It’s Been A While

since I’ve written here. I first started blogging four Januarys ago under the title Straight From the Heart in My Hip: Snapshots of a Writer’s Mind. My intention was to write straight and honest out of the swirl of my head. The plan was that there would also be photos, lots of photos.

The photo idea quickly fizzled out. I’m not great about taking photos, let alone posting them. The confessional impulse still remains. For me, my best posts have been those where I’ve laid myself bare. That’s the way the words here have wanted to come out. Ideally, I suppose, confessional writing hits on matters that resonate and have meaning for both you the reader and me the writer, that help us discover.

There are many reasons I haven’t posted in such a long time. In general, I haven’t had the urge. Then there’s the fact that personal blogging and its readership are dying. Really, who cares anymore? I’m also busy as a mother and busy elsewhere as a writer, so busy I sometimes wish my skeleton could step out of me and help too. Mostly, though, I’ve been hurt hard and the pain hangs over everything. I can’t write straight and honest without writing about that pain and that’s something I won’t do here.

I also don’t want to write straight from the heart in my hip because I’m afraid of what I might discover–truths I’m afraid I’ll find and big changes I might have to make, and I don’t want to have to face all that. I don’t like change and I don’t want to lose love, however imperfect it might be. That’s what I most wanted as a child: to feel safe and secure and loved. That’s what I still most want.

I reviewed Martha Long’s memoir Ma, He Sold Me for a Few Cigarettes for New York Journal of Books. The memoir has flaws, but it’s a devastating and worthwhile read. What struck me most as I read was how many times Martha Long as a young girl told herself with equal parts rage and hope that she would survive and go on to live a better life. I remember telling myself the same thing as a child: I knew with uncanny knowing that I could and would do better; that I was born for more.

My first real boyfriend, the one I stayed with for five years and almost got engaged to, he often played Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changin. Ironically, that song gave me the courage to leave him, that and The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale of New York, Happy Christmas me arse I pray God it’s our last. That and that, and the uncanny knowingness that I was born for more all empowered me to leave him, to leave Ireland.

It’s a New Year. I’ve got a new book coming out. I know this year is going to be big. I still feel like I was born for more. I hope the more, though, is not where I’m afraid it is–I hope to get to more I don’t have to leave anyone behind again. Because I love you.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to It’s Been A While

  1. susan tepper says:

    Ethel, though we only met the one time, in person, that is, I felt the heart in your hip. Sending you all my best for the new year ahead, in your life and writing.
    susan

  2. Nettie says:

    I really hope you find “the more” and it is somewhere safe and secure with all your loved ones there. Happy New Year :)