Overlapping Circles

I chose a new theme for the blog. This feels more appropriate given all of the roles I am embodying at the moment. Being a mom, being a grad student, being a writer, being human. They all overlap, they all differentiate, motivation comes from new places while the same old patterns of being me provide stability.

I also like the layers of depth that the three overlaying circles provides. The center of the three is the most concentrated, the most opaque. The core is least transparent and I like that. I like conceptualizing my center as a dense potent energy source. Or… maybe it’s just the most private. The least accessible from the outside.

So it’s happening where my thoughts are so corralled by larger conversations that the once earth shaking bolts of my own brain storms are being dwarfed by the big bang theories that spawn spinning wheel galaxies and push the borders of my known universe.  I am beginning to read enough new material that the conversations in my head are with those authors. Books are like really well organized and super interesting people.

Imagine walking into a café or a bar full of strangers and finding that each one has something fascinating, challenging and brilliant to tell you. That is my headspace right now. The boys are being re-compartmentalized to the immediate. What do they need right this minute? And then my mind is back in the café. What was I just talking about with Lisa Diamond? Oh look Gregory Herek is about to leave, I better go chat with him. Foucault isn’t going anywhere, he and Freud are going at it again in the corner. And I’m the novice, scribbling notes in the palm of my hand while these scholars speak unencumbered. Their thoughts are so well organized.

It’s almost intimidating, but then I realize this book, this article, this theory so succinct, took years to produce. And then I feel encouraged. They were once newbies in this café too. Staring at the menu trying to figure out what to order. I’m waiting for a regular to tell me to avoid the Chai here it’s too weak or to go ahead and ask for a double, the bartender won’t charge you extra.

It hasn’t happened yet. So I relax. I absorb and question and react and maybe get some insight into the next level. But, where did my own little cloud bursts go? My own intuitives? The little quirky thoughts and interactions that I string together to fashion a little bit of honest narrative. Really, the motto for my writing has always been, I have to write this down, because I couldn’t make this shit up. It’s true. I look around, and I don’t see me. Ever.

I feel how starved we all are for some self-representation in the media surrounding us. I was talking with this guy Eric watching graffiti artists battle, and I was bemoaning the over saturation of corporate media. How every new medium is absorbed and reconstituted in the mainstream. How efficient the processing of raw expression has become. We don’t have a view into ourselves that is not framed by some larger authority.

Eric challenged me; which, ok, for someone I don’t know very well, he certainly is good at. It’s almost charming. He had a different perspective. He said folklore is the real expression of our collective identities. Not the commercialized end product. I said we had no folklore, it’s all been distilled, packaged and then sold back to us. He disagreed again, folklore is still being created, it’s all around us. Every festival, every neighborhood gathering, every story told at the bar, exchanges for the sake of exchange. Look for yourself here, express yourself here, share your experience here. It was a hopeful conversation.

And it was a real conversation, in real time, not in the café of theorists in my head. He knows I study sex, is familiar with my sex-positive agenda. He encouraged me to keep sex in the present. Contribute to the folklore in that way. But that happened a month ago. And I’m just now writing it down. How much of that conversation have I let slip away because I was wedging my feet in the café’s door?

That is where I’m struggling. Letting go of the everyday in favor of the theoretical eternal. I don’t know how to balance these paradigms. School is subsuming for me. I fold the information into myself and there it exists just below immediacy. Yet, I have a fondness for the present, the right now is always more interesting to me than the used to be, or the what may come. Maybe I even have a fetish for the immediate? I find a lot of pleasure in detailing the moment: unattached to the past or the future. The singularity of an interaction or insight will inspire me. And I know that’s my gift.

Well, one of them.

My program is only 2 years. And I am grateful to be old enough to feel how brief a two year span actually is. Can I hang out in the café for two years and then head back to the street? Will all those interactions and insights still be available to me? I think they will. So my overlapping circles are going to be uneven for a little while. More of my energy is going toward the idea edge, the student circle, the learning, absorbing, not yet recording, sharing or synthesizing. Just for a little while.

Overlapping Circles