Continuing the theme of songs that have been featured here before. . .
This song was featured, again in sort of glib making-a-point kind of way, in the third entry posted here on In Bed with Amy Wilson.
That entry was about Fleetwood Mac's seminal album Rumours, and I still mostly agree with what I said although it is more than a little bit agonizing to revisit something I wrote a year and a half ago. Just because that is the nature of writing things, I think.
When I wrote that entry about Rumours, my blog was very new (less than a week old) and I was obsessively in love with it. My blog, I mean. I hope that doesn't sound hopelessly self-absorbed to say. I wasn't in love with what I was writing in the blog, but with having a blog in the first place. It's so simple, a very small thing, but powerful.
As I have mentioned here, when I started this blog I was just coming off a breakup. Although it was painful, like all breakups, it wasn't so bad all things considered (much like the one I mentioned the other day). What it gave me, mostly, was an insane drive for self-determination -- as in, the desire to have a deliberate hand in what I thought and presented to the world. Hence this blog, and the radio show, and the leopard-print dress I happen to be wearing today, and all the other trappings of independent womanhood I have acquired in the last eighteen months.
When I started In Bed with Amy Wilson I called it that because at the time, I lived in a very small apartment with two other people and we didn't really have a living room so I spent nearly 100% of my time when I was at home in my bed. Just sitting on it. Listening to music. Having thoughts. Hanging out with friends. The name of the blog was supposed to have sort of a, "hey, welcome to my world!" sort of feeling to it.
Now I have my own apartment and a purple squishy couch that I love, and that's where I spend the vast majority of my time when I am at home. If I started my blog today it would be called On the Couch with Amy Wilson. I kind of like that name better, partially because of its allusion to mental health which is becoming something I write about more, but In Bed with Amy Wilson it will stay.
I often wonder why I have this blog, and in dark moments I really do berate myself for having it. As anybody with an obsessive-leaning mind will most likely understand, I have a drumbeat of negative adjectives that strikes up when I least expect it and then becomes so constant as to be almost unheard. "Self-involved" is one of them, I won't mention the others because I try not to encourage them. In any case, I do sometimes wonder what right I have to present what I think to the world and then I remember, oh yes, the same right anybody else does.
In Bed with Amy Wilson is nominally about pop music, but I think that means it can be about everything else as well. One of the other things it is about is relationships, although I very rarely mention anything or anyone specific. I don't do that because I want to be vague or dramatic, and even if I did it probably wouldn't work very well. . .for instance I have been writing about break-ups and such recently, so if you were inclined to look beyond the surface you might think "Hey, she's going through a break-up!". Nope. I am not. Just living. And sometimes, in the course of living, things come back to you in less than chronological order.
When I was in high school I went through a HUGE Joan Didion phase, and something Joan said that stuck with me was this: writers are always selling somebody out. I felt then, and feel even more strongly now, that that doesn't necessarily have to be true, at least not in the way that she means it. As I get older I become much more aware of the value of other people's stories, and the arrogance I would display in thinking I have any right to tell them without express permission. This is why I keep things general on my blog, and also why I talk about myself.
Because I don't think Joan is wrong, exactly. I do think writers are selling somebody out. My goal is for the only person I sell out to be me. For the only stories I tell to be mine. And for this, somehow, to contribute to the general pool of stories and experiences that I firmly believe enriches all of our lives. That's the only thing I'm comfortable with -- the only way I can justify writing and speaking in public the way I have done -- it's how I define independence.
This blog is about relationships, for everything that means. One of the most special ways it is about relationships is when something I write here feels true to somebody else. (And they tell me about it. Otherwise I can't know. And that's okay too.)
Somebody once said to me about In Bed with Amy Wilson that when she read it, she felt that she was reading something that truly Got what it is like to be a mid-twenty-something woman. That comment meant more to me than almost any other I have received, about anything. At the time I didn't think of this blog as being a particular reflection of mid-twenties-ness, or womanhood, but I've since realized that I don't have to try to make it a reflection of those things. It just is.
That is one of the most important and most difficult lessons I have learned as a writer, and I guess you could say as a person too. The lesson is that the more you try to make something a certain way, the less likely it is to turn out that way. And the way things turn out to be is so often impossible to understand in the moment.
When I read that old entry about Rumours I feel very acutely what I felt when I wrote it -- which was a burning compulsion just to write SOMETHING in this blog, to maintain the momentum needed to actually make this a thing that exists and not just another addition to the graveyard of forgotten projects that is the Internet. Like all relationships, my relationship with my blog was most intense at the beginning and has since (not faded, but) deepened into something slower, and more real, and more indicative of the value of commitment.
And so I feel I understand this song so much better than I did when I wrote about it the first time, when I thought of it as merely snide. I now see it as something much more profound. As Stevie and Lindsey sing, "I don't want to know". . .because I don't HAVE to know. Not right now, at least.
The song: Fleetwood Mac, "I Don't Want To Know"; 1977