Should you be concerned that the last you heard from me was on 4/20? Should you? No, really not. The day passed with no out-of-control homage from me.
No, instead I’ve just been leaving this posting business for way too late, and instead of sitting up and falling asleep on the computer, I’ve just put myself to bed. The result is that I’m feeling much more rested (finally), but I also haven’t posted in days. I think I might put the post I wrote on Saturday up tomorrow because I liked it. We’ll see.
Tonight, however, I have other business. Tonight I have to talk about last Tuesday, which was all about … me! (Big surprise, I’m sure.) Not just me, but me and the eight other women who were the featured readers/performers at a book party. An essay of mine is included in a collection of writing about women’s literacy. I’m excited about the book and was really happy to have the chance to read. I was incredibly nervous about it, however.
I used to read all the time. I was always nervous those times, too, but Tuesday was different. Not only have I not read in years, this essay was very personal and it was hard to think of how I’d manage to read it to a room full of strangers, how I’d survive reading to a fair number of people I have professional relationships with … and even harder to imagine reading it to the half-dozen or so of my friends who were in the room. But I read and read reasonably well. I didn’t hyperventilate, didn’t shake so badly I couldn’t hold my papers still, didn’t suddenly forget how to speak. I was magically able to mostly be myself.
The essay grew out of the My Body Politic post I wrote here two years ago. There is much more in the essay than in the blog post, however. Much more focused on things about my life that I don’t generally talk about … such as growing up so “other” in my small, homogenous town that I felt I had to erase whole parts of myself to find a way to live under the radar … such as completely internalizing the cues that inspired that erasure. It was strange to read all of that out loud to anyone.
But it worked. People laughed at the parts that are meant to be funny, gasped at the parts that are meant to shock, let me feel their warm resonating hum in the moments when they were feeling what I was feeling. I wish I had been brave enough to invite more people. There are at least another half dozen friends I would have liked to see in that audience. Next time!
And, despite my silence here, I kept up with my Zeno writing over the last ten days.* I even wrote one for Tuesday:
flowers in sun on a cold night.
voice. eight women
hidden, held back.
And thus concludes my month of the Zeno. Thank goodness! It wasn’t awful, but it was definitely work. Now it’s time to move onto the next challenge. Yes, I’ve already taken one on. Maybe I’ll talk about that tomorrow …
* A Zeno is a 10-line poem: syllables = 8/4/2/1/4/2/1/4/2/1, rhymes = a/b/c/d/e/f/d/g/h/d.