Wednesday, October 3, 2012

the gift of time starts now

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” – Henry David Thoreau


Sometime late 2005 I started a blog. It was a Blogger blog, like this one, with the exact same title.  It was fun, easy and an incentive to get creative again and hopefully start making some art on a somewhat consistent basis. Essentially, it was a semi-personal blog, much as it remains today, and it gave me the opportunity to write and post about what mattered to me, more than anything.  Along the way, I "met" many bloggers who have come and gone, and very few are still blogging today, as they did way back when. I managed to make lots of art too during this time, some of it bad, some of it good, some of it depending on how you looked at it. Still, it was better than nothing at all. Best of all, I met my wife through my blogging/creative journey.

How amazing it still is to me that one can now share and communicate with people from all over the world through the internet. This I don't ever take for granted, and for the most part, I've always tried to be mindful of what I put out there, hoping to contribute far more good than bad, more positive than negative, even if in the form of what could be described as the occasional rant.  However, despite this amazement, I've arrived at a crossroads of sorts, and have recently begun to reevaluate what it is to blog, and spend time on my computer(s). When I started blogging, it was much more casual, with the intention of using my personal time more wisely and focusing on what was important to me. I ditched the TV, which to this day I don't miss for a second, and started to art again. Fast forward to seven years later, almost to the day, and once again I find myself spending too many hours of my life and my precious time sitting in front of a screen, a different screen, and even standing in front of a screen, if you include my I-phone and I-pad. I recall a time, not so long ago, when this didn't exist in my life, and I was just as happy. 

Early last summer I had somewhat grandiose plans for selling and marketing my art. Not only would I blog or use Flickr, but like nearly everybody else, I'd get on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. I needed to "evolve", right? Wrong. The thought of spending more time online and less time actually living, truly living, as in looking around, walking around, seeing people and doing things, and talking to people without pushing buttons, made me sick to my stomach. That's when I knew it was time for a real change and a personal reevaluation. I found I was also at the point where I was making less art and posting more about art. Not good. Not for me at least.  

But, it's not just about art-making. I see too many people occupied with the little (or big) screen in front of them, immersed in virtual worlds and not with their actual surroundings, be it at home, while shopping, while eating, while in the company of others, and while driving.  I don't want to be one of those people, especially the last one. Yes, I learn a lot online, getting inspiration and gaining some fascinating new knowledge.  I also get sucked into some of the most inane mind-garbage set before my very eyes.  So, as I reach a crossroads and enter a new decade of my life today, I will also start to say no to my computer/internet more, and yes to the physical world a lot more.  I'm not scolding or trying to chastise those who think differently, though I think we could all definitely use some time looking away from our beloved screens, which in many ways have become the new adult pacifier, or even crack pipe for some.  As I enter a new decade in life, I'm going to leave the internet behind, for a while at least, and quit blogging for a year. It will be tough for me, 'cause I love to blog - to share my art and art by others, and to express my thoughts and how I feel about things that matter to me - things that I feel are often overlooked or neglected for what the popular culture machine thinks we should like or find important.  Who knows, I might return to blogging again in a year, and get hooked up with all the other accounts from the likes of  Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and even (gag) Facebook.  Then again, I might not. I will however continue, for the time being, to upload to my Flickr account, since I'm not planning on going completely Luddite on ya here.  In the meantime, I am extremely grateful to all of those folks, past and present, who, through blogging, encouraged, inspired, and even befriended me. There are still many good blogs out there and I'll continue to check them out on occasion, and I've discovered that while many have left the blogging platform to post at the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc, the quality of blogs and blogging has vastly improved.  Anyway, please enjoy my last Instagram pics/post, at least for a while, wish me luck and take care, wherever and whoever you may be.