OK, so I’m not WordPress-Adept. I’ve owned this domain for a year now and done nothing at all with it. A cascade of nightfalls, an exhilaration of sunrises … and no words from me. I’ve been posting them on Facebook. Today, I deleted those posts and unfortunately, did not save them. Such are the vagaries of my thought on the cusp of senility. Or age 65, if you will. Perhaps they are still to be found on a few friends’ walls and, if not, I’ve returned to the era of the spoken word, when commission to memory was aural at best. Despite their shortened lifespans, sometimes I almost envy the inhabitants of those lost centuries. Their comments were filed in something called the listener’s brain. They became indelible, even if mistranslated. No one can argue with “my kingdom for a horse,” despite the discovery of Richard III’s twisted bones under a parking lot. No one can deny that “Et tu, Brute!” is the essence of betrayal. Caesar had no Facebook on which to post his growing disillusionment with his friends and allies, nor could they share their own anxieties regarding the Noblest Roman of Them All. We can only guess at how everyone felt; we can’t live those emotions in all their excessive immediacy. Just as well, perhaps. The things we are forced to remember, we will continuously trace in lineaments of fire across the dark vault of our own skulls.
I’ve realized something else: Facebook expects us to preach to the converted. If one tries a brief row (no pun) against the prevailing current, there will always be some friend, or friend of a friend, armed with a heavy stone. I am too old for boulders. My path has been a succession of rapids, missteps and tree roots. A broken toe or two. Several rather unhappy detours. Facebook, however, is no longer one of those. I shall post photos there on occasion. I have lovely friends whose activities I shall continue to follow. I’ve met strangers whose presence immeasurably enriches my own. But still … but still …
Tone of voice is absent. One cannot post on such an entity as a social medium and communicate that essential element. For those who don’t know me in the flesh (sadly, more flesh now than in my younger days), the nuances of voice can’t be imagined. For those who do have personal acquaintance, it’s easier for them to “hear” the way I probably sound as I write/speak/post my ramblings and therefore, they better understand my intent. But between the dropped pebble and the pool’s ripple is a very wide stillness. At times, that stillness frightens me because others will try to fill it through pretense. They will assume they are privy to my own mind. This is the danger of sharing what one believes to be, if not true, at least fairly reasonable. Someone else is always poised with editorial pen ready, and eager to slash.
So I’ve withdrawn from that particular fray. As a photographer, I will continue to upload the odd image. Pictures are innocent of malice, and not capable of argument – we either like what we see, or we don’t, but we can’t very well debate the photographer’s right to his or her vision. As a member of a small but vibrant and much-cherished family, I shall keep viewing their videos, photos and news items – because we’re united in the mutual bonds of blood and/or kinship (not always the same thing). Remind me to write on the theme of adoption at some point.
At any rate: if you are reading this, you’ve followed me here or stumbled through my door and I’m immensely grateful. I hope you’ll come back. Ironically, I intend to share this link … with Facebook! This is my home now. I own it; I control what is here. Anyone is welcome to comment but ultimately, these walls are of my personal construction. Please be respectful of them, and of yourselves, and of each other. That is all I ask.
Whew, first post done?! That wasn’t so awful. I might come to like it here after all.