Over the past decade or so, my reading has become almost exclusively autobiographies and memoirs. I just finished Kim Gordon's book, Girl In A Band. I had no idea who she was before picking up the book but it gave off a good vibe. She is a lucid writer and observer and I found it engaging and enriching. I had never heard a Sonic Youth song before, but once I got half way through the tome, I hit You Tube and checked a few of them out. It enriched my reading experience to have done so.
I think an artist's life informs their creativity and creative output. Of course it does. Der. But what I am saying is that it's not only stuff about art and making things that is interesting. The details and situations, the feeling and experiences of a person, not necessarily ostensibly related to creation are, in and of themselves, equally as nourishing and informative as the artistic stuff.
If you think about it we are actually all living works of art. Works in progress. What we do, what we choose, how we elect to express our personalities through our behaviour and actions are not only intriguing but they also add up to form a picture of a human's being that can broaden the outlook of and inform, inspire the observer in their own lives.
That's why I like to read memoirs. At the moments I am reading about a mercenary in Afghanistan. I've been reading the true life account of Shirley Maclean's daughter, snippets of Julia Bishop's personal story, the highs and lows of a mountaineer, a drug loving chef from Newtown, photographer Sally Mann's erudite tome...
These are lives vastly different from my own. But what I love is hearing their voices, reading about their choices and the consequences. Understanding their feelings and motivations in important moments. it is comforting to connect. I acknowledge that they have taken the time to open up - some more than others - and to share what is meaningful and cherished to them.
Some of my favourite memoirs are the more obscure ones. A guy that grew up in orphanages around Queensland, a woman who fell in love with a Columbian coke dealer, a man wrongfully imprisoned in Lebanon, etc, etc. If it rings true and feels real, it has an impact and value for me.
So, that's possibly one of the main reasons I have chosen to share some of my stories in this blog. Because, frankly, also, if I didn't then there are things that no one would ever know. Huge (to me) life experiences that would be just blow away like leaves in the wind. Of course, there are many, many such experiences that will never be revealed - ones that I choose not to share for whatever reasons as well as ones that simply do not come to the forefront of my consciousness when I am in the writing mood.
If you really think about it, probably 90% of our internal lives - including the stories we make up about our real life experiences and the meaning we give to them - are never to be uncovered, never reach the surface. They make up the smouldering flame of our deepest, truest selves. They give warmth and flavour to our personalities, they mould our characters.
I remember when I was younger, more social, my friends and I would share our stories. Tell of what formed us. Certainly, my closest girlfriends from over the years have heard some of the most poignant, shocking, elucidating true life tales from my childhood till my 50th. After that, I have gone solo. My new girlfriend is my blog.
Maybe not. There's no cuddling or sex. But my blog has become my confidante.
Don't I worry about these things being read by people I know, people I don't know? (Which is better/worse? Hmm...)
No, I don't. We are all the same. My story becomes yours and yours becomes mine. There is no shame in being a human. We do what we can. We do what we must.
And sometimes, some of us get to share the juicy bits. Like a repast. A delicious meal. Served up and ready to devour. The best food comes from real ingredients cooked by a chef with the right intentions. One who wants to share, one who wants to brings joy, knowledge, passion to anyone who cares to listen/read.
And this blog sometimes serves as my humbe kitchen. My life experiences the raw food. My words the oil and spices.