In the beginning I thought I knew what this blog was going to be. It would be a place for me to share my witty, insightful observations about the world. Sometimes I would be serious, sometimes funny, but overall I wanted to create a space where I could take the time to think about things a little more deeply. That I could discuss what it means to be a thoughtful informed progressive, beyond stereotypes and reductionist beliefs.
But then things happened. 2016 and then 2017 happened. The world exploded. Every day brings new disaster. Every news cycle worse than the last. I have no idea how to be “thoughtful” in times like these. My opinions have been replaced by the sound of a sustained scream.
The other thing that happened is that my grandmother died. It was not unexpected. My grandfather passed away in December and my Granny was pretty vocal about her own feelings about still being alive. She was 98. She was tired. She missed her Charlie. So it was not a surprise. But still I was not prepared for the impact it would have on me.
A few days before my Granny passed I heard a story about the idea of transactive memory. At its most simple, transactive memory is the theory that people in relationship with each other actually “store” memories in the other person. So, I don’t have to remember where the key to the shed is, because my husband “stores” that memory for me. And my husband doesn’t need to remember the name of the vet because I store that memory for him.
Watching my Granny drift away from us I was overwhelmed thinking about the memories our family had stored within her. Who were we without her? What rich stories would we lose? What items of monumental importance would we never know? It flattened me.
Since that time I’ve sat down a few times to write, in fits and starts, but my monkey mind kept winning. “Oh, not that,” it would say. “Don’t write that! It will upset people or confuse people or anger people or make people think you’re stupid…you ARE stupid! How silly of you to think you can write.” I let that asshole monkey win for a while but not anymore. I don’t know what this blog will turn out to be. But I’m tired of waiting for inspirational lightening bolts. It will be what it is. I will say things I think need to be said.