Perfect Whole has been private for the past seven months because I was running for New York State Senate. Longtime readers of this blog (all four of them!) know that nothing on here could be construed as scandalous, nor do these essays contradict a word I said or wrote during the campaign. I am a WYSIWYG person, but I was warned that in politics, anything you’ve ever said will be used against you. I took precautions.
Since the day I lost the primary (September 13th, 2018), I’ve imagined that I would have a Niagara of wisdom to share with the world about the experience: what it’s like to go from living life as an anonymous citizen to hearing a crowd chanting your name (awesome, by the way), what it’s like to be a nuanced writer doing that least subtle of all human activities–campaigning, what it’s like to be an anxious person making speeches and TV appearances, what it’s like to realize that 48 years of cringing self-doubt might have been a shameful waste of time. I also learned a lot about politics, some of which you can only learn by running. Not to mention all the funny stories!
But I’ve said very little about the campaign, and none of it in public. I didn’t want to become That Person Who Had An Interesting Experience Once and Talks About It Endlessly For the Rest of Her Life, and I wasn’t sure I had anything to say that hadn’t been said before. (Maybe that’s the cringing self-doubt talking. If I were a man, I’d probably have written a book about it already.)
Maybe it’s all percolating in my unconscious, waiting for me to finish writing hundreds of thank-you notes to donors, to catch up on the River, River slushpile, and to complete the paperwork for shutting down the campaign. Maybe then, in the expectant stillness of winter, the space and time for pulling on the golden thread will open up in me again, and I’ll go back to being a writer. I’d started the last phase of the novel I’d been writing for several years when the campaign… (when it what? Happened to me? Like a natural disaster? A consensual one? Like falling in love? Like an attack? Like history demanding your commitment in a crucial moment? That’s what it felt like, but it sounds so pretentious) began, and I hope I can reconnect with the part of me that knows how to proceed (and find verbs). Maybe if I become a writer again, I’ll know what to do with the raw material of the most mind-blowing three-and-a-half months of my life.
If I do, I’ll tell you about it.