Tuesday, July 30, 2013


draft (gaps!) image of reflecting cube, screencube
Since writing about writing my book and all my grand plans, I have done a bit of revision, sought and received helpful feedback, and then put the work aside as I work on more immediately pressing "transition" matters. Settling into the apartment. Wondering if an apartment was the right choice. Looking at houses (!). Kinda freaking out with all of the demands of moving to a new place, a place so massive and busy and very very different from my prior home, where, along with lovely, life-alteringly beautiful experiences I had faced some difficult-to-overcome challenges. And but it was nevertheless home (for 14 or so years). 

I will be seeing a new therapist soon, so read no further if this is just the sort of thing you find the internets ill-suited for. I get that -- np. But so I'm using this space to think about these selves we present, the rhetorical moves toward presenting our best selves, marketing of self, and denials/repressions that attend the strategic.

I'm seeing (I think) that the freaking out is aided by the matter of my allegedly "smart" rhetorical choices. See, as part of my "clean slate" move, I have been sharing mostly the highlights -- the joys, the hopes, the cocktails, the family fun, the hopeful sense of a shiny clean slate. I dare imagine that many of us working even marginally in rhetoric and composition and even perhaps not specifically at all (but maybe) with social media and its rhetorical dimensions would advise our students to do the same. And yet, I've been thinking about how my idealistic views on the move sometimes conflict with the complicated realities of upending a life and attempting to start fresh elsewhere. So, do the strategic public presentations of self (hey, Erv) complicate or heighten the anxieties we face? That is to say, by publicly articulating the shiny new, exclusively, do we diminish attentiveness to matters that we might perhaps face (and share) more honestly/critically? In our drive to present only a self that a colleague, friend, family member (whatever) would want to know, work, or hang out with, it seems that we may also strategically slate certain events and experiences for suppression/repression. Thus, more anxiety. 

So but if our articulations matter in terms of shaping experience, then how do we attend to the bugs, the heat, the humidity, the petty confrontations, the not-so-petty confrontations, and so on? If we mediate the shiny as if to highlight it in ways that determine our sense of immediate experience, what then of the dirty everyday? To radiate the less-than-ideal is seen as careless, intellectually shallow, rhetorically irresponsible. 

I've been changing up so as to present the shiny. I have been admonished (and I've done the same to, for (?) others) for the public whining. But ... 

That's all I've got. Oh, and today the weather is delightfully cool, the new roofing construction at the apartment has been only minimally invasive (gotta gear up for winter!), and preparing to head back to a 4/4 load is certain to sharpen my organizational skillz. WIN!!

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