Friday, September 30, 2011

divorcing the digital

Hello readers, I apologize for my absence over the months. The reasons are, of course, many as reasons tend to be for each of us and our complex lives. Our lives don't fit into a tweet, although some people do twitter away their lives in little parcels of words, sending them out like a message in the bottle, hoping someone will respond.

Sometimes I divorce myself from parts of myself that seem undivorceable, like divorcing myself from having anything to do with Finnishness. That's those times when I bear witness to and get angry at the narrow-mindedness, racism, and evangelical fervor that closes ranks rather than opening doors. But how is it possible for me to divorce my Finnish 'part'? Of course, it's not, so I always come back.

Anyway, there it is in the mirror, that Finnish part of me lurking behind my increasingly slanting brows whether I decide to divorce it or not.

I sometimes divorce myself from the Arab or Muslim part of my extended identity (for readers of my blog, you will know that I am neither by descent but both by marriage, children, family, and home(s)). That's when I am challenged to re-think and look deep within myself for the Westcentric--and Christian (even though I divorced myself from my Christian upbringing a long time ago)--ideas that hide in my brain like glass shards even though I have done my best to get rid of them. Maybe it's like Kai and the glass splinter in his eye that he can't get out. It just traveled there and so he has to go on a journey, a difficult one, to remove the icy splinter. So it's those times when my Finnish Canadian upbringing gets exposed for the upbringing that it is: Finnish immigrant and Canadian. Need I say more?

And sometimes I divorce myself from being married...actually, I think I've done that a few times over the years. But I have always come back. Sometimes I divorce myself from the university and its increasingly consuming bureaucracy and my fears of being swallowed by "the system" and ending up becoming one of the professors that I was so critical of when I was a student. The ones who lost their creativity and only talk about other people's creativity. The ones who don't do any social activism or justice work but talk about what an important thing it is to do. Whole conferences are devoted to that. And, there are the ones who teach their students about class, sex, and sexuality, but race/racialization is always the ampersand problem.

And sometimes I divorce myself from motherhood, from being a mother. Sometime I wonder if I have indeed done the best I could or was I too busy with my work and my own pursuits? But divorcing motherhood is, of course, impossible because I cannot return to a nullipara womb--and there are those three adult children whose bodily presence speaks of the motherwork I did, moving in and out of my everyday life.
These past months I simply divorced my digital identity. I had had enough of digital existence. It was hounding me everywhere. I couldn't escape it. I felt consumed by it. So, my blog fell into the ditch of neglect. I saw it lying there, an orange icon staring back from my toolbar. But I just left it alone. It neither called me to come and play, nor did it incite me to put on my grammar gloves and punch out my latest rant and rage.

Who knows why people come back? Maybe it's because it is part of who they are and they simply can't get rid of it--whatever that 'it' is-- even if they want to.


marja-leena said...

Love this post about our many parts that make up the whole of ourselves. Sometimes some parts shrink, some grow, but they don't seem to go away completely, do they? Welcome back, Taina!

(word verification today: pulla!)

Merche Pallarés said...

Welcome back!!! Very interesting post. I understand your feelings very well, sometimes, it is necessary to divorce oneself from the digital world and from all the rest, although it's nice to come back. Especially, it's very nice to have you back, dear Taina, and your fighting spirit. Don't ever give up. Hugs, M.

northshorewoman said...

thank you, women. I have missed you too, and am behind in my reading of your blogs (and others).

I will do my best to catch up!