“I didn’t have a feeling about it, one way or the other, enough to click ‘like’ on it.”My Morning Journal 11/13/22
I’m asking today’s question at the beginning for a change.
Do you ever read a friend’s post, and simply skip over the anymore-mostly-obligatory click on some sort of throw-away affirmation of what they were saying? I don’t mean a well-thought-out comment; I mean just a thumbs-up. Not even a heart, or the heart’s weak sauce cousin the heart hug. Not the shock face, or the single tear face, or even the orange constipated face, but just an OG, pre-2016, barely a nod in the middle of a real-life conversation, thumbs up?
Okay, tell me if you’ve ever done this.
You’re dutifully doom-scrolling through your morning social media feed when, not because of some algorithm-busting presets, but just because this is where they come up in your seemingly random news feed, you see a post by a friend. Not a friend in internet name only, but, regardless of how you acquired them, online or in real life, an actual friend. And you read what it was they felt compelled to say, and you feel no corresponding compel to say… anything. More than that, you not only feel no “amen” or “atta-person”, no long-form affirmation or adjunct thought, not even a lean in the direction of a fucking emoji.
You just scroll on by.
So have you ever asked yourself, “Why?” I did, this morning. I scribbled a couple of paragraphs about it, and what I got was the philosophical equivalent of the OG, blue thumbs up emoji, or every Joey Tribbiani reply at the end of a Chandler Bing soliloquy. What I got was,
“I got nuthin’.”
I feel like Camus would be proud.
But more than the nuthin’ was a deeply philosophical something, that upon further review, I realized was the affect of every November spent blogging on the daily, and from which I have never NOT felt so much THIS SOMETHING that I couldn’t blog again, except in rare instances, for a whole ‘nother year, or in my present November, it’s been two years.
That something I feel is… empty.
Empty. Not burnt out, not disinterested, not inferior, just empty. But, in the short time it took for me to recognize empty for what it was, I also experienced what empty has always done for my writing. Empty has always freed my writing to not be so caught up in every other thought that I can’t experience creative thoughts of my own. So for now, I’m going to run with it. This post came from empty. A seed for a poem that will be written soon also came from the very same empty.
I am creating from empty.
Although, and tell me if this is not something you maybe experience, too, that empty in the long-term really sucks. Like bleak, gray skies, sunset at just after 4 o’clock in the afternoon, SUCKS, and no one should have to handle too much of it, because anything that touches the void so fully needs to be gotten away from just as soon as it can be, for your own good, and the good of everyone else your social media profile calls, friend.
So I’ll be here, touching the void like palming a basketball, for another 18 days after this. And then I’ll be done for a while, immersing myself in whatever is the equivalent of most other people’s requests to “send cat pictures”.
But please don’t send me cat pictures.
And I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
This raises interesting questions for me. For me, I am increasingly clear by the day that I DGAF about how things transpire on social media. If I interact with something online, it is to say, “Something about this will help me better navigate through the real world.” I am not otherwise moved by to or to use these digital signs. This is all just practice for the real world, for me, where I experience truer acts of meaning and connection occurring.
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I think that’s what I like about Pepper Season honestly. The empty. The rest of the year it’s so easy to get caught up in “I can’t write because I have nothing to write about”. I still don’t, but I can write. And like Janelle’s post recently said (breakingmoulds. com), it’s that type of practice that really shakes the cobwebs off finishing something. It doesn’t surprise me that my books were done the year after each +successful+ NanoPoblano. Sometimes you need to run things to empty so it can clean itself out. Fill it a bit, empty it a bit, and repeat. Until it’s all clear.
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I felt so empty and exhausted I took a covid test. It’s negative. Tis the season and yay for vaccines/boosters. And yes I have not responded to some friends’ posts, but I didn’t explore the why. I figured it just didn’t click and that was okay.
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I used to be very picky about giving out likes. A friend of mine was the opposite. He’d give them out just to be nice. I’m not sure all this thumbs up stuff is healthy. In fact, I think it’s probably pretty unhealthy. But here I am doing it. I just liked your post. Ha!
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