For all that other artists have been the background music of this year, I think this somehow sums it up better.
When I started this website a little less than a year ago in a fit of grief/anger/gratitude/shame/all of the above, I hadn’t written anything non-scholarly in years (and I suspect the early posts reflect that). The imaginative part of myself had been neglected, on a back shelf of my psychic closet along with much of the silliness and pathos that I’ve explored in these pages over the last year. But now that I’ve re-opened myself to whimsy…my muse is awake, and gently urging me to do something more than critique concerts and write parody lyrics to classic songs. As much as I enjoy discussing others’ work, for the first time in a very long time I have the urge to create some art of my own to go along with my scholarship. And for the first time I’ve found a story that could help other people gain insights–in this case into a world that is very important to me. In a way it’s a story maybe only I could write in a way that would be read, and a route to fulfill my obligations to my literal and metaphorical forbears once and for all. It’s a story that I see in old work that I’ve tried to tell time and time again but always kept stopping myself from exploring. It’s a story that I think only this past year could have given me the strength and insight to tell without descending into safe cliches. I’m also getting excited about my work and scholarship again–not going through the motions, but really engaged now that I’m no longer pressuring myself to go after the alleged brass ring of the tenure track. While my creative work and scholarly/professional work are two very different animals, I understand now that I need them both in my life—they’re my two very different and yet very complimentary children, in a way. The best way for me to be in this world is to nurture them both in ways that help others grow.
Originally this post was going to consist of a bunch of videos and links revisiting my emotional journey of the past 12 months, and to serve as a memorial to Anissa. However, I realized that as an artist and Teacher, she’s better remembered with my dissertation and my embryonic novel than with a rehash of what you’ve all read or can easily find in the sidebar. On reflection, one of the reasons we got on so well in spite of her extroversion and my hermit tendencies was that like me (and I suspect for similar reasons), she was always moving forward, looking for the next new challenge, the next show to direct, the next big thing. As the strangest revolution my wheel has taken thus far draws to a close (and it has some competition on that front, ask my mother over a stiff drink some time), I find myself more well-grounded in my past and my friends than I have been since my life imploded in 2002, but joyously embracing my work and future in a way I haven’t had the energy to do since May 11, 2012. I hope to write and speak on the role of libraries in higher education. I hope to write and speak about the issues I will be touching on in my novel. However, the time and energy I will spend on those efforts must come from the time and energy I have been spending reconnecting with the joys and frustrations of Fans and Fandom.
I hesitate to shut down this blog, or even say I am going to stop posting, but don’t expect to hear as much from me. I’m sure I’ll be moved to post by the occasional bit of pop culture silliness, and I will continue to be on Tumblr in a limited way. However, for lack of a better word, my muse is calling me to put most of my energy into other things right now. And for many reasons, not least of which is the short girl standing to my left in the photo in my header, I need to listen to that urging.
I love you Sis, and I hope one day to live up to your example.