The funny thing about this world is that it’s gotten too big. Facebook! Instagram! Pinterest! News service that shows you (in a 24-hour loop) just how craven our fellow human beings can be! Starvation! Neglect! CEOs that look like Gary Bussey telling women they’re not thin enough for their brand!
Am I actually satisfied? After my time on Facebook reading all the intimate details about people you barely knew in highschool and are now a “friend”? Is there a reconnection now, even though there wasn’t one 5/10/15/20 years ago? After viewing yet another before and after where people hem and haw over 3 shades of gray paint? After reading, in excruciating detail, someone’s success at having conceived a child? Am I satisfied with my life after who knows how many hours being an office chair voyeur? Did I delude myself into thinking these people are my flesh and bone friends?
My honest answer? No. If anything I’m more dissatisfied. If I added it up–if I actually knew how many hours I spent on the internet–I’d be ashamed.
So I ditched my personal Facebook profile and I’m seriously considering losing my Facebook business page, too. I now get to decide what I want to see, or hear, or feel. It’s like olden times.
When I hit the “deactivate account” button, I felt actual relief–not in the hyperbolic sense, either. I no longer read things that make my blood pressure rise like an incoming tide, I suddenly really do have time in my day to get out in the yard and dig my hands in the clay-heavy dirt. I have time to be with my thoughts and feelings and emotions, instead of occupying my mind with what someone else said. Holy shit, y’all: it’s downright liberating.
And here I sit. I get the irony–it’s ham-fisted and walloped me right upside the head. But those sentences up there? Therein lies the rub. The fact of the matter is that–for now–I’m a business, so I need to have a “virtual presence”. I struggle with this. I am, by nature, a very introverted person: I could go days (weeks, really) without seeing another human being and I’d be perfectly happy with it. My home is my favorite place to be, especially if I have a few good books to read and an I.V. port for mainlining coffee. I haven’t decided if I want to continue with commissioned work or wander down the road of gallery showings.
I don’t know.
What I DO know is that I take pictures. I also know that I really don’t mind if I only have the occasional stranger stumble onto this sadly neglected blog.
I think they call this whole situation Cognitive Dissonance.
And since today marks the first “official” day of Summer Vacation:
I have one of those with Texas. I hate it because the summers here are foreboding and stretch endlessly from one hot, soul-crushing day into the next. The air is so thick with humidity that you feel like each breath you take requires a concentrated effort to not drown. A drive from Point A to Point B reveals a landscape of scorched earth and desolation. By the end of July, you find the soles of your shoes sticking to the pavement like molasses. I love it for the very same reasons.
No one said I was rational.
Feeble existentialism aside, I went for a drive the other day. I was headed no place particular, but I wound up at a little second-hand shop: Good Stuff Cheap. The lady who owns it, Miss Kay, was game enough to let me natter at her while I took pictures. While the two-way fire station radio chirped from her jeans pocket, she told me her Daddy built the place back in the 40’s and she and her sister grew up in the house just down the road. Growing up as I did–moving from house to house, state to state, sometimes in the middle of the night–I was kind of awed by the notion of seeing the tree in your front yard grow from a sapling to a place to find respite from the sun. I know it’s not a novel idea, but it seems rare anymore.
I left with two unmatched hand-embroidered pillowcases and enjoyed listening to the gossip about people I don’t know.