Friday, May 18, 2012

5-18-12 Pictures of Tommy - a memoirist’s blog #19

(Right now, I’m focusing on my memoirist work that I’ll call, simply, “Pictures of Tommy” -- all about my psychotic brother and his legacy. If so inclined, please share, and tell me what you think. . . )


There are those who live the unexamined life.  Good ol’ Socrates said it’s not worth living. Obviously he didn’t truck much with the modern age -- he didn’t have Xfinity cable television and the internet to amuse himself with, Hulu and endless re-runs.  Come to think of it, I’d like to see what Socrates would have done with FaceBook.  All right, I take that back -- in the modern age, he could have waxed introspective on his blogs and reached followers that way.  Anyway, for those of us in this modern age who really DO think, and live the examined life, these are good times, with the blogs and all. 

At times, I have done “the examined life” in extremis.  That is why I write songs and articles and anything else possible.  I have a crying need to understand.  What makes things tick?  I have to make sense of so much that seems insensible, illogical, and unfair. I am an introvert at heart, INFJ on the Myers Briggs scale.  I can rise to the occasion and be a social butterfly, but that’s mostly because large gatherings make me nervous and I can’t sit still.  I worry that somebody might feel slighted if I -- by accident -- ignore them.  I could blurt the wrong thing out, so I try to listen twice as much as talk.  I like to stay by myself, in my own little thoughts, a lot.

Why would it be so important to write about a sibling whose brain chemistry’s gone amok?  Of the many good reasons, here’s a very deep motivating factor:  almost every day, I question my sanity.  I question my thoughts, actions, interactions, choices I make.  I wonder if the miracle of clear thought and focus will again be mine, even if just for minutes at a time.  I wonder about my ability to keep going, find work, keep a job, finish a project, keep nose to the ol’ grindstone. 

I never wonder about how to do things I’ve learned and practiced all these years, things that come naturally:  writing (journalism etc.), interviewing others, singing, songwriting, playing music, and on some level, being a photographer/videographer (the latter I need to catch up on more -- but I’m learning and getting pretty good).

I do wonder, every day that I wake up, will I make it today?  Will I hold on to my mental health?  Physical health?  Can I pay the bills and keep the house?  Can I help my family and friends to do that, too?  Will the day come when I have to be locked up. . . again?

Because it did happen, once -- a few years after Tommy started going into hospital after hospital. . . 


  1. Ms. Agnelli: This isn't really a comment--I only just discovered your blog in the process of trying to find the lyrics to "Charcoal," a song you performed with The Washington Squares. (This is what happens when you have a spare minute and access to the web.) Are the lyrics published anywhere? I don't think that the album (yes, I owned the vinyl version) had them, but I could be wrong.

    I would appreciate any help you can give me.

    --Andrew Marchant-Shapiro

    1. Hi Andrew, I haven't published those lyrics, but perhaps it would be a good idea! I'll put it on my list of things to get to; would be a cool thing, for sure. Oh, and thanks for reading my blog; I checked yours out and you have some good ideas, esp. talking about how you like(d) being around "smart people" who go to school for learning's sake, not for the "education" and the diploma it bestows.
      Anyhoo, feel free to email me on (the dreaded) FaceBook or to me here on legawriter@gmail.com. BTW, do you know any reasonable entertainment lawyers who might help me read over a simple publishing agreement? Thanks & take care, Lauren A.