A prequel notice: The next couple of posts I make to this, my public Martha Phelps Studio Blog site and Facebook page – are going to be personal-life shares from two of my grown kids. More on their news in a moment…… but first a thought or two –
It’s no secret that many social media platforms are places where folks offer up only the most sparkling slices of their lives (juiciest-looking burger, frostiest beer, cutest chubbiest baby, sandiest toes on the most relaxing looking beach, etc.). Goodness knows I have participated in this practice too many times to count. Case in point, a recent trip abroad (not a normal or everyday event for me, at all) yielded more photos of exotic places to my FB profile than I ever dreamed I would have to offer. I began to feel self conscious of my bounty almost immediately, and when one friend indicated that they hoped I’d post even more pictures, I confessed my worry about being perceived as spamming people with our vacation. We all know people who have quit social media because the lack of real-life balance leaves them feeling seriously depressed and as though maybe there is something “wrong” with their imperfect life. Or they experience emotional overload on political rants that get their blood pressure too far up and find themselves overwhelmed by the radical mood swings between furious cyber bullying and furry kitten videos. “Facebook Depression” along with “Facebook Envy” are real psychological phenomena. Go figure.
Roughly ten years ago when I made the decision to create my blog site and this Facebook Page as a link to it, I also made a conscious and hopeful choice to have this space be more realistic. The intention was for it to be a landing place for positivity whenever possible and thoughtfulness all the time. The hope was that this public platform would inspire deeper consideration of daily life. As a result, I am frequently much more open and personally vulnerable here than on the personal profile that I only “allow” people I actually consider “friends” to access. Coincidentally, I also tend to get more open and vulnerable written dialogue from followers, usually also friends but occasionally people I’ve never met, who comment here or on my blog site than on my “private” profile.
Isn’t it weird, how we (the collective) are sometimes more willing to lay ourselves bare to total strangers? No. Not really.
It’s not that odd, because we all have a story (or several) that connect us to each other. We are uniquely the same in so many ways – and generally we either don’t want to acknowledge our commonalities because of hubris, or naively aren’t aware of them and are therefore so afraid that we are different that we are fearful to share self truths. We are unique, AND we are the same. Poets know this, and so they write about the most intimate details of their inner workings and then lay the words out to the world for ravenous consumption. Readers of poetry experience the joy, pain and sheer relief of realizing (or being reminded) that they aren’t alone. We are not alone.
All of life is not a holiday. Most meals don’t look like pieces of art. Our children get into trouble and have definitively ugly moments. We drive dirty cars. We fuck up.
All of life is a chance to grow. So, in the sincere belief that these posts will offer positive and thoughtful stories to anyone who happens by here –
The next two items I share are gifts from my two elder children.
The first is a film reel recently published by my son Reid David Honeywell.
If you’ve made it this far, click on to the next post!