Daily Archives: February 14, 2011

Dirty Shame

8:37 pm & 9:15 pm

I figured it out.  I will write half an hour a day and since it takes me at least an hour to write a post I will split it in to two days.  I was wallowing in the inability and lack of time and the defeat of being a quitter when my sister’s quiet voice of encouragement started echoing in my mind.  It was whispering, write every other day if you can’t write every day, empty the vessel so that it can be full again, you will feel better, you can think of solutions, you have options.

The sounds were faint when I was underwater of my sickness but now I hear them.  I must have given the same advice to friends before myself.  When I am down, I do not follow my own advice.  I need some time.  Today(and yesterday) time came.

On writing, I have learned a lot.  On a practical level, I learned that there is writing and there is editing.  It is like inhaling and exhaling or vice versa.   I can write but only when I look back with fresh eyes can I make sense of it.  That is why two days is better than one.

Second thing I learned.  The stories that people reacted to the most were my most naked moments.   A hard break up moment, a bad boss, a terrible first grade teacher.  Why?  Hidden shame.  No matter how many movies they make about this subject, it will not be enough?  It took me years to be able to tell the story of being and immigrant and how bad my clothes were.  At the time it was embarrassing.  It was not easy to live everyday feeling insecure of how different I was from all the other kids in school.  I was not feeling sexy ethnic Russian yet.  I was feeling awkward poor immigrant.  Everyone has their own.  One felt fat, one skinny, one too rich, one too ugly, one too smart, too stupid, it is endless.  Maturity is in letting go of these things and see them as them not as shame but as something else.  Maturity is at any age.

These movies and stories are processing that shame for the world that cannot come out with it.  I may have held  on to that moment when something “unspeakable”  happened to me.  But there is no moment like that if I do not internalize it as such.

That is where writing is even more powerful than talking. Instead of sharing with close friends my childhood or even present time “shame”.  By writing it into a story, it is elevated into a celebration of my “journey”.  If life was painless, I would have no material, no one would have material.  I want to write a screen play but sometimes I think my life is boring.  What could possibly be there to write about.

Life is stranger than movies.  I could not make up the characters around me.  I could not make up myself.  Life is a stage, and we are all actors.  Shakespeare, we have no script, so we are all improvisers.  Improvising on life all life long, how could that be boring.

9:03 pm & 9:58 pm