It’s a funny thing, writing. A person knows when she’s let herself get lazy with words and sentiments. It’s then that she must make her way back down a familiarish road to creating real meaning in the world.
How I’ve missed blogging!
A friend and I spoke recently about putting all of our eggs in one basket, meaning, our partners’. We waxed allegorically for weeks as her relationship story unfolded and unfurled into a reborn version after twenty years of partnership. We wondered-should we lean all the way in and trust? Or should we have a toe on the threshold, ready to make a new way should things become too frustrating, too loud, too incompatible, too conflictual, too hard, too impossible? In the final analysis, I figured that we might do well to lean all the way in-and actually, that we should take all of our cumulative eggs and put them in the basket of something greater than us human individuals-the soul of the relationship, perhaps. In the lap of Spirit, in the holy vessel of anything and everything which can hold the sum of our efforts together. This is the way of partnership for me: interdependence with a little conscious co-dependence thrown in for fun.
Real partnership, one in which something meaningful is being built, is a very exciting topic for me, of course.
I got a little tap of a wake up call last week as I prepared the meadow for twenty-two women to attend my first on-site Fire Circle. A notification from Facebook asked me to confirm my legal name with government-issue ID went practically unnoticed, having been through this with them years ago. I decided to deal with it when the retreat was over and I didn’t give it much more thought. I’d been having adverse feelings about the entity which has taken over the world- namedropped in every phone conversation, overheard in every hair salon and restaurant-the new norm for communication (and conflict) for the current generation.
The notion that I’d become remiss about connecting with my community in my way, at my pace, was playing over in my head, as it had many times since I expanded SouLodge, five years old this month. Did I really want to rely on Facebook to connect with my people and let them know what I’m creating? It certainly has been the easiest way…but is it the best I can do?
Returning from retreat, I found that my account had been removed. Gone. Suddenly invisible. I received hundreds of messages asking if I’d been hacked and where had I gone so suddenly, and was everything okay? Something I learned long ago, when taking an unannounced blogging hiatus during my first-born’s infancy, was that people care. They care where we go, and about what might be going on behind the scenes that’s caused a disruption in our rhythms. Even before I began blogging in 2005 (Happy 10th birthday this week!) I kept on online journal at my pajama shop, and again and again I discovered that folks care. Caring is a value that isn’t lost on most of us, especially as a nurturing community of womenfolk.
I’ve been dancing around the issue all week, after setting up a temporary account to get back into my private groups, and let my sisters and online family know that indeed, everything is okay. (Maybe a little better than okay.)
The tap dance has really had to do with me being in a battle inside of myself: for the ease of moving my sweet and healing SouLodge boat along through social media and coming to terms with the fact that I simply detest the policies at Facebook. One of the things which bothers me the most is the enigmatic way in which photos from my preferred subculture (mothers, babies, nursing mothers, naked baby butts, artful nudity, and the like) are removed (and yes, I fully understand the shadow implications), while all manner of pop-culture skin and crack are paraded around without consequence. We are not in alignment on these items, Facebook and I. Don’t get me started on women-hating and domestic violence posts which appear regularly in the feeds. Some of what happens there really brightens the world, and equally, there is an indulgent culture of careless dither which dumbs-down the population, and perhaps worse, seriously erodes the common person’s time and energy. Don’t we want to take a look at this habit?
After putting too many eggs in Facebook’s basket to conduct my heart’s work and being subservient to their ownership policies (that’s right, our content does not officially belong to us when we put it there) and subject to their robotic whims and trolls regarding names and business/fan page practices, it’s not making sense for me to commune there. I also think my already rampant A.D.D. is worsened by the flash-notifications used.
Earlier this year, I moved my class content to Ruzuku and have been making good use (for years) of Facebook-owned Instagram, (who made the acquisition for $1 billion in cash and stocks in 2012, for those who are interested in the *bottom line*) to share my works with those who graciously care to tune in. While I still have groups to tend to and move to another gathering place over time (I’d love to hear your ideas!), it will be good to be free of the fast-food social media behemoth.
I’ve heard women in business like mine call Facebook a “necessary evil”. Having pondered it especially attentively for the last week, I don’t think any “evil” is necessary for us to have thriving models of commerce and community. We don’t have to cower in fear about where our business will come from or how we can sustain our creative economy. We are the creative economy. I can remember life before Facebook as a business person, and I kind of love that memory. No offense, Facebook, but I like it here better.
To build something meaningful at home is to be the architect of your own life. I’m grateful to be here, in my beautiful online home, making meaning in my way, at my pace, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to wake up to the beauty of my own living room again, and invite you in to sit and slow-dance for a bit.
I’d love to hear your uplifting stories about carving your own path. What are your fears? Does social media have you by the feather tips?