Sunday, May 05, 2013


Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer (silently) the slings and arrows of outrageous (or delightful) fortune or to blog about them - that is the question!

One of my resolutions for this new year was to continue and complete the online autobiography The Burial of Mickey Mouse which I began way back in 2005 and left hanging in mid-stream in 2008. But doubts about the validity of this project added to normal procrastination guarantees that it will remain in limbo unless I kickstart it back to life. 

The doubts I have concern the issue of self-exposure, which of course includes exposure of others who have affected one's life. If you are world famous, dead or alive, and of interest to the general public, your life might be the subject of a biography by someone qualified, or unqualified, to write it. But if you are not world famous and still alive and decide to be your own biographer because, after all, you know more about the subject than anyone else ever will, how much should you reveal? This a rhetorical question because the horse has bolted: I've already written twenty-four autobiographic episodes in which I exposed myself pretty thoroughly so why am I now debating pros and cons? 

The mystery of identity is one which has fascinated me ever since I was a child: who is it that looks back at you in the mirror? And who is it that looks out of your eyes at the world? I am not really interested in the psychology of the self but simply in what it is: what is that thing which has my name? Genetics, heredity, history, biology, physiology etc. have only partial answers and I'm not going to list all the philosophical or spiritual theories, beliefs and speculations about the Self. 

It's not information I'm after so much as the encounter with that thing which is "me". Like someone or some thing you've heard a lot about, seen in pictures and in films but have yet to actually come face to face with. It's not that I don't have 'self-consciousness' - quite the contrary. But it seems to me that in the telling of the story of my life something would emerge which I could not know if I did not tell it. Perhaps because the effort of condensing the story and focusing mainly on that which marked me most deeply is in itself a way to dig up the "Mickey Mouse". 

Looks like I've stopped debating and decided to carry on autobiographing, doesn't it?



Jean said...

Selfishly, I hope you will Natalie, and what you say about encountering and clarifying the self rather than understanding or analysing her sounds good and makes a lot of sense. Terribly personal decision, though, and your true feelings will no doubt decide for you - or have already.

Tom said...

Natalie: Shame on you! You have just stolen the title (or nearly so) of my next post which was to be, "To believe or not to believe, that is the question." (Rhubarb!)

You have touched on a subject that has reached to the very heart of a matter which I also have had to address. It takes courage to make ourselves vulnerable, and there is risk attached. On the other hand, as I am now finding, there are great gains to be had. There is a limit to what can be discovered, in our search for Truth, from internal dialogue, meditation and contemplation. We need input from "out there".

And I agree with Jean, your true feelings will make, or have made, the decision for you. Odd, it just occurs to me, that reading your post is like walking on holy ground. I will try to tread gently.

Dick said...

I would read further instalments with great interest and I do hope that you decide to continue with the autobiog. There's just that trip on the Trans-Sib first..!

Rain Trueax said...

I hope you will also as I found it an interesting story of an introspective life interestingly lived. I can see your concerns though and I run into them with my own blogs. To reveal or not to reveal. It's always a question and does impact more than us when it involves others.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Jean, thanks for your encuragement. I don't like the feeling of hoarding material that just sits there, un-used. It's a matter of either chucking it away forever or making something with it. It looks like I'm going to do the latter.

Tom, rhubarb! This kind of telepathic linkage seems to happen in blogland fairly often but forgive me for pre-cognitively stealing your title.
I'll be very interested to read what you write on the subject of belief.
My words/thoughts can never be "holy ground" but thank you for treading so gently.

Dick, don't worry, the TransSib journey is at the absolute top of my priorities, constantly, but during coffee breaks, a little night-blogging autobiographically might be relaxing, non?

Rain, I'm very glad you'll be following the next installments. I'll give a lot of thought to discretion along the way.

Rouchswalwe said...

Looks like I've joined the party at an optimum time. How exciting. Yes, encounters and encountering are key. I think so, too. Onward ho!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Rouchswalwe, glad you're here. I'll get back to the task as soon as I shake off a miserable cold which has knocked me down this week.

marja-leena said...

Oh, do continue, Natalie! I understand the privacy concerns, but you are a clever writer and a deep thinker. Name changes and little literary liberties might be in order, and I'm sure it will be exciting reading for us. You have led a fascinating life - the best subject for any artist and writer.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Marja-Leena, yes, discretion is essential and will be my guide. Thank you very much for the stimulus your encouragement gives me.

Hattie said...

Sometime this week I will sit down and read your autobiography.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Hattie,I'd love to hear what you think when you've finished. Unfortunately the comments system doesn't work anymore under the original pasts over there so you need to come back here if you want to say anything.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

oops, another typo! It's not the original pasts but the original *posts* (about the past).