Posted by: scintillatingspeck | October 31, 2015


What is the appropriate use of a blog?  of Facebook, or social media in general?  of any platform that is public or semi-public?  What is public?  Is “public” or “private” a well-defined thing?  Which boundaries are sensible to maintain, and which are pleading to be dismantled?

These questions are much on my mind lately, as I’ve been abstaining completely from Facebook, putting somewhat more energy into blogging, and thinking a lot about what I need in terms of self-expression and intimate connection.  The question of propriety seems pretty key to moving forward with a harmonious use of technology, rather than feeling harmed or victimized by it.  I know if I’ve been feeling victimized, I have to ask myself: what can I do to see what part I’ve played in this, and to give myself agency and empowerment to change things?

Propriety is a term I ordinarily have a hard time with; for me it conjures up images of ladies in white gloves, with prim little purses, legs crossed, looking down their noses at wild-haired, wind-blown, scandalous me.  I will never be proper, of course.  I don’t want to be.  But I do want to be as free and relaxed and effectively functioning as possible, for my sake and Lily’s and all those we care about, and so it seems imperative to deeply question what conditions are necessary for fostering well-being.  I want to understand if there is an appropriate way for me to approach technology, and I realize it’s not limited just to Facebook or blogging, but extends to writing in general, or how I present myself to the world at large, sometimes to the exclusion of presenting myself to individual people, if that makes sense.  (And yes, I’m going to let that clunky sentence stand, as a spiritual practice.)

(As an aside: I have to laugh at myself, heartily.  I had no idea I was going to write that.  None.  But it makes such sense.  On the surface of my mind was the thought that I would post a photo of Lily in her Spider Queen finery, and maybe write about the dream I had last night that I was back at the Castle at Nobles and my bike was stolen, and what the heck that might be about.)

Mostly I don’t want to draw hard lines about propriety.  I feel like much of my life is an experiment in pushing the edges of conventional propriety.  At the same time, I’m keenly invested in clarifying what constitutes behaving with integrity as well as living sanely.  Right now, it feels most sane for me to keep avoiding Facebook; to contact people on an individual basis, and remind them that they can contact me, too (yes, you can, at scintillatingspeck [at] gmail [dot] com, or other means that we can discuss); to keep writing in ways that feel appropriately vulnerable and not leaving me feeling hollow; and to keep seeking out intimate connection in the ways and places where it’s most likely to manifest.

Okay, I will still post a photo of the Spider Queen.  This photo was taken yesterday, just before we went to a party, where we were fed in body and soul.

Lily the Spider Queen

Lily the Spider Queen



  1. Thanks, Jen and Lily! Next year I will be a Grandmother Spider Queen!

    • We’d love a picture of you as Grandmother Spider Queen, Patty.

  2. I worried a lot about propriety for much of my life and it’s really not worth it. Just do what you want to do and invest in Lilly and friends that are close by doing the best you can. All us virtual people are primarily in your mind our judgments are yours. It’s hard for me to let you know what I’m thinking here. I’m not very good with words but what I’m trying to say is don’t be worried or concerned about the judgments that are dumped on you I don’t know I’m not making any sense. Even to myself and I know what I mean. You’re doing fine. Hugs and kisses love you you’re great

    • Thanks, Keith. I appreciate your support and affection. “Don’t worry” makes sense to me.

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