake off fear, run right through it, and just keep digging digging digging. it is a strange world and a strange life and our stories have such value, such power, such music in them. i want to be strong enough to let that fact sit on high and not apologize for the life i have lived and the life i have found as a result.


Radish King said...

Like Kesey said, You're either on the bus or off the bus.


angela simione said...

hahahaha! WORD! there's no arguing with that!

Kate Zambreno said...

i love how woolf phrases it - killing the angel in the house, the necessary bravery women writers need in order to speak their truth, in whatever form. i think of this as needing to kill the dutiful daughter, and i too struggle with it all the time.

angela simione said...

kate, yes... i think it'll be an on-going struggle for me as well. at least the shoving-it-out-in-public part. which i must find ways to keep confronting and seeking out. the victorian ideal of "the angel of the house" is quite prevalent. still. and it is such an effective means of silence and shaming.

Kate Zambreno said...

well, also virginia woolf wasn't aware of the internet! it is a question, i think, that we both might face, as bloggers of the personal much do we want to be that public. i think it's okay if you choose not to always publish things on the internet, as long as you write them, as long as you still publish them! doesn't mean you should suppress ANYTHING, your manifesto is extraordinary, but that can always be an option.

angela my partner john just read your essay as well, and reread some parts out loud to me. it's really extraordinary what you perform in this work.

angela simione said...

:D AHHHHHHH! thank you! i'm so glad that you and john are enjoying it! i definitely wanted to do right by the book, and right by you in my handling of it. and also to hopefully do right by others who have read the book and loved it as well. the book is a mirror in so many ways and i think it's so important that it find its way in to the hands of those who need such a mirror.

the internet is a strange and wonderous place. i definitely see the need to keep certain bits of information private and that not ever sloppy thing i happen to bang out on the keys end up being let loose in this land. but writing will always continue. always always.

thank you so much, kate. :)

Marylinn Kelly said...

There is a connection which I am trying to process that involves the courage or assurance to speak what needs to be told while at the same time beginning to see - each of us - how extraordinary we are. It is not about ego, possibly the reason why one struggles with it, but about our simple, essential worth. Assimilating all aspects of our truth is, as I lurch through it, a life-long task. But part of the truth has to include embracing our unique and imperfect beings. Those of us, and probably it is all of us, who arrive in this moment with a sense of lack or brokenness, of fragmentation, the shame or guarded responses we learned, are more sound than we know. This is, for today, what I believe.

angela simione said...

i couldn't agree with you more, marylinn. and it is a knowledge that i am actively trying to trust. i know that the outline and contours of my personal past are not something that i need to feel ashamed about. and i know that, in order to learn and grow, that shame and guardedness must be defeated. or maybe the defeat of those emotional responses is what learning looks like? i like imperfections and i want to embrace them. i want to unlearn the doctrine that states imperfections must be hidden, corrected.

i took life-drawing classes for 7 years and, long before the end of that stretch, it became boring to draw people who had "perfect" bodies. the bodies that had a high level of "flaws" were the most interesting, the most challenging, the most available for exploration. and therefore the most rewarding, the most beautiful, the most gracious and stunning.