Introspective web of the heart.
As hypertext is a suitable metaphor for the mind, one often begins dumping knowledge into it - or sketching mind maps and pushing through idea- or topic-based webs.
In Winnie’s case, she journals in this way. So that, rather than simply starting from the present, she links back to past experiences and epiphanies. Her blog is a map of the heart, perhaps, more than merely the mind. Any devoted student of hypertext will find much to contemplate in her effort.
She combines some confessional blogging with a larger project of self-analysis and plan-making. I think I would be more reluctant to quote her if I knew that this page would be widely read - for her tone is so completely introspective and private.
Trying to write honestly on this public journal is also a constant struggle, especially with what is happening around the world these days. It seems unfair that I am here writing in relative safety while people are out there either dying due to injustice or fighting for it. But I know if I get caught up in activism I won’t be able to survive the grief and fatigue that comes along with it. To survive, I have to carve a little bubble around me for as long as I can. The price to pay is the existential guilt that I carry around with me everyday.
These kinds of admissions, I could never actually hit publish on. Here, in a paragraph detailing a pile of her weaknesses, the subtext is: the strength she has developed in managing those weaknesses.
And - in a way - it is astonishing to read a ‘blog’-type website that isn’t rooted in a criticism of the world or an admonishment to change.
And she develops strengths of a kind that many people simply don’t value. Such as the effort to build a robust aging strategy.
I love growing old, and the only thing I hate about it is people I love growing old — one of the most important things I’ve been working on is learning how to bear grief, and how to cherish love in the present.
Because I have abandonment issues, no matter where I go or what I do I feel alienated, isolated from what everyone else is doing.
So it has been deeply comforting to me when internet strangers send me messages to tell me that they resonated with what I shared. It is not validation that I seek, but resonance and connection. Sometimes, I would like to feel less alone. I would also like to facilitate the space for others like me to feel less alone.
Of course, this is where I am supposed to suggest that social media is tearing the intimacy of online relationships apart - by converting them into war grounds. (While, it seems, her website enables meaningful connection.) However, I can’t help but confront my own reasons for reading Winnie’s journal. Am I merely attempting to voyeuristically examine her life? Perpetuating another ill of online life - the performance, the transaction of personal privacy in exchange for public karma dollas.
What am I seeking in her words? Resonance and connection? Yeah - I think so. I am - for sure - responding to that feeling - resonance - something like, “Oh hey, what she’s saying has something new, but it’s also… very old. I recognize it.”
Yes, yesyes, oui, oyyyy. Hypertext is our connection. She inhabits here more and more, so does h0p3, Talita, all these friends. I am not attempting to self-model, but it is happening. Part of my internal state is here. And they are woven thru it.
I wouldn’t call it self-modeling tho. It’s a soul thing, conjuring, maybe a subastral soulsync (soulseek?) a fomenting of the miracel or the bizet (virtual personas that don’t exist in the physical world, even in pixels, there is no picture of them because they are entirely made of our feelings for others and whatever it is that we’ve learned but don’t yet understand…)
I feel like I’m constantly loosening the invisible chains on myself with every year that goes by. I think the gift of working on ourselves is emotional freedom, and it is emotional freedom that gifts one creative freedom. There has to be a sustainable, steady force propelling us through a 30-year project, and we cannot let our psychological baggage be dead weight in that long, possibly arduous journey.
I need to quote some parts from the chronic pain stuff, as well as her excellent stuff on grief. In those respects, I feel like I live so similarly - it’s like I’ve found someone who says the things I don’t say, because almost no one understands them.
But I’ll also observe that her writing has been excellent during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s not generally about the pandemic - more a crystallization of the state of her heart and mind, clearer than before even. So many have been sidelined by the virus - their posts are like “WHOA!” - whereas hers are more uniquely determined in some way.
Her website goes back to 2012. So, as of this writing, there are eight years in the corpus - encompassing life in her 30s. Normally I wouldn’t mention an artist’s age - but age plays a central part in her work. ↩︎
The connection, on the other hand, for me, is the process of building this page, this person page that h0p3 first modeled. I am not trying to completely capture Winnie Lim here and to summarize her so that you don’t have to read her - but to subsume into my life all those words she’s said that will now be with me forever, to credit her, to be generous to her and to thank her. Could be another type of t42t. ↩︎