Before I started this blog, I spent some time creating an organizational outline and going through my computer files to select existing content that I wanted to include here. That was all pretty straightforward. But as I was getting organized, I was moved to go searching through my paper files for stuff that I wrote decades ago, mostly poetry and some short fiction. I finally found those things after rummaging through several desk drawers and miscellaneous boxes. As I read through the pieces I had kept, including some commentary from former professors, I found something else I hadn’t expected. I found my young self.

This past week, I’ve published a couple of things that I had started almost 40 years ago when I was in my 20s. I say started because they were unfinished. Somewhere along the line, after my divorce, I allowed myself to be talked out of creative pursuits. “Fine as a hobby,” is what my father said. “But…” I listened to the but, focused on building a career and stopped writing for a very long time. The young me, the one who wanted nothing more than to write, became a stranger who disappeared into the past. I let her go.

The image I’ve included here is an art piece I created for a Flickr challenge. The challenge was to create an image inspired by music. Tellingly, I used a photo of me in my 20s and titled it “Whatsername” to go with Green Day’s excellent song of the same name. I didn’t really know or remember her anymore.

But as I read through what I had written back then, there she was. Suddenly, I wanted to let her speak. So I finished two of those unfinished efforts and posted them here. Are they exactly as I would have written them today had I started from scratch? No. What matters is that I found her voice within myself. She is with me again. We will have much to say — together.

*For anyone who is interested, the two pieces I talk about here are “Duets, 1979” and “Intersections”.


6 thoughts on “Whatsername

  1. I hit a lot of dead ends trying to write when I was younger for a similar reason. I haven’t gone back to finish anything. I’ll have to see if I can dig up any of the short stories I wrote. I was about to say they might just be lost but then I realized I remember them. The ones I cared about and wanted to put more energy into but couldn’t, I remember as if I was working on them just yesterday.

    Thank you for inspiring me. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All good justification for resurrecting the past and revitalizing your inner youthfulness. You have inspired me to put some of my (current) thoughts on WordPress as well. Thank you for that. (Please pardon me if I don’t comment on all you publishings. I read them all, but art and poetry elude me and I just don’t know how to respond to it.) Keep on keepin’ on!

    Liked by 1 person

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