Splitsville, that’s the feeling.

I spent the month of July in Colorado with a notion that I would relocate there. Nothing ever developed that made me feel like Colorado would become ‘home’, and it seemed easier to go back to Tucson until next spring…see how I feel then.

I found out after my Mom’s death that some of my older siblings still believe in a rumour or myth I laid to rest twenty-five years ago when I got my Master of Arts degree…the idea that I have ‘schizophrenia’. It’s a family notion that dates back to my uncle in World War Two. He failed to impress in boot camp and got labeled with the term and sent home. Back then, ‘schizophrenia’ wasn’t so much a diagnosis as it was a label. Somehow the label got attached to me, perhaps because both of us were the youngest sons in our families, and both of us got advanced degrees.

It feels strange to have laid something to rest decades ago, addressed it in a book with the main character calling himself ‘the keeper of the craziness’, only to realize that at least some of my siblings still cling to outdated notions and never cared to read the book or talk to me about it. My siblings often mention this particular uncle to me, even calling him a writer (when he was an optometrist), seeming to think that there’s some connection. Yet they miss that my pen name honors my maternal Irish roots. My mother was an English teacher and her mother wrote poetry. Me thinks I’m not the split one.

A form of gaslighting…?

I roamed around Colorado with the feeling that my life isn’t working. I left with the notion that I’m not so sure I want a life that works, at least not in the usual ways dictated by other people’s standards. It feels like the world is beating me down, flaking on me, and maybe I’m flaking too. I keep telling myself, there has to be something more than this.

I mulled over the idea of splitting my blogging into three blogs; this ‘satire’ one for my pen name writing, another socio-political one or ‘humanities’ one, and a third one for hiking and outdoors stuff. It’s probably more trouble than it’s worth. I have lots of ideas but little enthusiasm. Maybe there’s no need to go Splitsville. Maybe it can all happen in this same space with some new subject tags.

These are tough times for artists and independent thinkers. Sometimes it feels like the whole idea of writing has changed from being an outlet for thoughtful introverts to the ramblings of trite extroverts, from a craft seeking community and commonality to an ego practice that serves to rebuke others and proclaim superiority. I cling to the old notion that writers are introverts. Maybe that will come back around.


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