Real And Strange And Vital

I kind of want to write an entry about race, class, and heterosexual privilege, and I also kind of want to write an entry about this sort of homemade yogurt I’ve been making for a while now. I’ve actually been thinking of writing an entry about this yogurt since about December, but you know how it is sometimes. Life intervenes, you get busy. What with one thing and another, that yogurt entry sits, half-sentient, hardly formed, in the recesses of your entry-writing brain, and you never write it, and then you wonder if writing an entry about soured milk is really a good way to be spending your time, what with your laundry rotting in the washer and the fact you haven’t done your taxes yet. And then you think about how much time you spend thinking about yogurt, how just last night you said the following sentence to your friends who have come to see you on the other side of the planet: “Well, I need to get home early so I can deal with the yogurt situation,” and you think that maybe a whole entry about your relationship—yes, a relationship–with yogurt is just…well, just a little too much. Maybe it’s better just to keep that part of you, that pro-biotic acidophilus-heavy part of you that thinks sweetened yogurt is for the weak, a secret from the rest of the world. Maybe everyone doesn’t need to know that when you get home from a big night out, the first thing you do, instead of making yourself a nice cuppa, before putting down your bag or even taking off your shoes, is run right for the fridge and scoop yourself up a big spoonful of yogurt right from the reusable container, oh perfect heavenly late-night cultured dairy bliss.

The race and class and heterosexuality entry, which I’ve been trying to write for three days now, is a little more difficult to think about for various reasons, the most pressing of which is that I feel really uncomfortable talking about semi-controversial subjects right here on the blog where everyone can see. I can’t stop thinking and reading about them, though, which, as I’ve found over the past five years writing this thing, is usually a good sign that I should be writing about them somewhere, somehow, too. I don’t know what to say, though. I don’t want to alienate or offend or confound anyone who reads this, even though I find challenging writing important and vital and necessary to my own growth and understanding and education. Somehow my own thoughts on all those subjects seem pale and anemic in a very clueless and ridiculous way, and I can’t figure out how to feed and strengthen them. I can’t get it together enough to make a point. So I keep deleting entries with sentences like “I’m outside the Maori-Pakeha thing even though I’m white,” and “Everyone’s mind is colonized at this stage in history,” and “Do you have to have sex with girls to identify as queer?” How can I get it together? How can I write about what’s really important to me? Somehow I always feel more comfortable writing about micro personal stuff than macro personal stuff, but that often feels like a cop-out.

Although now that I think about it, I’m not feeling super comfortable about writing about micro personal stuff, either. Many of my friends, both here and in the States, have still been wanting to talk to me about love (well, and sex, mostly) and it’s all been very fascinating. I do sometimes wonder, though: why me? I mean, for those of you who have been following along closely, you may have noticed that I don’t do very well at either of those things; in fact, I don’t do them at all. I flirt, just to keep in practice, and I nod while you’re telling me your story, and I say things like “It sounds like you have been very honest, at least,” and “Well, have you considered using some lube?” and then the persons sniffles a little and says “I’m sorry for laying this all on you,” and I go, “Oh no, girl, that’s what I’m here for,” and then I’ll hug the person in question, either physically with my arms or by signing off the email “I love you forever and always,” but that’s it. I do love talking about this stuff, but I wonder why people think that I’m going to have anything useful to say, when it’s an area of such spectacular failure in my life. And I wish that I could write more honestly about all that: sex and love and passion and attraction and jealousy and fear and wistfulness and everything, but oooh, girl. Probably not. It’s so much better if I am the one nodding and passing the tissues and recommending the helpful books and patting the shoulder. I have this odd uncomfortable sense that there are not enough Kleenex in the world for any one person to do the same for me.

Those are the things I’m thinking about and not writing about here, much to my detriment, I think. I mean, right, the yogurt not so much, although in my defense, it is extremely good yogurt. All the other stuff, though, the real and strange and vital…it’s all buried under picture entries and discussions about my poledancing and my cell phone, holding its breath, maybe, waiting for me to let it out somehow.

5 comments

  1. Happy International Women’s Day, Chiara. I love you forever and always, too.

  2. next time I see you I’ll bring a costco sized box of kleenex and we’ll get into the micro, the macro and all the ro in between.

    And as far as self identity.. YOU get to define it, not the rule book. Identity and practice are two pretty different things.

    Or is the question you are asking, “Will the lesbians let me in their club if I don’t have sex with women?” ..which is a very different question. *all* communities have politics.

  3. People seem to have some of the same ideas about me when it comes to sex and love and whatever. I think maybe there’s something to just being willing to talk about what you know, though possibly it has to do with getting burned in strange ways. It becomes something you obviously think about, where people in happy relationships don’t have to think about things in the same way. Or something.

  4. I really want to write about the other part of your entry, but this has really hit me hard = I WAS CRAVING YOGHURT WHEN I CAME TO READ THIS! But I already had a pot today. I think I have been convinced to have some more.

  5. I don’t have a blog but I have seen too many of my favorites shut down because they touched on something controversial and received hateful comments. I don’t want that to happen to you.

    You have a fresh perspective because you are an American living abroad at a time when we are seen as the bad guy to some.

    Whatever you write I will continue to read.