Still going to eat the cake though.
I restarted the blog two months and forty posts ago. While the addiction to this odd form of diarising has returned in full force, the exact nature of the pleasure or satisfaction it affords is still pretty unclear to me.
Starting with the first post of the year I've laid down a series of working hypotheses about what I'm writing, why I'm writing it, and who is the intended readership. I'm neither surprised nor disappointed to observe that almost none of those hypotheses, even as they have shifted, have matched up with the realities. That's fine. It's an extraordinary luxury, and maybe even sometimes a delight, to sit down to a creative work with a rough idea of where I might take it, and for it to end up somewhere entirely unexpected (somewhere strange, somewhere shitty, somewhere lame and inconclusive, sometimes somewhere good) and for this not to matter, as it would matter if I was writing for almost any other outcome other than slapping it up on my blog.
The whole thing is giving me the opportunity to think about the inevitable gap between all that inner action - intention-motivation-fantasy-desire - and whatever it produces or ends up being when it gets out into the world and becomes, in one way or another, real. And you know what, this can't be stressed enough: that gap is the thing, of all things, that matters the most. It's where life gets lived.
The irony is that almost none of what I've actually written openly addresses what is important in my life, my big personal preoccupations. Take the bravado in that linked post from January - gonna write about whatever it is that matters to me now and throw caution to the wind - almost the exact opposite of what I've ended up doing. I imagine that might seem a bit of a bizarre statement given that I've covered such topics as childbirth, postnatal psychosis, attempted suicide, sexuality, identity crises, and psychoanalysis. But I've actually written quite a lot about done and dusted stuff - experiences that brought me to where I am now, rather than about the moment I'm actually in. At some stage I decided I'd try to run with the tendency to address the present and the everyday via crypticism and vaguebooking, instead of resisting it, and to my actual surprise that produced a deluge of posts about shoes - shoes as containers, shoes as things that protect as well as enclose, things that structure the way you travel and how effectively you are grounded. Interesting to write but not a sustainable device. It gets formulaic, and anyway I just don't own that many pairs of shoes.
Skimming my archives reminds me that I'm much more concerned now about the privacy of others, and with being at least a bit discreet about my job, than I ever used to be. So the picture which emerges from this blog, in this era, of a fairly solitary self contemplating its own bland image, is very different from my everyday reality, which is full of other people and preoccupied with my relationships with them in all sorts of ways. I don't know how to write about this or even whether I should be trying to. Well, I will think about it some more.