I started my blog originally because I fancied myself a mildly talented non-fiction writer and I often am my most artistic during my darkest times. The boyfriend I had at the time and myself named the original blog “New American Exile” as we both felt marginalized from American culture. The blog went in conjunction with a zine we had started by the same name. It fizzled out in one issue. And that relationship got real abusive, real fast, and went down in flames more than fizzled.
I rose from the flames and wanted to bring back the blog because writing to me is so rhythmic, it helps me to notice all the details around me, to capture the face of a lover, to smell what only bloodhounds know of, to feel like a newborn baby. It helps me to heal and to show others the rawness of human existence. I started the blog under the name “fire or phoenix” in April of 2014 after I, the phoenix, had burst, once again, into metaphorical flames after ending a period of sustained sobriety. My first entry:
i live in fear. i live in confidence. i chew the skin around my nails to shreds thinking about how i fucked it all up. but we’ve all fucked it all up. we are all fucking up together. i’ve lost my words for months now and my yoga practice has fallen to the ditch where the beautiful wildflowers of summer grow, healing yarrow and miraculous dandelion. there is much to be said for falling to the wayside with the wayside dwellers. my life is not to overanalyze or to feel hurt by her or him but my life is to connect to others like misplaced branches of veins spurting blue and red blood because what is real is not gross. what is felt is not wrong. i am not here to feel sorry for myself and hate my existence because my thighs rub together. whats really important, here. whats really going on with my privilege. whats most real right now is the rhythmic panting of my breath and steps as i run, run, run in no direction but simply closer to who i might be, who i really am, and the essence of us all. today is the first and the last day, the beginning and the end. today is god.
This entry highlights my journey into trailrunning and my journey into recovery in which I allow myself to fuck up, to drink, to eat hamburgers. I still find myself ashamed and embarrassed at my lack of self-control, but that is the old bird conceptualizing her life from a different space. And so, as I constantly reinvent myself, I am a great many things. I am the flames. I am the bird. I am.
“A mythical bird that never dies, the phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it. The phoenix, with its great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration”.
Master Lam Kam Chuen.