Writing is not simply a way to express thoughts. Writing is, in a very real and literal sense, a way of thinking. Writing is also an embodied activity and to consider it as only a mental practice is to misunderstand the relationship between the mind and the body. There is not division between the two. Certainly there are subsystems that are unique to the brain versus those unique to the stomach or the knee, but we are never not embodied and material beings. Having recently completed my PhD comprehensive exams, I can attest to the fact that writing two article length papers in 48 hours is as much a physical endurance test as it is a mental one. Unfortunately, being out of shape, I ended up relying far too much on caffeine and cigarettes to get me through that particular mental/physical challenge. Because of this recent experience, of feeling, in my body the connection between writing and the embodied self, I have decided to begin a new blog and to retire—or at least to send on a long vacation—what has been my primary website/blog since 2005.
Living the Liminal has been a part of my “brand” for a long time. Subsequent accounts with Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, App.net, etc. have all used a variation of either “liminal” or “living the liminal.” There is a reason I picked that “identity”: I have always (or at least as long as I can remember) felt slightly outside of and hovering in between various aspects of life. I am often somewhere between the past and the future, rarely situated in the now or standing in the doorway between solitude and social, stuck not knowing in which direction I truly want to move. Part of this new project is to write myself in a new and different way. I am neither rejecting the liminal side of myself and my experience, nor am I necessarily aiming for a specific vision of the me that I am trying to write into existence. However, as I have been thinking quite a bit about the material effects of words on and through the body, I began to wonder if stepping back from the concept of liminality might prove to be, at the very least, an impetus to write a new me, if only slightly. In other words, I am interested in exploring how the materiality of words—a materiality borne from the embodied action of writing—may result in a re-inscription of my self.
Additionally, I recently came across several new platforms that are exploring a new way of using Dropbox, Markdown, and static text files to serve as a blogging/website system, one that does not require databases and that allows the content to live in one’s own Dropbox account. I have signed up with Scriptogr.am and have recently begun to explore ways in which I can use this new platform as space for a writing intensive website. Today I bought the domain name “reinscription.com” and will begin to transfer my writing to this new space over the next few weeks. Living the Liminal will remain, and the back-catalog of my thoughts over the past seven years will still be available for any and all who want to poke around the various essays, links, images, and ruminations that I have collected here over the years. And who knows, perhaps I will return here sometime in the future. For now, however, I will officially “retire” Living the Liminal on January 1, 2013.
The new site is still coming together. I need to make sure I can get the domain names pointing in the right directions and I’d like to do some edits to the theme so I can make the space more my own. I will update here when ReInscription is up and fully running. While I feel decidedly odd about moving away from Living the Liminal, I am excited by the move and am certain that, as a writer and as a person, this will be a productive and useful change for myself. I hope to also make it interesting and entertaining for others. Thanks for coming along for the ride.