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”.