*Buddhists in Tibet create colored sand paintings as composed mandalas, carefully placing the sand on a large flat table. The construction process takes several days, and the mandala is destroyed shortly after its completion. This is done as a teaching tool and metaphor for the “impermanence” of all contingent and compounded phenomena.
I watch my own creative wheels turn over the weeks and months and years of my life. The building up and the tearing down.
I write and write, chewing on a fictional story for a period of about 30 days. I build up a solid stream of attention, increase my readership, feed the chatter, then I suddenly turn cold. I hate it. I want nothing more to do with it. I leave it lie.
I take a look around me. Where have I been? Holy shit, I have a life here. And it’s rich and rewarding in so many ways all its own. I dive back in. I’m rearranging rooms, cleaning out drawers and closets. Stripping out everything and everyone that doesn’t belong. Streamlining my habitat. Preparing for my next trip back into the world of my own imagination.
Working in government for ten years, I was acutely aware that each day on the job I was creating a historical record. Everything I did went into a log, a file, my signatures on documents. I was leaving a footprint everywhere I walked.
I write about my real life as a document more than anything else. For my own future nostalgic pleasure. I like being able to look up in my journal what I was thinking and doing on this day last year. Or five years ago. To see how far I’ve come. To see what and who I have become. How am I doing?
I share real stories on my blog because I want readers to know I am a real person, not some weirdo pervert hiding in a garrett. If it weren’t for the possibility of potential business clients being offended by my words and images (and who would be offended by my vanilla erotica, but one can’t be too careful) I would use my real name.
I write about my real life and my readership falls off. No more likes, no more comments. And you know something? I don’t care. There are a few readers who have been following me long enough to know my patterns and they hang in for what’s coming next is sure to be even stronger than the work before. Or maybe they just appreciate the authenticity.
I do thank the few hardy souls who hang in with me, who aren’t put off by my forays into memoir and present moment musings. But this is my journey. I share it here because I can. And knowing it is being read keeps me motivated to show up at the blog regularly. Keeps me examining. Keeps me writing.
My work in a way represents this mandala concept. I build up readership with fantasy, then destroy my following with reality. This building up and tearing down feels in perfect balance, because in the end, nothing is permanent.