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what cannot.

when i think back on the many years i spent acting my mind gravitates to the space just off-stage. to the countless moments just before an entrance. the great gaping mouth of that threshold between reality and make-believe. the cool, dark nooks ringing-round the edge of light. the sacred space in which fear and potential mingled, lived-side-by-side, drew breaths one from the other.

and then onto the stage. into the space. into the light.

i was never aware of being watched. never aware of even thinking up there. it was...it just was. perhaps the purest, most authentic form of myself. but cloaked under the pretense of...pretend.

(and under the pretense of pretend everything is a bit more real).

i don't miss acting. i don't think i do. if i'm really honest, i don't. and then i feel tremendously guilty for the not. the not missing. the not wanting. the non-pursuit.

but maybe i do. maybe the not is really the non-remembrance. perhaps if i found myself in those wings once more i might suddenly become aware that i have lived the past three years without ever once breathing.

i don't think so. because there is this, this writing. and there are lungs to these words.

but the thing about writing--at least in this domain--is there is an immediacy and a lack of anonymity that i am suddenly finding all-together-terrifying.

i find myself. center stage. staring out. breaking down that fourth-wall. aware of all those eyes. 

and i am, for the first time, more aware of what cannot be written than what can.

of how i cannot write of the boy i met on the bus from boston. or the one who took me to a wine bar in the west village. i cannot write about the man who's face i've conjured up so many times i can't remember what he looks like.

point of fact, i cannot write about men at all. except the imagined. always the imagined. only the imagined.

i cannot write about loneliness or the holes in faith that pepper most mornings.

i can't write about the new scented soap that lives in my bathroom and makes me utterly sick to my stomach. how the scent creeps out into the hallway, into the living. room. how i hate that soap. hate what it stands for.

i cannot write about any of these things because these things--these thoughts--are tethered to people. and these people deserve their anonymity, if anyone.

i cannot write about the monotony of the days now abutting one.into.theother. nor how i am suddenly aware that a thinner frame doesn't make any of this easier. i mean i knew that, but now i know that. there's always someone skinnier, blonder, more vibrant.

how it's apathy i find most dangerous. most unnerving. how i take in deep breaths and am met with no air.

i cannot write about how i just want someone to go grocery shopping with. how i went to make dinner for them. do their laundry. it all sounds so terribly un-feminist. so not-of-the-moment.

and if these things are to be written, to be read--if they are to be read would the words lose their air?


Anonymous said...

meg, i was a few years behind you at juilliard in a different division and i remember seeing you in the halls and thinking you looked beautiful and brave. chin up. you will be okay.

Erin {pughs' news} said...

Wow, Meg. Your words are so powerful. I hope you feel better about all of this soon. Perhaps more root beer and a trip home to Texas? Sending you my best. And I agree with the comment above... Beautiful and brave.

Toni said...

I love the part about how 'everything under the pretense of pretend is more real'. So true. And there is something about the written word that is out there, bold and intractable and just... out there. For everyone. And it's scary sometimes and sometimes the limits of what you can't in good faith put out there are rough!!!

Abi said...

Although you don't know me at all, I love the way you write and I GREATLY appreciated your comment on my blog. I know what you mean, having to keep things secret with this blog stuff. But I find the inspiration always comes from the people I probably shouldn't write about, if that makes sense. I don't think it should hold you back.

Writing a book would be a specialty of yours, I think. I would probably wait in line to buy it the first day it came out. :)

Laura Marie said...

Oh Meg... Oh Meg, Meg, Meg. "i cannot write about loneliness or the holes in faith that pepper most mornings."

^^^^ One of your best, my friend. One of your best.

And I swear, your words resonate more all the time.

Ramona said...

Meg, I agree. Sometimes when we allow things to come out of our mouths or into ink all of a sudden they lose that magic they have in our heads. Like admitting to like someone more than just a friend or following a dream. It is scary yet in the environment of close friends it's like letting go, jumping off the cliff and knowing to be caught in the arms of love.
Don't know if this makes sense... but that's how I often feel :-)

Anonymous said...

meg, ffs get rid of that soap!!

becky said...

There is power, here, and imagery that makes me claustrophobic--makes me want to take a deep breath for you. I don't think that is down to what you describe, necessarily, but how you describe it. You describe it with such flawless resonance I am continually and perpetually amazed. The truth is, the truth in that breath I so desperately want to take for you is that I hope you're okay.

And---one day, come to England. I'll buy you some earl grey. Tea can fix so, so many things.

sonny said...

this makes me smile...
i want to say ...what you said...i knew--but now i know. i have this blog on a site called multiply where i've been blogging for almost 4 years and loving every minute of it...because you see...

i write for myself..i love love love to write...it lifts my spirits...to be able to pen what i want...how i want and most importantly..share it with who i want...because multiply has an option for setting it to contacts only...and i am choosy about who i add....
i did start a blogger page some time back...but i realised about myself ....what you are realising now...that to write well...one has to write honestly and one cannot write about only the goody goody stuff...esp. on a blog which is almost on daily basis..and you can't write the bummers because obviously you care about them...your family...and its not fair to put them out for public consumption....

what i CAN tell you is---YES--at times..you do seem monotonous...and make me want to be 25 and single again...paradox...grins ..isn't it ?
and at times...there is nothing more wonderful than sitting back with a cup of coffee and the daily dose of meg fee.

chin up and throw the damn soap out..for chrissakes !

Lottie said...

Your words resonate with me so much and have for a while, but I have been a tad too shy to comment before.

But this post is exactly how I feel at the moment with my blog and what I write.

I hope you get some much needed air.

And I agree with the others get rid of that soap.


Keiko said...

"I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living."-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

You've already got it, ya really do! ;)

Britti said...

It's this dilemma that you have when you're writing. Your best work, the most felt, the most vibrant pieces you ever wrote - they alway remain unseen, unread, locked away, because they are too personal. Because they would be so incasive to the people around you.
Ah I hate that.

Mackenzie said...

"perhaps if i found myself in those wings once more i might suddenly become aware that i have lived the past three years without ever once breathing."

i don't know how you conjure up the words and their precise, succinct ordering, but you do it so skillfully that my jaw drops dear. i only hope i can do it with such grace as you do. sending you lots of love from beantown.

emilia. said...

and so you have written about something without writing about it—which is always a good poem. have a lovely day.

Amy A. said...

Well, all I have to say is that your blog is one of my favorites. You are not trying to brand yourself into some package. You are seeking to know and to be known and I love it. If you have to write a little cryptically here, I think that we all understand, and would prefer that you keep writing here, rather than go away into some anonymous place where we would miss out on your words. You are brave, and that helps us to be brave.

aubry. said...

cotton candy comment:

i'm wiggling all over because i have theBEST blog tale of a first date gone horribly wrong that i can't share - we're talking camoflauged boots and a handlebar mustache and "what should we do after dinner? all the things i like to do for fun - like blow things up and shoot things - are illegal in 'the city'... " {since salt lake city is considered "the city" to the small town boy from the hills}.

... i can't blog them because i was set up on a date by one of my very own BLOG READER.... a mother/daughter team of readers who thought {and prayed} sparks would fly. i'm not sure what gave them that impression - was it the post about my new marc jacobs bag or the one about the relationship i'm forming with the girls at the nordstrom bobbi brown counter?

i can never share this classic story of my "adventures of being a girl" because all of the things i have to say about this poor woman's son would break her sweet back-country heart.

thanks for letting me get this out... buried deep in the anonymity of a stranger's blog comment where she will never find it.

mia said...

Your writings are so powerful, they really echo within people. And I struggle sometimes with feeling un-feminist, as I am such an independent woman, yet when you're so in love with someone, you want to do those things for them... The cooking, the baking and the looking nice. I think that's just being in a relationship.

anne said...

Just stumbled upon your blog today, thanks so much for sharing. I'll be back soon, can really relate to your posts :)


Emily said...

Meg, your words are so achingly beautiful.

And let us not forget that the very basis of feminism is doing whatever the heck you want. If it would please you to go grocery shopping with someone or make them dinner and do their laundry then you can damn well do that whether it's "of the moment" or not.

Robby Spratt said...

Meg, I face some of the same issues in my own writing.
My blog is primarily so I can express myself, but also to allow people another way of getting to know me.
I wish I didn't have to hold back in my writing, but much of the time I do.
As a result, I have a whole pile of never-to-be-published posts that I wrote only for myself.

Anonymous said...

"...there are lungs to these words."
I love this.
<3 mj fox

karajean said...

I felt that I couldn't write about Scott before we got married... and I hated it. It came out in the form of random letters and note and quotes for the by I longer for. Once we made it official it became easier to write about him, and about us.

I think a lot of bloggers know how you feel. Luckily, what you do manage to write is absolutely wonderful. We're all grateful for that!

Emily said...

I struggle with this all the time - Can I share this? What happens if I do? What happens if I don't?

I never seem to find the "right" answer and the questions never disappear. But sometimes I can write my way through it.

Thank you for sharing.

Rachel said...

I think my own personal inability to not blog about all the things you know you shouldn't remind me I'd be a terrible actress. I'm sure you were great mostly because you're so talented in general. I cannot wait to buy note cards with your quotes on them one day.

Kate said...

I really don't even know what to say. I think I know how you feel. It's so hard to write about real things, to admit that some people do matter.

And what you said about acting is kind of how I feel about piano. I've played for so long I feel like I shouldn't quit, like I don't know who I would be without it. But I just don't know if I can do it any more.

Carolyn said...

You have such an old soul. I'm so inspired by your words and your ability to write so poignantly what so many of us are thinking. Thank you for the gift of your blog.

Some Actress said...

as the aspiring actress, i must say i am saddened that you lost your lust for the scene. HOWEVER, knowing that you have found a stronger passion to feed your soul is a comforting feeling, indeed. I wish you the best as your writing takes off and love your blog - it's a must read for me (like my trusty BACKSTAGE).

Anonymous said...

"....point of fact, i cannot write about men at all. except the imagined. always the imagined. only the imagined...."