Yeah, Yeah, I’m Supposed to Be “Glowing”.

My life is no longer my own.

This fragile, needy entity growing inside my body will henceforth circumscribe every part of my existence until I am dead.

Even as I experience physical changes—flesh meeting in unfamiliar places, a new creakiness and frailty in my joints, unaccustomed heaviness and slowness—I’m aware that they’re nothing to the other changes that are imminent.

Insofar as I’ve ever had a stable sense of identity, it’s been wrapped up in feelings of isolation and aloneness that sometimes occasion bitter sadness, but just as often a fierce and exuberant sense of possibility.

Since my family never pressured me to achieve anything more concrete than “happiness,” my disappointment with myself has revolved around my failure to make art, to achieve financial security, to write prolifically enough. Still, I’m fine! I’m not incarcerated or destitute or friendless or miserable. The crushing sense of failure I’ve often experienced has been largely a function of too much time and analysis, too little grace.

From now on, though, things will be different. My failures will have the potential to damage a tender and porous little human for whom I am responsible. It’s terrifying to think of the power I’ll have. I want to purge myself of every particle of dysfunction so as to protect my child and insure that I won’t hurt them. But even if I could accomplish this (and I can’t)—the world will hurt them. How will I cope with that failure?

Even as I reflect on my hopes and fears about parenthood, it still seems very abstract. I don’t feel like a mother yet, and I can’t relate on any level to the women who write gushy letters to their unborn children, signed “mommy,” and accompanied by a photo of a beaming woman next to a cutesy chalkboard illustration of the vegetable or fruit to which her fetus is supposedly comparable in size.

What is not abstract is my feeling of loss. Loss of autonomy, of youth, of the ability to be willfully irresponsible, of aloneness.

Of course, this would all occur sooner or later, with or without children. Maybe the sense of isolation at my core, the origin of which I could never quite determine (was it self-imposed? An intrinsic feature of my character? An indicator of maladjustment? A combination of factors?) is, as much as it feels like an essential part of me, an unwholesome and ultimately poisonous indulgence.

Who knows…

But today, I grieve the loss of the fantasy that I answer only to myself, that I can do anything I want to do at any time, that I can abdicate all responsibility and just disappear. That I can be really, truly, alone.

sad sack selfie

ta hell wit it

.dn fil lk hldg bk no mo, fk dat sht, lif s sho.

Fear and timidity and being scared of “what people think” kills art and leaves its corpse rotting inside you.

Maye that shit was adaptive back when they burned witches and prelates could rape and rob with impunity (yes, I know that these things still happen… and humans seem to be as rapacious as ever… but bear with me).

Our technologies of communication (arguably not only our first, but our defining, achievement as a species) are evolving in unprecedented ways, smashing boundaries and accelerating the pace of globalization – which almost seems a quaint term anymore, incapable of encompassing the magnitude of what’s going on.

OF COURSE creativity and novel technologies tend to effloresce explosively from time to time, and have throughout human history. But when has the pace of information transfer, the intensity verging on boundlessness of our connectivity, ever been even remotely like it is now?

Atlantis, perhaps? Long ago, on another planet, or in a parallel universe, or maybe when we all die…?

In any case, the unprecedented (to those of us who live in this place at this time) level of self-display and “openness” engendered by our evolving relationship with tech, not to mention its ever-closer absorption  into our bodies, the increasingly disembodied (pan-bodied?), fluid nature of identity… it all gives me delicious shivers…. and makes me think that trying to project a stable identity intended to pacify others while providing cover for my own piddling agendas is outdated.