I’ve been thinking lately about tempo, about the rhythm and pace of things and how some things don’t sync up. Bodies vs. minds, heart vs. head, that kind of thing. And lately, as a runner, I’ve been working on getting my speed up, and it’s going really well — I seriously feel great about running the fastest I’ve ever run in my life, especially as I slide down the dark side of my thirties. So the idea of speed and pace is a literal concern of mine a few times a week as a running nerd.
But I’m thinking of pace and rhythm in relation to more abstract things, like the rhythm of blogging and the pace of life. Like how in blogging you feel compelled to do it regularly and consistently if you want to have some modicum of “success” at it — and yet, as a personal blogger, tiny revelations and insights about life don’t happen regularly and consistently at all, or at least at a scale to warrant being documented in writing.
It was easy to write a lot and all the time when I was writing NOGOODFORME — for one thing, that blog covered areas that change all the time. There will never be a shortage of music, style, food, and all that to write about. It’s easier to be regular and consistent as a blogger when you have a thing and a schtick — even if you’re writing about deeply personal issues like grief, there is a compass there, a focus that guides you when you sit down at the screen to write.
Here, though, it’s a bit more diary-like, a bit more personal and yet diffuse. I decided to write here more often because I wanted the challenge of writing more intimately, from a more heartful place — something that feels more honest, kind and, yes, sincere. The problem is that I don’t have personal revelations every day, or even every week — I wish I were that wise, but I’m not. I don’t have a fabulously decorated apartment; I’m not much of a consumer anymore, either in clothes or music or anything that people love to read about. I sort of just live my life and keep my game tight and love like crazy. I re-read and re-listen to things again and again; I try to engage things at a slower, deeper and (what feels like to me) richer pace. I like that a lot; it feels good.
But it doesn’t make for great copy, I have to admit. I worry about being mundane. I worry about being boring. So I don’t know. I want to tell you that I started writing a new novel this month and it’s going really lovely; I sit at my kitchen table early in the mornings as the sun streams through the window and I visit a world set in Old Chicago, and I get to rhapsodize about perfume, about glamour, about dresses by the Callot Soeurs. It’s fun to write a historical novel, using a part of my brain I often don’t get to share. (Fans of 19th century/Gilded Age history, please raise your hand!) I’m very, very into writing as if I am trying to be Edith Wharton or Henry James, though, since they’re masters, I will settle for ending up like Theodore Dreiser. There’s a pretty yellow finch that sits in the tree outside my window. I perfected my egg strata recipe. My summer fashion concept is making me super happy these days. I like how summer in general slows everything down beautifully, and finally thoughts and impulses have time to catch up with me, ready to be shaped and sculpted into more concrete things.
It all exists at once, these pieces of life. When I write here, I sometimes feel like I’m placing them in an order and harmony that I think I know, but the full song has yet to reveal itself fully.