Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

I disappeared several months ago, it would seem. The stress of living apart for most of the spring term got to be too much on myself and my family, and I stopped writing, at least publicly. So what have I done these last few months?
Hide it in a hiding place where no one ever goes
Put it in the pantry with your cupcakes.
I started writing privately, my partner and I took a series of steps that felt logical at the time, but have had deep repercussions on our relationship now, we both became a little lonelier, I finished my term in University F, Epsilon is supremely happy to have me living at home with him.
It's a little secret, just the Robinson's affair
Most of all you hide it from the kids.
One of the problem with four year olds is that they are very good at reading their parents. They have little else to do. So when one or both of us start acting strangely, he notices. Not that we believe in hiding anything from our child, that feels too much like lying. Just pointing out that it is not as easy to do as our parents possibly made it seem. Perhaps it becomes easier when the child is older, and less of his life revolves around our facial expressions.
Look around you, all you see are sympathetic eyes
Moving back to His Town, my partner and I have both realized how isolated we are. Living apart for extended periods has always had a toll on our relationship. It is hard to recalibrate with each other, especially when one or both of us are suffering from a bout of depression induced by the associated stresses.

It is not that we do not have friends. We have friends scattered across three continents. Some of them even respond to e-mails. Most of them, we manage to keep in touch with.  I know at one point, I had developed a community at this blog.  And then the D word got in the way, and I fell silent. I have no idea how much of that community I still have. If you have followed me for a while and are still reading this, let me know. I am curious.

I still find the community building aspect of blogs mystifying. A blog is a very intense view on one or two aspects of a writer's life, more personal, sometimes, than the casual reader has any right to know; personal enough that many posts that have generated encouraging comments from readers, when sent to certain friends, dumbfound with the intense nature of the communication. Perhaps I need better friends. Perhaps, like Aadam Aziz, in Midnight's Children, it is easier to deal with a person piecemeal, through a round hole cut in a white sheet.

Whatever the case may be, I think I need to stop writing without an audience. So I return to this forum. What will be different? The visual format is, for a start. At least at first, the next few entries will be a bit raw. A lot has happened these past few months that needs airing. Some of it academic. Some of it not. Nothing salacious. I will still attempt to keep this from being a diary. In the short term, there will be more poetry. I may eventually introduce a few pieces of prose fiction, though with a clear warning. I suspect this space will become less about academia, and more about gender and emmigration, but that is pure speculation at this point.


  1. Hi Barefoot,
    So glad to see you back :) I like your new format and look forward to your posts.
    One reason why I enjoy interacting with the blogging community is that they resolve the dichotomy between professional and personal. For example, I can't talk to my non-academic friends or relatives about professional life: firstly, they don't understand or care much about my life. If at all I explain something to them, they find it easier to just put labels on me like "crazy," "nerdy" "intellectual type" etc.
    On the contrary, with colleagues at the work place, I find it best to not bring up non-academic life, unless I am very good friends with them.

    In the blogging community, one seems to find more "complete" friends. Whether I write about academics, two-body problem or even inane things like driving, staying out late or administrative formalities at my workplace, the readers seem to take it all in and interact in the same manner themselves.

    Also, it is highly likely that people reading a blog identify with the issues that the writer brings up: maybe they are or have been in a similar situation. At the very least, they are familiar enough with these issues and the feelings it can cause to not get dumbfounded when told about them.

  2. I'm still here and have been checking in regularly hoping to find new posts (and to mooch off your blog roll ;-) ).

  3. Hi, I'm still here and pleased to see you back! And I agree with what Kaneenika said...

  4. Thank you for responding. It makes me feel like I have not lost what I have created over the years here. The internets are so fickle sometimes, that I worry, apparently unjustifiedly :)

    If my blog roll is actually being of service to people, then I will go through and purge it/ update it with other interesting blogs that I find. In the same vein, since I have been away for a while, if there is someone amazing that I have missed, point him/ her out to me.

    Thanks to Kaneenika for the considered responce. I agree with you in that blogging is a really easy way to form a community of people one shares interests with, which is what brought me to this medium, and then brought me back again after a few periods of hiatus. I may be old school in this, but I find it odd when I meet someone I have gotten to know through blogging, because on one level I feel like I havesuch intimate knowledge of certain parts of their lives, and there are vast swathes of their life that I know nothing about. It is a very different knowledge profile than any friendship I form in person, where I tend to have a broade depth of knowledge about a person's interests. Different does not mean bad. It just means that I do not know what to make of it at the present moment.

  5. Hi!
    I'm glad you are back. I've followed and lurked for a long time and hoped you would come back. Agree with Kaneenika too. The best part of the blogging community is being able to recognize one's own issues in someone else's life, and getting support and advice that is unavailable in real life for whatever reason.

    I'm particularly happy you are blogging again because I've just started a year of serious two-body problems. Partner moved very far away for a job since he had nothing in my tt town. I have the preschooler and we'll be doing the back and forth visits. Reading about how you have dealt with a similar situation has been really helpful, I'm sure your more recent experiences will be equally informative.

  6. Ugh! You certainly have my sympathies. I wish you and your family luck for the next year. If there is anything more useful than sharing my own rants and frustrations with you, let me know.

  7. Hi Barefoot! I'm still here, same old, with an extra baby :)

    I think of you often and check your blog often too...

  8. I'm still here as well and I'm happy to see you back. I like the new "outfit"

  9. I'm still reading :-) I have you on my RSS, so unless you disappear for years, I won't likely lose track of you.