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  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    This year I’m
    doing something
    different than my
    usual tradition of
    pithy punch list of
    lessons learned to
    wrap this series of
    entries up.
    I’m writing
    this last entry
    exactly two weeks
    after we got home
    from the burn, b ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Monday morning I
    woke up early and
    decided that I
    wanted to do one
    more personal ritual
    before we had to
    break down and pack
    up our yurt and load
    the truck and leave.
    So I took my handpan
    and one of our
    little chairs and
    walked ou ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Sunday is always a
    tough day at the
    burn because we have
    to strike
    camp—it’s
    tough physically of
    course but
    it’s also
    tough emotionally
    because it feels
    like the setting and
    the vibe we worked
    so hard to put toge ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Saturday was my only
    day with nothing
    pre-planned and
    nothing I had
    committed to do. The
    burn was almost over
    and I was starting
    to feel nibbles of
    FOMO (Fear Of
    Missing Out) so I
    was determined to go
    see some more art
    (especially ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Because I had
    actually gotten
    enough sleep, I woke
    up reasonably early
    on Friday morning.
    Josh was still
    asleep, but I wanted
    to take advantage of
    the relative
    coolness of the
    morning and go do
    something. So I
    decided to take my h ...
    Readmore...

Parentheticals

A short description about your blog
Tags >> manifesto

Solipsistic Storytelling: A Mini-Manifesto

Posted by: julia

Tagged in: writing , solipsistic , reflect , manifesto , life , lessons

When I first started this newest version of Parentheticals, I called myself a “Transmedia Storyteller”. I was in love with the newly-discovered word “transmedia”, because it seemed to fit well with my desire to not be pinned down to any one storytelling form or place. After all, I reasoned, look at all the places I’d been using my storytelling superpowers over the years: elaborate pass-back-and-forth notes to friends, formal fiction writing, fan fiction, ‘zines, academic papers and theses, teaching, survival guides, blogs, web copywriting...and that’s just the textual stuff (I might also include photography, video, painting, scrapbooking, etc). But recently the term “transmedia” has come to stand in for a whole new art form (or some would say, marketing toolbox), and there have been a multitude of opinions as to what constitutes “real” transmedia and what is just the latest marketing buzzword, and all of a sudden the term doesn’t seem so fun to play with anymore, and the risk of being misunderstood greater.

So I have been thinking about what new term I could use to replace “transmedia”. (I’m sure there are plenty; in fact I reserve the right to change it every couple weeks or at least as often as the mood strikes me.) The one that appealed to me first was “solipsistic”. Officially, solipsistic means “the view or theory that self is the only object of real knowledge or the only thing that is real,” but it also has connotations of selfishness or “extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one's feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.” I’m fond of alliteration, so that may be why it popped up in the first place, but I also do relate to the connotations of navel-gazing (isn’t that basically what a personal blog is?). I flinch at the “extreme” part of “extreme preoccupation”, but honestly, part of my personal journey has been realizing that I actually need to spend just as much if not more time looking in and at myself (and learning from that), as I do looking out and at others (not to mention at groups and systems). That’s been kind of a radical realization for me. Look at myself? Talk about myself? How assumptive! How selfish!

It’s hard to overcome the fear of being called “selfish”. As a woman, as an often outwardly-focused extrovert, as a Jew, as a mom, as someone raised with positive ideals of charity and service to others, and especially as someone who spent a whole lot of time in higher academia (and after) being mentally and emotionally whacked around by realizations of my own privilege(s), it’s risky to declare “no, hold on, I want to be selfish for awhile, and value my own story and life experience as having something to teach me, and possibly even others.”


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