Friday, July 07, 2006

The Great Experiment

The great experiment has ended.

Last month, as I finished my previous post - I realized that I needed to take a break from this project for one month ... although I wasn't quite sure why.

I knew that since April I had entered a funky period of my world - and was mentally in a fog, although not quite sure how the fog developed or just when the cold front would move from my line of vision and clear things out. So I decided to take a month off from this project as part of my retreat into my little corner of the world.

During the month I detached from many of my routine patterns - checking in with my collection of favorite blogs from friends and such was one of those things that fell to the wayside. Was the funk brought on by the arrival of my birthday? I thought perhaps, but it was doubtful, since I love birthdays and, as those who know me know, I celebrate mine a few times each year!

One night I decided to scan my blog bookmarks and just see what friends have been up to -- and I stumbled upon a post from my friend Freddy that hit me straight in the chest. He spoke my words, he felt my frustration and, with the entry of just a handful of words - helped shake a stalled front over my head and clear the air around me.

Before I tell you what he said, the back story: Freddy started a personal journey blog upon his discovery that he was HIV positive. The blog has been heartwarming, painful, funny and simply a must-read for me over time.

He started his entry as follows:
I haven't felt much like blogging lately. I haven't done my weekly visits to all my favorite blogs in quite a while either. I haven't been online much at all these days. Creatively, I've hit a wall, and rather than climb it, I find myself just staring at it curiously. How did you get here?
Then, went on to explain that he was wondering if he was at the end of the chapter.
I fear that if I spend too much time talking about the subject, I'll never move past it. And in a way, I think I've made my peace with most of it.
That was it! I had spent the past six months documenting memories of my past - and in doing so, reliving my life over, via my series of entries. Not only has it been an invigorating experience, it has been exhausting for me mentally. Everything I write about is gone. The Scene. The locations. The city as it was. And, most importantly, the people.

By remembering before I forgot, I also reminded myself of just how much of my past is locked up soley in my mind. I cannot sit at a table and have a few drinks with my friends from that time and tell stories of the 'good ol' days'. I can't go for a walk and visit some of the haunts of my past.

The purpose of this journal was to document an era - one that many people aren't aware of. And, those that are haven't talked much about it in years. I feel, judging from the comments I've received, that I succeeded. Those from my generation were grateful for the memory triggers I provided. Those too young to remember were amazed to learn about just how fuckin' cool Philly was back in the day.

I remembered and I will never forget. But perhaps it's time for me to move forward. Grant it, I don't wan't to stop posting memories completely. Perhaps I should shift this blog and start posting current thoughts about current things. Or, perhaps I should continue to document my life - but I'm not sure how public I want certain chapters to be.

I use Live Journal more for keeping in the loop of my friends' diaries. When I do post, its a mixture of promotional stuff and slice-of-life comments. Nothing too deep. Perhaps this blog needs to become the deep end of my mental pool.

Anyway - comments are welcomed on this post (as with all posts). For now, I just wanted to explain why I hadn't posted for the past month and to let my readers know that I'm still here.

Happy Friday :)


Anonymous said...

I also whole-heartedly agree that by reliving memories, although a sense of sadness comes with it, also comes a sense of peace. Well at least it has in some odd sort for me. For me your posts have triggered many memories, helped me remember some happy times and also times which make my heart ache. But oddly enough it is the memories that made my heart ache that i myself needed to revisit and from this introspection i have found a certain kind of peace with my past.......So I thank you for all your posts Robert

kenny said...

I totally understand about not being able to sit down and talk about the 'good ole days' with some of my old friends. I've lost touch with most of them over the years. I miss those days and have some amazing memories. Your blog has been so great to read because it really brought me back and I will continue to read it. Here's to the 'good ole days', here's to the 80's! I would never want to be a teen (and early 20 something) in any other decade...

Chris Krakora said...

Sometimes reading your blog one can revive their memories about eighties mysuc or Philly's New Wave Scene, and sometimes one learn new things about something from a different perspective than what you've remembered about it.

Sometimes I do feel creatively constipated when I'm blogging as well. I don't know whether I'm burned out or my life has gotten so boring that nothing is worth writing about.