The Age of Vicarious Living
Traffic on my blog is way up, the majority of it local. Record breaking. I find it a bit sickening because it appears centered around the unfolding family drama revealed in my last post. I was criticized by a family member for pursuing my desire to write my memoir and when I made it clear that I wasn’t going to tolerate anyone trying to silence me, things got messy quick. I reached out, but crickets couldn’t stop the train wreck reaching critical mass. Divisions cracked wide and boundaries broke — loyalties shredded with passive-aggressive shots through the digital ether.
We humans suck at communicating. We suck at being authentic, too caught up in appearance, secrets and hidden resentments. Disingenuous loyalty. Assumption, projection and denial. Ego grooming. Dysfunction’s playground turbocharged by social media and text messages. The dualistic irony of increased (dis)connection through instant pocket-size folded space convenience. Fodder for the silent vicarious voyeurs.
The Price of Admission
I am naive and it’s a bitter pill. My mom is dead. My dad is dead. My grandmothers and grandfathers are dead. The leading actors in my life all beyond shame and blame and pain. No hidden, explosive family truth to unveil. And yet, with only a handful of words of my memoir written, the implications have ripped a hole in my family. I thought myself immune to such consequences. My voice challenged with alienation — threatened by external insecurities and irrational fear.
But, then again, what did I expect would happen when I stood my ground?
I am terribly under-read, especially within my genre of choice. But truth-telling through fiction is not authentic enough. I’ve been fighting fiction my whole life — my own, and that of the world at large. Even the truth of memoir is blurred by memory and perspective. There are facts, but there’s flux in the spaces between. I guess I stand as an example to other aspiring memoir writers:
Here’s what awaits. Are you ready?
This is My Pain, My Story
My story is being hijacked before it’s started, as if it wasn’t hard enough to sit with my own pain and resist the temptation of escapist distraction. It’s a scathing tell-all of myself, no one else. I will tell my story regardless of reaction or veiled judgement. I will sing it. I challenge everyone to do the same. Throw away your comfortable illusions. Stop pretending. Enlightenment lies ahead.
I see them. They repeat regardless of scale. In you, in me. In the whole. It’s all connected.
I see them in our history.
I see them in our wars.
I see them in our governments.
I see them in our politics.
I see them in our entertainment.
I see them in our industries.
I see them in our schools.
I see them in our gods.
I see them in our relationships.
I see them in our mothers.
I see them in our fathers.
I see them in me.
And because my coping mechanism is crude humor, I will tell you that we are fucked. Mandelbrot fucked. Nothing will change until we dispel the bullshit of our lives.
“My life seemed to be a series of events and accidents. Yet when I look back, I see a pattern.”