Sunday, June 24, 2007

Off and On

I have a truth that I have dared not speak. It has existed for as long as I could remember but it was not until I matured several years ago that I was able to call it a name. Perhaps I have never spoken about it publicly because I was and at times still find this truth to be uncomfortable and there are times when I may even be ashamed. Something that at times can be so positive and has become a part of my own survival can at other times be seen as negative and false by others. Yet, I continue – maybe because I’ve only lived this way – to let it persist and those who are closest to me watch and engage. I sometimes think it is the ultimate test of who knows me and who knows me not.



I’ve come to accept the truth that at times my everyday life is performance. One of my favorite literary lovers took a picture of me several weeks ago and sent it to me just a few days ago. I was spellbound by the picture of me. It was unlike any other that I’ve seen of me in quite a long time. I was sitting in a corner on the floor. I was alone in silence. I was listening, watching the world around me and happy with my own little world. I was at peace.

That is a stark contrast to almost any other picture you may find me in. Most photos find me smiling or laughing -- posed. A shine sometimes larger than life. That is how I wish photos to be taken of me. Photos are passed around and seen by everyone and those are the images that create perceptions and that is part of the construction of ClayStarr that I have taken great care to mold and shape. I have been criticized by others for my attempts through pictures, words, placements and actions to ‘brand’ myself but I continue to do it because I believe in the end it is beneficial to take an active role in creating the public image of who I am.

I am not an actor. I am not a model. I am not a politician. I am me and for better or for worse I believe that how you see me should be at least be partly up to me.

In contemplation I’ve come to the conclusion that this has probably impaired my quest for a lover over time. Just last night someone noted that I was ‘being to ClayStarr’ at the local watering hole. I laughed to myself. On one hand he was absolutely right. I was having great fun and no man with little balls would have dared to approach me last night as he would have feared I would have eaten him up and spit him out. Woa is me.

On the other hand I thought about how wrong he was. Truly I was just out having a good time and any man with even small balls and a big brain would understand the difference between a person and his/her persona.

Many people and it is my fault think that I’m only the persona 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. At times that bothers me but I believe that those that know me and care about me the most absolutely can differentiate the person from the persona. They can do so because I have chosen to let them in my most intimate world. For while I fain that I’m open I’m really a private person. I continue to negotiate and walk the fine line with myself of what is and isn’t to be put in front of others and ask myself why or why not. I don’t subscribe to the thought that I do these things out of insecurity. I do them because I don't wish to share myself with everyone.