Fumbling in the Dark

I don’t really know how many people are reading this, but I realized this morning that posting on this blog still feels like posting on Facebook, except without the Facebook. So a little like Livejournal, perhaps, if anyone knows anymore what that is. Paul Krugman always seems so off the cuff in his blog. He’s scribbling notes in the margins. And what notes! I don’t hope to ever be that good. Oddly, that feels like a stumbling block.

One of the coolest blogs I ever followed was Mimi in New York, written by Ruth Fowler between 2005 and 2012. She grew up in North Wales, went to Cambridge, traveled the world for five years, and moved to New York City to become a writer. Once there, her work visa failed to come through, so she decided to make a living as a stripper, and lived a very interesting life for a while. She blogged through all of this, and eventually got a book deal out of it. Afterwards she moved to California to become a screenwriter. Since then, she’s gotten sober, had a child, gotten married and divorced. She doesn’t do much blogging these days.

Definitely I hope not to share so much of my personal life here as Ruth did with Mimi (that was part of the idea: the name Mimi- “everything is about me me me” – symbolizes her narcissism). But I really admire the way she developed the voice of that blog. Reminded me of Maggie Estep, one of my favorite writers, also a New Yorker. New York City is so romantic to me, probably because I never lived there, but also because of the voices that emerge from it. Herbert Hunke and Dorothy Day, a junkie and a saint, both came out of New York City. Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes and the Nuyoricans. Aaron Cometbus is from Berkeley, but he owns a bookstore in Brooklyn, because that’s where all the cool kids live now. I am not one of the cool kids, and I never was.

Writing this blog feels like fumbling in the dark right now. I think it might feel that way for a while before I get my bearings.

Published by samuelbarbour

Besides writing a blog, I also teach, farm, cook, and play music. I live in the Illinois River Valley with my partner, Molly Breslin, who sometimes posts stuff at breslinfarms.com

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