Staying on message: or, excuse me while I remind myself about who Servetus is

Today, I am finally getting six whole hours to myself, and here I sit, and I can’t figure out what to write about. Despite the list. This isn’t surprising; I’m still all over the place with stuff that’s happening in my real life and in Armitageworld. I think we’ve finally decided that I am returning to work for the fall semester, and of course that brings with it a series of its own things to be overwhelmed about, like getting a structure in place here to absorb the tasks I’ve been doing. I have, rather frivolously, not given much thought to my professional life since June 17th. And the beginning of the month-long preparation for the High Holidays is not far off, either.

I read a post today somewhere that quoted Steve Jobs upon his return to Apple in 1997, to the effect that to be successful an enterprise needs to focus. Know what you want to achieve, and what you don’t want to achieve. Clear out the extraneous material; tasks other than yours may be valuable but the point is, those tasks are not yours. One of the virtues of this blog is that its core motivation is relatively simple; one of the problems I have in life is being torn by my allegiance to various ideals and people. The blog is about self-integration and identity building and strength and courage and expression; my life is about coping and reconciling the needs of others with my own and mediation and compromise. So the clearing out of the extraneous detail involved in the act of writing always ends up taking up way more time than I think it will. I also have a hard time telling people I can’t do something. Morning pages were good in this regard — just deposit the debris somewhere and forget it — but they went by the wayside this month and I, at least, can tell.

So what is the focus, here? The core mission of the blog was to explore my fascination with Richard Armitage analytically and to confront my fantasies about him. In the meantime, it also expanded to do some other things, like connect myself to the world of Armitage fandom or offer occasional humorous reflections or vignettes from my life or comment on Richard Armitage’s career, or support various charitable initiatives. But I think that core mission stems from the way that my fantasy life exploded back in January 2010, and that’s what I have to get back to. Thinking about fantasy and emotion and what they allow me to do, creatively.

Part of the problem with fulfilling the focus is that July was such a punishing month that my fantasy life dwindled till it was almost unrecognizable. Time, late at night, that I’d normally have spent feeding my Armitage addiction by rewatching, I simply spent collapsed, playing Bejeweled or watching Holmes Inspection (which seemed to have a direct metaphorical connection with some stuff that was happening in my family life), drinking micheladas and eating popcorn with too much butter on it. Some things in my personal situation got so unpleasant that I found I couldn’t confront them effectively, even by blogging; they were just too painful, and I had to prevent myself from absorbing the emotion in order to keep on functioning. There was the stuff at imdb, which played a role in my general interest level in thinking and dreaming about Richard Armitage, and which I also spent a lot of time talking to people about. And, for whatever reason, probably a combination of all of these — my unusually active libido has simply gone on vacation. This is one of the worst pieces of the problem, because I rely on it –perhaps too much– to keep me smiling in my day-to-day life and to feed my energies in my writing life.

I suspect that my therapist would tell me right now that the way to get back to writing would be to explore the painful moments of the last month, and I may do some of that, still — there are things I tried to write about that stuff in draft — but the lesson of Armitagemania is to immerse my senses in the beautiful, the things that draw me to them, the things that legitimate desire, as contradictory as they may sometimes be. To fortify myself with the feeling of wanting something. It’s the positive feeling generated by the beautiful that prevents emotional shut down by mitigating my fear enough to allow me to cope with pain. And you know, there’s still plenty of beauty available. I still have stuff on my incompletism list, and maybe this is a jump start moment of the kind that caused me to save some stuff. My time has been so short that I haven’t even had time to watch all of the wonderful Richard Armitage videotape that came from ComicCon. So there’s a beautiful place to start, too. And I’m going to think about where my fantasies were this spring, in an effort to jump-start them again before the fall. Because I need some luscious fantasy.

I don’t know that you necessarily need to know all this, but for some reason I had to write it, and I hope it explains any excess of fantasy that I am hoping I will be able to publish in the next week or so. Or, really, anything else. I’m going to be taking refuge in fantasy and looking it, hard, it to recharge my emotions. Some pain may come up, too. If you’re struggling in this regard as much as I have lately, I hope it helps you, too. And, if you’d rather not read that stuff, as always, NC-17 posts will be password protected.

***Cheeky, chipmunky Armitage beauty: Richard Armitage interviewed at ComicCon by the TORn interviewer, July 14, 2012. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

~ by Servetus on August 3, 2012.

26 Responses to “Staying on message: or, excuse me while I remind myself about who Servetus is”

  1. Libido? I’ve heard of that. Does it require batteries? I heard it did. 😉

    Hope August treats you better.

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  2. Batteries are re-chargeable, too, I believe….
    August WILL be better!

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  3. Serv, I know you’ve had an awful lot on your plate, and I truly hope August will be better for you and yours. I have some inkling of what you’ve gone through and I am rooting for you. And I thank you for the support you’ve also given to me. It means a LOT. Love ya, girl.

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  4. Big ((hugs)) and I hope that August will start wonderful developments coming your way. They are overdue and I hope you have some time to relax left after hectic July and before the new semester starts. Batteries run out, when one is totally exhausted, then unfortunately the other part of one’s mind does not work properly any longer, as the mind goes into emergency mode. Take your time and be patient with yourself !

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  5. Sending healing thoughts of solace and comfort. As you know, I have had similar experiences, and I truly sympathize with the trials in your life right now. Yes, let the fantasies be the antidote to “real life” and all its exigencies. You have my support and my wishes for continuing fortitude and relief.

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  6. Hope you can charge your batteries for August!….take of yourself and things can only get better!

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  7. Hooray for popcorn with lots of butter! and lots MORE butter!

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    • it’s a terrible thing, but growing up Wisconsin, one learns butter as a religion. I never ever ate margarine growing up. My parents think it’s evil. And it’s the start to every comfort food recipe I know.

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  8. Dear Servetus,

    I say you just gave yourself and your blog a “reboot”. Ha! You deserve to focus on yourself for a change when you have been so giving and generous and caring and kind to others–and not just this Summer with your family and friends, but always.

    And who knows? Maybe you can kill two birds with one stone by reinvesting yourself in the world of fantasy. I hear that there is “a vibrant area of academic study in a number of disciplines” surrounding it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy). With your incisive and analytical mind, you will elevate the discussion of fantasy even more.

    Much Love and Hugs! Grati ;->

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    • I think I’d probably have to do a new degree to study fantasy — but it’s definitely an option. Thanks, G.

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  9. Wow, Servetus, what an incredibly Freudian / Jungian post! (Just for this, I’m going to break the wrapping off my “A Dangerous Method” DVD and toss it into my I-Mac to watch as I type this.)

    Jung was all about supporting the “Active Imagination” – while Freud vehemently stood behind his theory that ALL ACTION, all symptoms were based on one’s libido.

    This was a very painful disagreement between the two of them 100 years ago, eventually causing Jung to break away from Freud. Ironically, for Sabine Spielrein, her case and cure fell directly under Freud’s theories on sexuality – yet she was quite instrumental in helping Jung develop his own theories.

    I highly recommend you watch this movie – as I did back in April when I saw it on a return flight to the US. I think you will appreciate very much the intelligent dialogue in the movie.

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    • I think I forgot to tell you I saw it. Some parts of it were excellent, I thought — mostly the visual aspects. Other parts disappointed me. The “birth of psychoanalysis” was material I covered in grad school for doctoral exams so it was unlikely I would be totally thrilled by that aspect of the film. That was eighteen years ago, now, so it’s time for a refresher. I get the impression that the scholarship is becoming more sympathetic to Jung than it used to be.

      I guess I left my comments on Didion’s review: http://feminema.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/in-which-a-dangerous-method-forces-me-to-change-my-mind-about-keira-knightley/

      I apologize; I really thought I had discussed this with you. 😦

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  10. I was thinking of you today. My kids started school this week — K and Pre-K! And it reminded me that it might be time for you to go back to school too. Hope you and yours are able to get back to a little normalcy or as you say remind yourself of who Servetus is.

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    • wow! big days for them. Yeah, time for me to think about packing up my tent. Thanks for your good wishes. It’s going to be a severe struggle to remember my identity as a scholar. I hope your kids have a great school year.

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  11. I agree with you about the metaphorical connection with Holmes Inspection. I recently tried to watch the show, but my instinctive reacton was to turn the channel because I couldn’t watch Holmes uncovering all those hidden problems — decaying foundations, walls and the like. Too bad fixing our lives isn’t as easy as restoring a house — just get the right contractor and you’re good to go.

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    • … and just waiting for that big, strong, knowledgeable [non-existent] Canadian with the big boots to fix all of your problems. Man does that guy have big boots.

      I ran into a series of episodes where if I’d have been the homeowner I’d have razed the house and started over and somehow that seemed significant, too 🙂

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  12. […] flies past and toward its end. We decide I’m going back to work — as long as they can still cope with paid help they should, they think, and save my energies […]

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  13. […] may remember that in August I said that the emotions this summer got so intense I had to stop publishing so much about my family. In particular, I needed to stop discussing my father because the fact that I was losing compassion […]

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