Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Stories We Tell

I haven't been posting as much as usual. My writing continues but it has migrated to a more personal level involving poems and stories. Politically, the repression our uprising faced has caused a period of remission, a time for self-reflection and regrouping, a gathering in of forces.

This blog celebrated its two year anniversary on February 10th, 2013. Two years in the blink of an eye. I began it in a time of great change and upheaval as an attempt to support the worldwide struggle against capitalist oppression and economic inequality, not to mention the many other forms of discrimination it engenders. Yes, I know that these ideals are ridiculously high and I wish I actually possessed the power to instigate real change. 

I was also coming to terms with my diminshing rights as a worker as well as my demotion from the middle class to the working class, a status I'd tried all my working life to transcend. The dawning of awareness that this was not a personal failing but a shared predicament illustrates the way that mass social movements are born. 

Blogging is a remarkable thing, it's a kind of open diary and a chronological framework to a person's state of mind, and, through their eyes, the state of the country and the world. It produces something notable, like a time capsule, even if it is not read by many. 

The other reason I began blogging was a story I'd read in the New York Times Magazine called "Cyberspace When You're Dead," about ghosts that linger on the Internet long after their creator has passed on. As a cancer survivor, I'm acutely aware of how quickly that rug can be pulled out from beneath your feet! The idea of an online legacy is an intriguing one, an interesting and provacative way for a non-famous person to leave their mark on society.

In newsrooms, online and printed alike, personal blogs are now utilized as research material after death. Regardless of the quality or merit of the writing, they provide a window onto a person's thought process, the way they percieved their personal universe. 

As a sixty-something, lesbian woman, I am trying to make sense of my time on earth, to turn it into stories and poetry because, just like every one of us, I have a unique and compelling story to tell. My mother, who died at 48, never had this chance to look back on her life from a distance and tell her story. I know these extra years are a gift, one I don't want to squander.