Posted by: scintillatingspeck | November 14, 2015

Stumbling towards intimacy.


I haven’t called you all that blanket term in a while.  I haven’t had it in me.  I mean, I’ve had love in me, but I’ve been needing to burrow into a different heart-mind space for a while, something much more private and secluded.  For some reason, though, maybe just for right now, I feel like addressing you as loves, because I need to remember that we are not so far apart as it often seems.

I made a decision to activate the “publicize” feature on this WordPress blog, so that each time I publish a new post, it will automatically get posted to my Facebook page.  Why am I doing this now, especially since I did not cross-post many of my more recent blog posts?

You know it’s not just a technical issue to me, right?  I am in the throes of examining authenticity, intimacy, performance, trying very hard to penetrate the opacity of my needs.  Wow, that sounds so abstract.  It bothers me deeply.

I’ve been staying away from Facebook for the past several weeks.  I think I need to stay away longer.  I don’t know if I will be going “back”.  Why is this necessary?  What is so intensely troubling about Facebook?  Can I even begin to articulate it?

I think Facebook gives a dangerous illusion of presence.  For all I know, when people go to my Facebook page now, it’s as if I’m “there,” except I’m not.  There are several years’ worth of words, conversations, photos, poems, writings, a whole archive of self-ness.  Except that is an edited self.  Except that it enabled me to hide as much as (or more than?) it enabled me to reveal myself.  Except it was a huge diversion from the (messy and terrifying) project of interacting with people in my immediate surroundings.  Except it was eroding the intimacy I sought as my own personal grail.

I don’t even know if people realize I’m “gone.”  I feel like I need to put all these words in quotes, “back,” “there,” “gone,” because I don’t think Facebook is really a place.  I’m not sure what it is.  Yes, I have heard many arguments about how it increases contact and connection and blah blah blah.  Yes, I know that the people behind the profiles are real and that our relational bonds are real.  (For dog’s sake, I traveled 10,000 miles last year and proved it.)  I don’t know if most of those connections have any longevity in them, although to me this is not the ultimate measure of their worth.

I’ve been tired of maintaining a persona and her corresponding performance.  I’m not sure how much I am valued by acquaintances beyond my ability to entertain or provoke particular thoughts or feelings.  I’m pretty sure this is not exclusive to Facebook or even exclusive to relating via Internet, although the ability to edit so intensively seems to be a big hurdle to cultivating authenticity and even tolerance for one’s own, or others’, foibles or clumsiness.  I have tried to write in ways that feel radically vulnerable, only to feel that I might be wasting my breath, or that I might be making myself too vulnerable, or that writing itself might be a hurdle to being seen, known, understood, or loved.

Why, then, would I decide to keep writing on this blog, and even enable it to be automatically shared on Facebook?  What’s that about?

I think it comes back to loves.  I have never given up on love, self-love, love for you, love for crazy humans, love for living beings, love for earth, incomprehensible love, oceanic love, eccentric love, love that brilliantly defies any definition or structure we seek to impose upon it.  I’m just a fallible, deeply imperfect person, but I’m this conduit of love, and I think we all are, if we are honest with ourselves.  And what does my own river of love do?  It guides me where I need to go, whether it makes sense to me or not.  It wants to reunite with the sea.  It flows because it must.  It tells me, keep writing.  Keep communicating.  Don’t shut down.  Let people find you even if you need to insulate yourself from some of the sheer insanity and pain.  Don’t be dead.

It bothers me to think of people “liking” this post on Facebook, or commenting there, thinking I’m seeing it.  I’m not seeing it.  It probably doesn’t matter to them that I’m not seeing it.  Maybe what matters is only the illusion that they’re communicating with me.  I know I’ve said this a whole bunch of times, but I will repeat myself: if you want to communicate with me, YOU CAN.  Just don’t do it through Facebook.  There are people I know who will only communicate with me through Facebook.  It is hard to escape the conclusion that Facebook matters to them more than me.  Is that a far-fetched conclusion?  Not many people take another step and email me or contact me some other way.  I think most people would sooner let our entire connection drop than pursue a less convenient method of engagement.  I’m guessing three-quarters of my Facebook contacts have already forgotten I exist.

Does it matter?  I guess it matters only insofar as so much of my social existence revolved around Facebook for a significant chunk of time, and now I’m having to face into some withering social realities.  Most of it is so un-pretty, lonely, and sad.

Meanwhile, though, I am doing a ton of self-assigned homework.  Homework, home-work, work on my home, which is my heart.  I am reading about the social impacts of technology and social media.  I am thinking a lot and crying sometimes.  I am in contact with a few beloved people.  I’m giving my mind some space to range freely, ask questions, ask more questions, daydream, nightdream.  My process is not super-rational but more amorphous and non-linear.  Sometimes I think I’m crazy.  Sometimes I feel unbelievably desperate and anguished.  Sometimes I think I’m absolutely on the scent of my grail, which I’m sure is not an object but a living, pulsing Being, neither singular nor plural.



  1. Aloha, Jen. I don’t delude myself about the nature of social media. And yeah, people are forgotten very quickly there. Everything is.
    I don’t do email or text. My cell # is 8086400759 if you ever would like to call.

  2. it is good to hear your voice. yes, i am aware whether or not you are present here or on facebook. you have my email, phone number, as well 🙂 love you, jen ❤ marmar

    • I love you too, Mar. I will contact you a little later.

  3. Hey Jen. I was wondering why I hadn’t seen anything from you on fb. Your presence is missed. If this is a good place to contact you I can do that. You do matter much much more than fb. You are a friend in person and not just as a thing to click on. This I value. Stay well. Stay happy. Enjoy the changing seasons.

    L got L’s letter finally. It wound up at a neighbor’s and they dropped it off so a reply will soon be forthcoming.

    • Hi Chris, I’m so glad to be valued, and to value you as well. I will send you an email. Glad Lily’s letter arrived.

  4. Jen, you have offered a lot of love and conversation and authentic searching and thinking in that medium, even within it’s constraints and tendency toward triteness, cynicism, and sarcasm. It has been very valuable to me to interact with you and I notice your absence! I often think you are carrying too much of the burden in trying to understand how fb can be so ruinous to connection. I think many people have addictive behaviors around the medium, and you seem to be successfully negotiating the withdrawal period. Maybe because you are still actively questioning, which is hard work! Much love to you. XOXO Heather

    • Kinswoman Heather, there is much I want to respond to in what you wrote, and I will do that by email, a bit later. So much love.

  5. I’d never forget you, whether you’re on facebook or not. -Susan

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