I’ve been struggling to write lately. It’s partially because I’m struggling to find my ‘voice’ how I want to start this one sided conversation with you. I wish that you were here to share your opinions, but I’ll have to wait until we can meet again over coffee, our fervent banter possibly irritating the person next to us who is using the coffee shop as an office rather than a gathering place to share ideas. We don’t have to agree. It’s the bringing of different experiences to the table and the forward momentum working toward a grand solution that we will never realize that I miss. These conversations create blueprints to save the world, even if we only execute them in our daily interactions with others.
While acknowledging there are massive systemic and institutional issues in our society to be solved, the universe of internet conversation reminds me of ‘speakers corner’ in the northeastern section of Hyde Park in London where every sunday people climb up on soapbox pulpits and attempt to influence the masses. The internet has made us all ministers of our own philosophies and our language style has evolved to reflect that. We pontificate and confess, proclaim our humility and outrage, and participate in the ritualistic language of common phrases and symbols to ensure communion with our flock. We do it with every intention to keep people watching. We have all become stars in our personal reality tv shows where we control the narrative and weave our own mythologies.
It’s why I have retreated to the tangible world, keeping in touch with the very few I can share eye contact with, who can respond in real time with intonation, and most importantly, call me on my bullshit if necessary.
When ideas come flooding through my brain, there is a corresponding sensation throughout my body. I become critically aware of all my edges, imperfections, and ‘problem areas’. It’s as if my conviction of thought was directly tied to my physical structure and that I cannot trust my own conviction without being fully comfortable in my skin. There is always room for mistakes in this place. This is where self doubt lives. How can I trust my mind when I have little idea how my organs are doing? I know the punishment I’ve put them through over the last decade. I often assume they protest my attempt to get healthy as their form of mutually assured self destructive revenge. What about that fat around my belly and thighs? Surely I cannot trust my opinions of the world when I’ve never lived in it as the ideal form. Maybe my insecurities are why I am so critical rather than there being a problem. I am very possibly and likely the problem. With this knowledge of self, how could I get up on a soap box and declare things beyond my body as the problem to be solved? How can one really know anything? Our experiences are defined by the filters of our bodies which includes the synaptic reactions in our brain. But I digress.
I am fully aware of the hypocrisy of using the very platforms for this work that I criticise, especially since this likely comes across as a sermon, preaching to my own choir. I am the very thing I dislike. I wonder if social criticism can come across in any other way than pontificating. Could this format start a series of responses that aren’t comments on pages, but other creations with their own thesis. For my own rationalization, I see these as visual diaries rather than speeches. I make them for myself and hope that maybe someone will get something out of them. They are not overly produced because I’m not performing. They are more of a record of where I am and how I’m trying to keep moving forward.