So I’ve thought about what digital spaces I’ll update with this name change, and which ones I may leave alone, and why I choose to make this distinction. I updated my name on Facebook—minus the reaction I had after updating my Twitter account—which makes me wonder about the identities maintained on each of these networks, the distinct spheres of my Internet, and the different levels of public.
I was delighted when our very own fog, @KarlTheFog, was recently listed among TIME magazine’s 140 best Twitter feeds of 2012. I decided it was time to reach out and befriend this unique being, a muse of sorts, that makes San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area what it is.
Parks says the literary experience is “pure mental material, as close as one can get to thought itself.” The e-book, then, pushes us even closer to the text; it creates an even purer experience, stripping words from the tangible.
But something happens as time passes—as I drift further from a memory, as a fact is dislodged from the place it had once made sense. I begin to play with a fact: I pluck it out, examine it, and let it stand on its own. It is vulnerable: the context that hugged it is stripped away.
But the strange comfort a Post-it brings: it’s nice to come upon a note I’ve written for myself that I knew I would need again. As if I continue to evolve as a writer, yet face the same challenges over and over.
It’s quite confusing, all of this.
How seeing the accumulation of my things in a space that I own is both exciting and suffocating. How roots and wanderlust continue to battle. How I am eager for “home” to be something concrete, but know that no place I inhabit will feel like home until I have the one thing that’s missing.
While I consider my MFA program as a learning stage in my writing life, and had some positive experiences, I wish I had done things differently.
Yet before the window closed, I captured that moment—a long moment of 10 years—independent of a conclusion. Observations made with wide eyes; recordings of sensations I can no longer hear, smell, and touch; a journal of our collective recklessness.
1. My mother and father, both born in the Philippines, move to the United States and meet one another, or
2. My mother (or father) moves to the United States, but my father (or mother) does not, or
3. Both my mother and father don’t leave the Philippines, but still meet each other, or
4. My mother and father never meet one another.
As a whole, The Garden of Earthly Delights is cohesive: the chaos, ultimately, makes sense. The first time I looked at it, in my art history class in high school, I was perplexed—even uneasy. Since then, this painting has become a metaphor for how I put things together, as a memoirist and thinker.