It's been a long, really weird road for me. I still think Living in Twilight has merit, but because it's been so hard to pitch/explain/show/make shadow puppets for, I'm moving on.
Which is FINE. It means I can say "Sayonara" with a sense of closure. It means I can write my next book (HAHAHAHAHAHA), or weave baskets, or choreograph interpretive dance numbers to Kurt Weill's Three Penny Opera.
It means that I've done my due diligence in trying to get it into the world, but the world is pretty full, and I'm just one person, so there isn't a lot of momentum, and I'm a total introvert, and I hate pitching myself, so I have to decide between two poles: sanity and obscurity; or visibility and total craziness (not hyperbole).
I've spent a lot of time at the crazy pole. This is not that time.
To the people who've reached out to me: I can pretty much guarantee that I can name each and every one of you. That's how much it's meant to me that anyone—ANYONE AT ALL—read any part of this. You made it all worth it. I did what I wanted, and you responded positively, and that was magical.
My husband wondered—reasonably—why I would take Living in Twilight down. I spent weeks (on the website—years on the book) working on it. I had to re-edit it for online consumption. I learned how to make the web templates from Squarespace (an awesome option for people, by the way. No complaints.) dance in ways they really did not want to dance. Collectively, we've spent thousands of dollars on the various permutations of this book. This does not include time spent.
I had hoped that by creating an online version that people could see—if I could provide a link to a simulacra of the experience I wanted people to have—that it would make sense to the people who could help me get LiT out of my hands, and into a publisher. Not a big publisher, but one that would do it justice. Instead, it confused people. They wondered why a book should be made if it was already online. They couldn’t imagine what the website would look like as a book (an irony that just made shrug with a sense of “damned if I do”).
The website for LiT was a weapon of last resort, that I employed to clarify the project for forces in publishing who had the tools to see it realized—but it failed in its mission, and only created another layer of confusion.
Eventually you have to stop.
I've flogged this horse but she doesn't get up. I can't reanimate her. She just doesn't want to go.
So I have to admit she's dead, Jim.
I've been saying a little koan to myself in the wee hours of the night as I struggle with my feelings about this: "If a book falls in the forest and no one reads it, is it art?"
I don't know. It seems like art. I don't think it matters that few have read it. Maybe that's the vanity of the unrecognized artist, but I think that its potential for elucidation or enjoyment doesn't diminish because it's obscure. Maybe its potential is what's important. Maybe its creation was all that was important. I don't know.
I have the Schrödinger's cat of books: right now it's both dead and alive. Maybe someday the box will be opened, and we'll get to find out which state she’s in.
The other reason I'm taking it down, despite all the work that went into it: things SHOULD be impermanent. The book deserves my agency in looking after it, including letting it go. I shouldn't just leave it here forever, gathering search engine dust in a non-reality. Dad's artwork deserves more too: viewers who are invested in more than two seconds on a re-direct from Google. All artists do.
Things that have no expiration date: we take them for granted. Things that are impermanent should—if we're mindful—garner appreciation, if for no other reason than that they are transient. Love who you're with, for they might not be there tomorrow. Look to the earth and its creatures so as to husband them, for they are fragile, and brief. Art decays, friendships die.
But if we respect finality—the finality of death, or just the passing of time—we can love them all the more when they are there in front of us.
Thanks, all. It's been fun.