Posted by: scintillatingspeck | November 17, 2015

Audience.

I was thinking today: it seems that an audience is not what I want or need.  Removed, out there, faceless, watching.  Disengaged.  Examining me like an object, a curiosity.  Expecting to be passive.  I think, at least for now, I don’t want to set myself up as a performer.  The words “attention whore” come to mind—I don’t think it’s wrong to need some attention, but some kinds seem preferable to others, “others” being “stuff that makes me feel like a consumable object, a commodity, a depersonalized achievement machine.”  Have I been an attention whore?  Probably.

I need people in my life who want to engage with me.  I need people who feel some resonance with my ideas and sentiments, and respond.  It doesn’t mean that anyone will automatically show up with any consistency just because I say “I need this,” but it seems important to legitimize it to myself.  I need people who want the same thing.

I would like to recognize the people who have spoken and written with me of late.  You make me feel like a human.  It means everything to me that you took the time to write an email, or a comment, or talked to me on the phone, or visited with me, or made plans with me and Lily.  Please don’t stop.  I’ll keep doing my best not to stop, either.  Thank you for seeing me.  Thank you for letting me see you.  There are long gaps of loneliness in between points of connection and it’s easy for me to lose track of where we are—I start believing I’m more alone than I am in actuality.  I try to re-read your words and recall spoken phrases that are especially consoling, and/or especially real.

 

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Responses

  1. “Audience.
    by scintillatingspeck
    I was thinking today: it seems that an audience is not what I want or need. Removed, out there, faceless, watching. Disengaged. Examining me like an object, a curiosity. Expecting to be passive. I think, at least for now, I don’t want to set myself up as a performer. The words “attention whore” come to mind—I don’t think it’s wrong to need some attention, but some kinds seem preferable to others, “others” being “stuff that makes me feel like a consumable object, a commodity, a depersonalized achievement machine.” Have I been an attention whore? Probably.

    I need people in my life who want to engage with me. I need people who feel some resonance with my ideas and sentiments, and respond.”

    I like how you are testing the parameters of connection, Jen.

    We never would be anything to each other were it not for Facebook, but the best part of the mutual alivenesalivenesesssess we’ve shared (Lily too), has been outside of Facebook.

    I likes it. And yes,the scrunchy hugs are the best.

    • I’m glad about all the people I’ve met through Facebook, but I’ll confess I feel reluctant to meet any more people who are far away.

  2. Connecting with words is a tricky thing. Storyteller, poet, writer–all have an audience. Conversations are more balanced. But is there a desirable aspect of written work that is ill-preserved by one-on-one communication? The concrete nature of it, the durability, the repeat-ability of experience when one revisits a favorite work, connecting, even with authors distant or long dead. Or is an ephemeral moment of heart-to-heart communion what you’re looking for? The necessity of response? (Very thought-provoking.)

    • I don’t think “audience” is always necessarily a bad thing—I was concentrating more on what I need right now. To me the word “audience” implies distance and a lack of direct engagement. So, yes, heart-to-heart communion feels more important to me right now.

      As for what is durable and what is ephemeral… I do think there’s a strong drive in us humans to create things that will outlive us. I think we’re well-served in confronting our death fears and accepting that everything is ephemeral.

  3. You don’t know what an attention whore is until you’ve spent a day with my Boovus.
    But seriously, yeah, I get it. And I know for a fact that I’ve been one on facebook, that I *like* the “audience.” I’m shameless. But I get plenty quality human contact in my real little world too. And I never know when that state can turn serendipitous like this morning. I walked to a Starbucks to wait out my wife’s DR appt. There were two guys at a window table engaging in a spirited discussion about life. I was right there and they seemed very open, so at an appropriate turn in the conversation I said something and they began interacting with me just like they had one another. We talked story and philosophized, solved the world’s problems. Then it was time to head back to the DR’s office. We said our goodbyes and it was obvious that we all had taken a liking to each other. I felt good from the encounter.
    You’re right about the limitations of social media, Jen. It’s hard to tell sometimes how things really are. For instance, I felt like during our phone confab the other day, we connected much more fully than we ever could on facebook.
    Aloha

    • I would love to spend a day with Boovus!

      I like hearing about your serendipitous meeting of the minds and solving the world’s problems at the coffee shop.

      It was great talking with you on the phone, Randle. (And I don’t say that lightly, because I have some serious phone-avoidance issues. Maybe I’m learning to get over it.)


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