While my body was busy folding clothes the other day and not letting my brain think about it, for fear my brain would direct my body to more cerebrally pleasing tasks, my brain wandered to thoughts of the internet. The topic kept my brain busy enough to fold and put away several loads of clothes. An interesting thought occurred to me as I crossed the floor to my dresser: while I was away from the internet, the internet was still there. Well, duh, rather obvious; but the thought gave me pause.
You see, I'm back on the internet. I held out for four months, and it was a wonderful four months, but I felt a strong urge to come back to my beloved community, and to this space that's all my own. I began to feel like a knitter without yarn, a painter without a brush, a photographer without - you get the picture. Font, pixel, html, http - this is my medium. The internet is a tool in my workshop, but a tool that can both help and hinder my work.
I wonder what other people are working on, and the tool in my studio allows me to see. Oh you magical and devious internet. You promise inspiration and encouragement, but you have a dark side - distraction and envy. Yes, envy. I hate to admit it, but the more time I spend online, the less content I become with my own work and accomplishments.
Ooh, look at that picture she took. Maybe I need a better camera.
A book deal? I want one of those too.
She knit how many sweaters? Let me stop what I'm doing and cast on.
52 books in 52 weeks sounds like a fun project. Kids, let's go to the library.
I wonder why she didn't mark me as a contact too. Are my pictures not good enough?
There's a fine line between feeling inspired and motivated by creative people and losing my own creative vision in their shadow.
The speed at which things happen on the internet is another distraction to my work. Flickr is aptly named: a brief movement, a tremor, a slight sensation. Everything is instant, what is new becomes old a second after it's uploaded. There's no time to savor, to digest - there's only consumption. During my break, I realized I'd rather be consumed by another instant event: life. It's filling, inspiring, distracting, immediate, hard, enough.
Aidan dished up his own bowl of soup last night and proceeded to scoop the veggies back into the pot. "I only want the breath," he said.
As my children get older, I appreciate their mispronunciations even more. I knew exactly what he meant. I just want the breath too. My challenge is skirting around the contents of the pot to get what I want. Veggies are good for you and tasty too, but sometimes you just want the nourishment of the medium in which they float.
Just the breath.