Ok, those of you who have come to expect long winded analytical blogging from me are probably getting massively sick of my navel gazing and quickie posts that I don’t even bother to label “quickie” anymore . . . so I know you are going to be happy with this public display of affection . . .
When I began blogging 3+ years ago, there were two bloggers whose voices seemed so very similar to my own that I thought, if only we taught on the same campus . . . revolutionary creative praxis would typify every single day. One of those bloggers was Kiita. From her academic stories, to her musical interludes, to her amazing art pieces, I always found something meaningful in her two blogs. Her musings on the hardships we lesbian academics of color endure from the weight of childhood expectation to the fast track to the marginalization that so many outside of academe think is laughable, resonated on levels that only Joanna Kadi’s childhood memories in Thinking Class ever have for me. I for one was never physically assaulted, menaced with the threat of never working again, or other things I cannot say, until I became an academic, nor do these things negate my hungry years nor the deserts I have crossed just to be parched in this seeming oasis; without saying it, somehow, I believe Kiita gets that in a way others do not.
She shutdown her blog a few weeks ago. And I asked her if it was permanent. Her answer came two days ago with the erasure of all her pre-existing posts and then her avatar. When I look through the comments on my blog, there is a dark black nothingness in the space that once was the way she chose to represent herself. And when I see it, I feel her absence as a similar inescapable nothingness.
The things is, I know the real names and institutions of most of the people I talk to online. (Yes Anthony, that includes you). I never imagined that if they chose to close their blogs one day and move on that I would feel great loss, b/c I know them and I know how to reach them. I don’t know Kiita. We have never met. (I don’t think we have anyway.) Now she is gone and I guess we never will.
I make these thoughts public, as navel gazy as they maybe, to remind how tenuous and transitory virtual reality is and how important it is to honor the people around you while they are still here speaking, engaging, and struggling with you.
“May the road rise up to meet you” my friend.