"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Thursday, December 8, 2011


'Without Pretense'
Artist Barbara Cole

Die to self.
I tried.
I believe I am dead, and yet
the pain is horrendous.
Do the dead have nerves?
Do they bleed from the insincerity of their eyes?

If so
I revoke my wish for death.
There is no peace in it.


I would like to live more honest. I keep trying and failing, assuming there are appearances to keep, and people I need to live for. I have thought that to protect people from my ugly feelings was the kindest path to take. I have taken everything I felt that was not in line with how I thought I should feel and tucked it under my arm. Can you believe I thought that would work? The decay of that thing became the unmistakable odor of pretense. What a fraud! A friend called me egotistical. It is the grandest egotism to think that I can make someone else happy. I cannot. At this point I cannot even make myself happy.

I apologize to the blogs I follow. I tell myself...go there. I tell myself...read. I tell myself...comment. I should, I should, I SHOULD. And yet, I have nothing to give you. I am a fraud, even there. There was a time I had an investment that was true. Now I really have nothing of value to give you. I am too empty. Writing helps me, if I can be honest in it. I'll continue writing here, but won't be around much to your blogs. I've been dropping off, dropping out...too confused and too ashamed and too lost. Now I just don't want to fake it anymore. I have a lot of work to do. And can you believe, I want to ask your forgiveness for being absent where you write out your own hearts, your lives, your own pain?  I feel like such a shit.


  1. Please don't ever feel you need forgiven for such a thing, Annie. We want your words and honesty wherever you feel most comfortable and cathartic giving it. I don't see how you could be called egotistical. Your posts have always showed a great caring for those around you and I'm sure that translates to your everyday life.

  2. WTF...you, egotistical? Who said that to you? I'll come kick their stupid ass! Seriously, you're the least egotistical person I've EVER known. Take care of YOU, Annie, and don't apologize ever for who you are or aren't.

    You know I love you and pray for you every day. Find what gives you joy and then roll around in it... ((((Hugs))))

  3. When people say "should" it reminds me of the movie "The Karate Kid" where Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel: "You do, or you do not. There is no 'try'."

    It's simple: You read, or you do not read. There is no 'should'.

    And no need to ask forgiveness, either. :)

  4. You are human. Just like the rest of us. Don't be afraid to sit in the pain -fighting it never works. Breathe and hold yourself softly...this too shall pass...hugs...

  5. You are not a fraud, Annie... you are a great deal like me in that you are in the midst of a great struggle with things that are occurring in your Life. I posted that I have tried to bring down the size of my world... the size of my existence... to that which I can better manage things.

    You continue to write... I will continue to read... Friends do things like that...



  6. I’ve had these feelings too…. I’ve decided it’s really a form of sharing. It’s the sharing I like best. At some point encouragement should be reserved for those who haven’t yet opened up and truly expressed themselves. Creative people are looking for an outlet to express themselves, some encouragement to maybe justify continuing to create. (Creating for only ourselves dies fast). Yes there is ego, but there is also encouragement, and a bit of social understanding and kindness. The world is a better place, with more creativity, and yes, when pretense as described here is taking place.
    Exposing everything is good once in a while. Artists appreciate this and everyone is an artist. I’ve always appreciated this, but more I appreciate those who know how much to cover, when presented with a need, to show understanding and kindness. You’ve covered more than enough☺.
    Don’t let a perceived pretense end the sharing. There are so many others.

  7. annie, i've just read this and i know there is not much i can say to help you feel better. still, i want to think about what you've said before offer my own thoughts and feelings.

    but i will tell you i know you will visit my blog when you're ready to. i know you are authentic. authentic carries alot of weight with me.


  8. He has not created you with a spirit of fear.

  9. i just keep asking, how do i want to live my life, my one life? who do i want to be inside of it, truly be?

    i hope you find the answers to this for you. not for anyone else but for you. i can get lost in the trying to anticipate the answers for others. i have to be done with that. how do i want to live my one life? who do i want to be?


  10. I understand you well, Annie. For months now I've been going around reading a lot, but not leaving anything in way of thoughts and comments. Nothing much to say, I've felt. It bothered me at first, now I've come to accept it. I have started leaving some comments again, but they are nothing in the way of insight, just a display of my appreciation. Maybe we can make an agreement: if there is something to say we shall say it, if there isn't we shall behold each other in silent love. What we do here should be fun. Always. No demands. Life makes enough of those on us as it is already.

    What you're going through feels like death. You are a tree in winter. I call such a tree springbound.

  11. Annie, I love you. You you, not pretend you although I think you are being very hard on yourself with all this talk of fraud.

    There is a cyclic nature at play here and I see parallels in my own life. Up down, acceptance rejection, striving retreating ... it's just life Annie.

    I strive ... so bloody hard sometimes, but I strive all the same. I inch forward a step or two and then so appalled am I by either the result, or by the level of fear I feel at facing the reality I now find myself in that all too often I retreat.

    Whenever I hold myself up to a standard I know I will find myself falling short. Is it my shortcomings holding me back? Or is it that the standards themselves are unrealistic?

    2D thinking Annie ... either or. If either are true I am still at fault!!! Ha! No wonder I feel useless.

    To learn the art of compassion one must really and truly start with oneself. There is no ugliness ... there is only what is. We ascribe labels and thus give meaning and weight where we might better practise loving acceptance.

    And this includes being forgiving towards ourselves for not coming sooner to an understanding of how crucial being compassionately forgiving is!!!

    We are who we are Annie. We feel what we feel and we think our own thoughts behind the facade of our everyday selves. We can no more govern or predict our thoughts than control the rate at which the universe expands, but we can learn to embrace the whole of ourselves .... nurturing where once we turned away.

    At the root of all change must first come an acceptance of what is. But to predicate acceptance in this way is at odds with acceptance itself isn't it?

    Perhaps we must accept what is without expectation of changing. Thus we free ourselves of the burden of expectations, and that freedom is in itself a change for the better.

    On a practical level treat yourself gently. Know this. Despite what you think, there are people who love you for who you are. You may well think "well if they knew the 'real' me they'd run a mile." Not true. We all have wonky bits don't we?

    I love you Annie. You you.

    xx Jos

  12. You are allowed to be a shit if you want to. But make no mistake you have so much influence on people not just by your writing or your music, and to say that you make no difference to someone, I beg to differ, because everything is linked you smile your beautiful smile to someone who's not so happy and you will make them happy just by your beautiful smile, and they in u turn not being so unhappy anymore won't scream at the waitress for the wrong order but will make a joke of it, the waitress, tired stress, gets home and she's in alighter mood than usual so she doesn't scream at her eldest, who then won't bully the youngest, who won't cry when he goes to sleep. Don't believe you don't Matter, YOU MATTER you matter 'cause you can change the world because you know how shitty the world can be...and you won't passs it on....it will end with you. You are Magnificent!

  13. We all go through these phases. I just ended a 10-month escape from blogging, emailing, facebooking, etc. because I felt pretty close to how you are feeling. I don't know if you've read my latest post and it doesn't matter. You can go at your own pace and if you feel like taking a break, that's OK. We're here online to express ourselves without judgment. That's what I've loved about your blog. You just let it all hang out. If it isn't serving you right now, it's all right to step back from it. Blogging can either feed a selfish need or grow the soul. If you're growing it by some other means for now, that's good. Don't give up on yourself.

  14. I meant to say something else too Annie. To die to oneself is an act of self abandonment. Don't we already feel abandoned enough? Love yourself despite any feelings of unworthiness. We are who we are. xx

  15. it's hard to choose yourself. afraid of being alone, afraid of hurting someone else, afraid of being afraid. i've lived this and i understand this. i've had to accept being afraid even as i make my through the tunnel,hoping for the best, feeling ill equipped for the worse.

    i think transitions are hard; especially at the big junctures. but annie, the sun always comes up again. it always does.

    one last thing. blaming yourself like this is so yesterday! come on, girl: give yourself a break!


  16. Annie thank you for comming to my blog, I do appreciate your honisty, and thank you!

  17. "I should, I should, I SHOULD. And yet, I have nothing to give you. I am a fraud, even there."

    It's the liar's paradox. I often thought about just turning comments *off* at my own blog. I don't know ... It's kind of like you say, but it's not.

    Social media, blogger, FB -- it's *so* incredible. But we don't know what we're doing yet, we've barely tapped into all this. Who has any clue what we are doing?

    We just need to take it easy, one step at a time, until we've figured it out a little better. I guess.

    You do have a lovely writing voice.


Thank you for listening.