Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Sound Of Silence

Lately you've probably noticed, or maybe you haven't, because such is the way of the internets, that I've been in a little bit of blogging slump. Not by quantity, but by how downcast I may have seemed. I've kept up my posting pace, but this space has become a little desolate.

Back in February, I said I envisioned myself scribbling away in this, by then obsolete format, well into my old age, or at least many years to come, but lately I've been experiencing a strange fatigue associated with it.
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Writing here has seemed like a chore, not an inspired thing. A big part of it might be the summer, which always taps my creative energies, but there are other more permanent seeming factors.

In the last year a lot of people, actual people, not bloggers, with whom I've grown close to over the years have, for one reason or another, seized to be active in our little circle of logs. At one time, I couldn't have imagined stopping this hobby partly because I would never want to lose the close connections I've had the good luck and utter pleasure of forming as a result of it. But talking to Missa, my oldest internets friend this spring, it occurred to me that those connections aren't going anywhere now. These folks are part of my life, they're friends not just blog-friends.

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I asked Missa if she missed it, blogging, because I certainly miss having that connection to her life as it is; what her and Clover are doing, what's growing in her garden, and yeah, what she's wearing. But even as I formed the question, I realized that I already sort of knew the answer. Blogging, so intimately connected to our lives, inner and outer, is just a medium. When you're not doing it, you don't miss it, just like while you're camping you don't miss facebook. Or at least I never have. It dawned on me then that if I was to quit doing this, I could probably just walk away and never look back.

There's a sense of freedom in that.


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In the beginning, I wrote for myself. Then for myself and my friends. There was a small, lively conversation going on. Then I discovered that there are hundreds, almost a thousand of you. I was amazed, a little terrified. Suddenly, I felt way more responsible and accountable for what I said here.

In the last six months, I've also had a few, perfectly lovely, encounters with total strangers that knew a lot about me. It was the most unsettling feeling. As I said before, in order to keep writing I pretend that the only ones reading are the small circle of commentators  A lot of those friends whom I pictured I was writing for are no longer part of the conversation here.  Instead it feels like there's a lot more silent strangers. Lovely, like-minded, but strangers all the same.

I mean this in the nicest possible way. I appreciate all of my readers and in no way want to demand that you must make yourselves known. Every week I get gorgeous, generous emails from you guys, unveiling yourselves in the sweetest possible way. There's a many a blog I read in the same manner. But in the absence of those core folks who keep the conversation going, I suddenly feel apprehensive of who might be reading, of whom I actually am writing to. I'm realizing I enjoyed the exchange as much as the expression.

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This summer writing my Sisyphean clothes post and a related post on feminism, I've uncovered a deep uneasiness with some of the very things I'm involved in because of this blog; our society's perpetual, virtual self-obsession, the narrowing of women's lives to "lifestyles", the blurring between selves and self-branding.

This past weekend Nichole and her beau J, visited us and of course, like all the good kids of the internets-era (and bloggers) we got onto the topics of blogging and social media. Being a few years younger than me and living in an urban environment they had rather interesting and different points to make from my own.

Not living under a blanket of cellphone coverage, the whole smartphone, always hooked into the internets phenomenon has been a rather abstract one for us. It's certainly unsettling to go to the city and see people completely unable to put their phones down, to see friends scanning their screens even as you're trying to talk to them, or worse, steal surreptitious glances at them, the true sign of addiction. But what really troubles me is not the time that folks seem to spend on the internet, but what it is they do while they're there (and believe me the internet is a place that we go, quite apart from our physical reality).

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Smartphones have gone hand in hand with two things in my mind: reduction and distraction. The reduction is what people do; they scan facebook, check instagram and twitter feeds. They don't necessarily read or look at pictures. Instragram (from my very limited experience of it) reduces reality into a stream of images. A well-curated, lovely-hued images, but images without much text, or context to accompany them either way. In the scant year or so that this phenomenon has existed, it's actually completely altered our perception of visual pleasure. Twitter reduces complex thought and political argument to 140 characters. It may have been magical at Tahir Square, or Zuccotti Park, but most of its power lays in dumbing down complex concepts. And we all know what facebook reduces social interaction to.

As Nichole pointed out, there's a popularity contest element to these medias. The more people like your post, the cuter, the wittier, the more insightful, or inspirational it is. The more people read your blog, the more worthy it is. The more people re-tweet you, the cleverer your quip.

And it's not ever like, "Oh I got ten "likes" today, I'm good. I guess I'll close facebook!". In these spaces we share with the expectation of quick gratification through approval of our chosen peers.

We perpetually scan the internet in the hopes of stimulation that never quite satisfies us. No amount of cute, filtered photos, of funny animal videos, of short, sharp political japes can ever truly be enough.

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According to some researchers and thinkers this scanning habit is actually affecting how our brains work. The more we do it, the more it becomes how we do things. The advent of instant access to internet has began to make reading long chunks of text obsolete. I mean, stop and think about it for a minute: Did you start reading this piece from the beginning? Did you scan through it first? Were you about to click away, satisfied with the calmness of my images, when some sentence caught your attention? Do you have multiple windows open right now? Did you click back and forth to any of the links?

I don't know about you, but it now takes me little while to get into a book at night. Or to focus on that NY times mag article online. There's an itch I can't quite scratch. A phantom limb getting ready to do something else.

I'm a word girl. Hundred-and-forty characters does nothing for me. But word girls are becoming obsolete on the internet. More and more we are all after beautiful images conveying stories, inspirational sayings, uplifting paragraphs.

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I've gotten so much from this hobby over the five and a half years of doing it. Friends, bosom buddies, ideas, creative satisfaction. I've grown to love photography. I've chronicled my married life. No small things.

In the last few months, large, life-chaning, amazing things have been happening to our family. We're in the process of changing how we do things and a lot of these changes are stirring, creative. Art projects have taken over creative real estate from this blog and life situations that I don't feel I report here have made it difficult for me to chronicle my emotions and excitement honestly.

Blogging was what kept me writing during a year in 2011, when I gave myself a break from fiction.  For someone who's always worked on writing, taking that year off from it due to lack of inspiration (and severe health issues) was rather big deal. But it was also the most liberating thing I've ever done. Saying that the one constant in my life didn't define me as a person. And it made me realize how much writing really is a part of me and in fact made me a better writer. Both here, and eventually on paper, when one morning I sat down and wrote fifteen pages of a story in one sitting.

The thing is, I had to step away from it to see what it really meant to me.
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In so many ways blogging has been a natural continuum of expression for the zine-maker, teenage school-newspaper-taker-over, penpal hoarder, the one time early-adapter side of myself.

Introverts (something I wouldn't have known I was were it not for this blog) communicate through writing. And writing is by-and-large no longer the language of blogs. Dashes, paragraphs, measured characters and captions are...
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I guess what I'm realizing, is that perhaps I've changed, my circumstances have changed and that this medium too has changed, and those changes may not have been compatible. Don't let's get melodramatic. I'm not saying goodbye. I'm just saying "I gotta go into the other room to think some things through.", or maybe that old introvert adage "I love you, but I have to go be alone now."
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I love you. But I have to go be alone now. For a while.

66 comments:

  1. I'm sure I speak for all of your readers, when I say that you will be missed, for your lovely words and photos, and I always enjoy seeing what you are wearing, of course :)

    I have never used Twitter, I used Instagram for just a very short couple of months, and I excused myself from Facebook back in January of this year. I now feel better about my life than I had in the years I was on. Its a curious thing, revealing yourself to the world, without knowing who is looking. It carries a certain weight.

    Being a fellow introvert, I wholeheartedly feel your desire/need to be alone for a while, it can be intensely healing and inspiring. For that reason, I think it is especially important in those transitional times. I am in one myself, and happily trying to figure out which direction my life is headed. I know big changes are upon me, but do not yet know what they are....and I know that in my quiet time I am paying attention.

    So, go off and be merry, enjoy the approaching autumnal season, and be well.

    PS. I love the photo of blackberry (?) picking...I lived up on the redwood coast in California for a number of years and I remember my stained, scratched, satisfied hands savoring a fresh pie or jam.

    Thanks :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment. It's interesting to me how few comments came forth here arguing otherwise about social media, I expected more of a backlash, or at least a lively debate. Perhaps there is something in the air, a general fatigue with these forms of media.

      I decided to take a four day brake from the internet (with a few forays to check the weather and important emails) and found it completely relaxing, being away from the constant chatter that has appear. When I initially wrote this it didn't occur to me that truly the talk of facebook (let alone the other constantly updated media i'm not part of) infringes on one's times alone.

      On the one hand, this is a really good method of communication for introverts, on another the internet increases our time with the influence of others in our lives. I feel like I've learned a lot.

      Hope your fall is swell and thank you for reading and your support. I wish you such luck and blessings in your coming adventures. Change is good, change is grand ;)

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  2. do what you need of course, but i hope you will be back at some point. your blog always feels like a little window into another, really lovely world.

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    1. Thanks Karen. I think I'm making my way back. It might be a long, circuitous route though. Happy fall, thank you for reading and for your support. It's nice to know sweet folks are out there (here).

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  3. I know that if you are not posting I will miss your words most of all. People keep talking about the death of blogs, and so on, but it's all a matter of choice. I, for one, will certainly keep on reading if you decide to keep on writing! Anyway, I don't comment often here (sometimes though!), but I thought I'd say hello today and wish you well in whatever changes you are making. Thank you for all the lovely posts down through the years!

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    1. I think you're right. It is a matter of choices, perhaps in the coming years blogs will emerge from the void as the alternative media once more, this time to the microblogging world. I would certainly enjoy that. Of course I want to say that my bias towards instagram, twitter and even pinterest (it sounds like useful-but not something I need as a part of my already interne-saturated life) and whatever other media of that ilk the developers of the world will be throwing at us, is just that a bias; born out of living in the boonies and not even having access to it. Lord knows if I lived in the city maybe I'd be instragramming my macaroons like nobody's business.

      Thank you for your readership, your thoughts and encouragement. Happy Fall! I promise I'll see you soon.

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  4. I just wanted to say hi, even if the timing sucks. Long time reader (2009), scarce or no comments. Perhaps because I would feel like an intruder in your circle of close-knit friends. And part because of laziness and that strange detachment the internet brings with it! Anywho, my name is Moa and I live on the Swedish west coast in Malmö, I'm a freelance writer & translator. Reading your posts often makes me happy, and sometimes thoughtful. Most of all I often wish more blogs were like yours. Kind in tone but honest. You do so fill a gap in the interweb. But this is not to beg you to stay, since I very well understand the importance of being alone sometimes. I just wanted to say hello and that this stranger will miss you.

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    1. That is the sweetest thing you could have possibly said. I know i've sen a comment from you before and I thank you for it. I'm sorry to hear (not just from you) that we seem like some sort of cool (presumptuous much, me? ;) girls clique and certainly want everyone to know that those friendships grew very organically and over time and have shifted and changed as we've gained folk. Which is one of the things I love about this medium.

      In no way was this post meant as an attack on folks who don't comment, it's just that lately I've been discovering how many readers I actually have and it's really freaked me out a little.

      I really appreciate all you guys tho. Like I said earlier this year, we're all kindred spirits in one way or another, I'm sure.

      Take good care dear, stranger no more. Happy Fall Min Svensk Vän!(Good my Swedish is so rusty! I couldn't figure out how to spell kompis. What a cadet...)

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  5. reading this post (from beginning to end, no furtive glances to other windows)gave me a lump in my throat. i love this blog, it's what inspired me to start my own, and i would miss it dearly if future posts dwindled away to silence. i understand your feelings about the burden or responsibility or just exposed feeling of writing to so many anonymous people. i would feel the same, in fact i do even with my little blog corner. i second what someone already mentioned, sometimes i refrain from joining the comment thread because i feel like i might be intruding on a tight-knit group of friends, like i'm walking up to the table where the really fun, smart, cool girls in the school cafeteria sit; not jut to ask if i can sit down, but to butt in on their conversation. i suppose that's just my own residual insecurities that i should overcome (as a freshman in high school i chose to sit outside every day of the year with my closest friend rather than face the social hell of the lunch room). anyway, thanks for starting this blog, it really got me through the last three years while i was away from home in a big city and feeling a distinct lack of belonging. your blog was my special little window into the part of the country i call home, and the lifestyle i would love to someday have. and as wonderful as your photos are, your words were what really gave me a feeling of connection. thanks so much, milla, and take all the time you need, but i really hope we hear from you again! -claire

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    1. Oh hon, you're too kind. And I really am sorry if it seems like our little circle seems exclusive at all, it's never been like that, but we have all known each other for a long time now so I guess it just follows that we sound like a group of old buds. You're so welcome to our table anytime girl. And I mean what I said over at your log the other day: Let's make this a real life friendship now that you're back in the PNW.

      Thank you for reading, for your encouragement and your comments and know that the feeling is mutual, I really enjoy your log and feel a twinge of pride that I could have anything to do with you starting that sweet thing!

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  6. Milla I love you.
    You are such a mirror for myself.
    I look forward to deepening our friendship in years to come.
    I'm in my cabin now, my first night alone from Weston, sitting down for writing, my introverted self sighing in great great relief.
    I too, look forward to winter.
    Thanks for this post. I had a similar revelation on my trip to CA. For years I wanted a blog, and now that I've done it for 6 months, I'm ready to quit. Not b/c of anything, but rather, like you said, it's just one form to convey what I want to convey, and that, really my life is not necessarily better for it. Like this zen saying from a children's book I love, "there's always the moon."
    THANK YOU for your words. Every single one.

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    1. Thank you for your words Eleanor. I look forward to getting to know you better too irl. And checking out your blog too. Blogging is a curious thing, right? It's harder to do than one might think.

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  7. Milla,
    Of course you need to do what you've got to do, and as a fellow introvert I completly understand the need to be alone. Go do that. But I just can't shut up and agree with what you wrote. I'm sorry, I guess I need to rant a little because I'm getting incredibly annoyed by people blaming Internet/Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/blogs for everything. Usually I read your posts and think "This girl is so wise, I wish I was so wise" but I cannot agree with you on this one.

    Here's the deal: I live in a big city (it's Polish-big, not American-big, mind you), in the very center of it at that and I love it. I own a smartphone. I've got a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts. I'm an introvert, avid reader and a writer, both professionally and for my own pleasure. Did I read this piece from the beginning? Yes. Did I scan through it first? No, why would I do it? I don't scan a book or a film, there are spoilers! Was I about to click away satisfied with pictures? No. Do I have a multiple windows open right now? Yup, it's my to-read-before-work list. Did I click back and forth to any of the links? No.

    Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and blogs are tools and are what people make of them. Perhaps most of 15-years-olds don't make anything reasonable with them but I'm not 15 years old. I'm 31. I read books from cover to cover and don't skip the describtions. I read your posts, sometimes two or even three times if something makes me thinking. I like to think of Instagram in the same terms as I think of an art gallery (art gallery is a series of pictures without context too, right?) and follow people who curate them to my liking. On Twitter I choose the accounts that share interesting links or post funny comments and admire their ability to word them so scarcely and precisely. Political discussions on Twitter? That's just silly. But jokes or poetic impressions - why not? Haikus have only 3 verses and it's the restrictions that make them beautiful.
    And last but not the least - the blogs. You admit that introverts are people who communicate through writing and reading and there are up to 40% of us. You admit there are thousands of people reading your blog, and I can bet they're not doing it for the pictures (pictures are much easier obtained on Instagram and Pinterest) and yet you claim that Internet is no place for words? Thousands of people read articles much longer than your posts published on digital versions of newspapers and magazines, clever, smart, wonderful people who know that Twitter is good for fun and play but if one wants to analyze or describe something complex, one needs more than 140 characters.
    So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I completly understand the need for privacy and being alone and recharging and resting. I'm going to miss reading about your small green island in my big grey city. But saying that Internet has no place for words anymore is like reading "Twilight" and "50 shades of Grey" and saying that novels have no sense anymore. Internet is a vast place and there's place for many amazing things in there, pictures and words and vdeos and sounds and ideas, good or bad. The fact that you have readers that are not your close friends and family proves that there is a need for words and even more specifically - your words. So I really hope to hear from you again.

    a.

    P.S. As I said I own a smartphone but I rarely check it. I wouldn't give it up, though, because there's google maps on it and it's a magical thing that makes me get to places on time and not get hopelessly lost all the time. I love my smartphone for that. And also, it plays audiobooks.

    P.P.S. What is sad is that just recently I was thinking that your recent posts are sort of short and not really your style, but maybe it's the summer getting to you and surely there will be more wonderful, thoughtful posts once the autumn/winter comes. I'm going to miss you!

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    1. Part 1 of giant comment:

      Thank you for your thoughts, dear A, I'm glad to count you as a reader! Let it be known I never ever expect people to shut up and agree with me, in fact I much prefer a lively debate ;) And your words are very wise. Not to mention thoughtful and interesting. In fact, I'm kind of surprised that more people didn't argue for these media, microblogging in particular. Hopefully it doesn't seem like I'm too judge-y to listen.

      I have to say though, that while I actually agree with you to a degree and certainly think that you seem like a smart, maybe even exceptional online media user, I ultimately also have to disagree with you (we can always just agree to disagree, right ; ).

      Perhaps in this piece I've mixed in too many ideas of how our society functions right now, with my experience, and that muddled the issue. I certainly never meant to blame my readers for not reading. I have, however, perceived something in people's social media/online behavior lately that I took to correlate with my experience here on blog.

      Allow me to try to clarify, if I can...

      The issue, for me, is two-fold; for a while now, ever since blogging went commercial, glossed-over, I've thought of myself and others who write in similar topics, or similar ethics, as the alternative to that. The alternative users of this complicated media, if you will. The point that there needs to be counterforce, has been argued by quite a few kind friends who read this blog. Obviously there's a lot of us out there (here) who think that there needs to be a multitude of expression online.
      New, thoughtful, wordy blogs are born (and die) every day.


      HOWEVER, a media is shaped by all of it's users, it's majority, just as a culture is shaped by itself as a whole. The changes in social media use do in fact effect all of its facets. The fact that more people read "Twilight" than, say "Vampires In The Lemon Grove" does in fact say something about our literary culture, and even our culture at large. Now, obviously that doesn't mean at all that we should just all pick up some "Twilight" books, or stop reading altogether, but it should give us pause about where we are at as a culture.

      Many people I've encountered here in the US and (and in my last visit to Finland too), use their smartphones in a way that I find alienating and unhealthy. I'd say, based on random sampling that they do in fact represent "most people who use smartphones", just as I'd feel confident to say that most blogs aimed at a female audience don't represent the values I believe in. Just because there are smart users and dissenters doesn't seem a strong enough argument to me for there not being a problem in our society, one that affects all of us, whether or not we are users or bloggers ourselves. It should go without saying that you can have a smartphone and be a serious reader, or that you can blog about clothes and be a serious feminist. But it also goes without saying that that doesn't mean that a majority of people who use those tools or do those things, are.

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    2. part 2 of giant comment:

      What gives me pause is that I suddenly find myself a part of a culture who's values I'm not sure I agree with any longer. It's not enough for me to say that I disagree with the sponsored blogs and the carefully curated visual pleasure that passes for self-expression around most parts of the internet, especially in Instagram. I have to actually look at my place, however small, in it. That's just who I am. A someone who's a tiny bit stuck-up and self-serious about what I commit myself to.

      This is particularly important to me, because a big part of why I've grown to love this media and make it a part of my life, is because it's a decidedly unserious venue for women in particular to express things our society typically scorns, also known as "girly shit". Another part of why I need to take this brake to think about my blogging habits is that I've started to feel like I can't post what I want anymore. Initially I was drawn to some of the very same frivolous aspects of blogging that have since morphed into the culture of curated outfit shots and the "cult of cute" and now I feel like neither my serious posts, nor the more journaling and artistic aspects of this blog are in the balance I'd like it to be. Certainly I never want to feel like I can't post short and sweet and silly if I feel like it.

      Another piece, obviously, is that we all seem to spend a little too much time online lately and this is true for me too. I've been taking time to reassess how much time I actually spend online.

      Blogging, feminism and new media are big pieces to swallow and digest, I need time to check myself on where I actually stand on all this stuff. Remember, stuck-up and self-serious ;)

      Thank you again for being a reader, for taking the time to stir up some thought and for advocating for smart use of these crazy scifi parts of our world! I look forward to further discussion. Lots of love and magic into your city life!

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  8. Täällä kivitalojen ympäröimänä, Helsingin merenrantojen tuulessa ajattelen toisinaan sitä kun tupsahdit tänne. Joku jonka tuntee tavasta kirjoittaa.Tuntematon tuttu toiselta puolelta maailmaa. Samat kirjat, sama estetiikka, tuttuus ja silti vieras. Kuinka on liikuttunut, samaistunut, elänyt mukana, lukemiensa rivien välissä. Hassua lohtua ajatuksesta, kuinka erilaista olisi ollut teininä jos olisi tuntenut sellaisen tytön kuin sinä. Jälkiterapiaa.
    Tavattuani uskalsin kommentoida, siihen asti olin vain hiljainen lukija, tuntui liian henkilökohtaiselta tuppautua. Mitä ajattelisitkaan jos mainitsisin kuinka samoin ajattelen, kuinka samanlaiset asiat ovat olleet ja ovat tärkeitä ja läheisiä. Kuulostaisiko se kornilta, häiriköinniltä. Kuka oikein kuvittelen olevani. Piti kysyä joltakulta miten voin kommentoida, en osannut, tietokoneet ovat vielä vähän pelottavia kynän ja paperin lapselle.
    Tulee ikävä, on niin tottunut, oppinut odottamaan seuraavia sanoja. Olen nytkin huolestunut, ajattelen kuulostavani joltain hullulta stalkkerilta.
    Ihanaa omaa aikaa sinulle, vapautta olla, ajatella, tehdä.

    "Alastomat puut seisovat talosi ympärillä
    ja päästävät ilmaa ja taivasta sisään määrättömästi,
    alastomat puut astuvat alas rantaan
    ja katsovat kuvaansa vedestä.
    Vielä leikkii lapsi syksyn harmaassa savussa
    ja tyttö kulkee kukkia kädessään
    ja taivaanrannalla
    kimpoavat ilmaan hopeanvalkoiset linnut."

    (Edith Södergran, Syksy)

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    1. Rakas Maria, sinun tapaaminen on kyllä tämän tytön vuoden juttujen listakärjessä. Aina kun sulta tulee kommentti niin tulee semmonen olo että me taidetaan olla sukulaissieluja (ihana suomenkielen sana). Ja sun kommentit on niin kauniita että ihan itkettää. Oon tosi tosi ilonen että uskaltauduit näitä jättämään sen jälkeen kun tavattiin. Siitäkin huolimatta että minä oon livenä niin nolo ja kankee, hih. Tapahtui blogille mitä tapahtui, sinun ja minun pitäisi kyllä alkaa kirjeystäviksi. Heitä vaikka sähköpostilla ja facebookilla, ainakin osoitteesi. Ihanaa syksyä!

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    2. Ja jos oot koskaa semmoisia miettinyt niin sanottakoon nyt että sun jos jonkun olis syytä perustaa blogi. Ja samalla että Anni Manninen on yks mun lapsuuden lempikirja. Tottakai. ♡

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  9. Hi Milla,

    True internet makes us having a shorter attention span but your blog I always read from head to toe because your ideas and lifestyle are interesting and inspirational and very well put. I would say, keep on writing, and if it's not on a blog for us directly to read, that's ok too.. or even better? You are talented!



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    1. Norah, thank you for your comment and being a reader and for your sweet words. It really is nice to know of and feel connected to all these folks interested in the same topics and whether or not I come back to this place (and I think I will) it makes me merry to think of that. Happy Fall Dear! ♡

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  10. Haa! Mitä juuri tein? Olin sulkenut tietokoneen ja ottanut monta kuukautta vanhan Huili-lehden esiin, jotta KERRANKIN iltateen äärellä rentoutuisin lukemalla jotain oikeaa enkä vaan selailemalla nettiä. Jaksoin lukea lehteä puoleenväliin. Sitten en voinut vastustaa itseäni, vaan avasin koneen läpän ja kurkkasin, ihan pikaisesti vaan, mitäköhän Millalle kuuluu? Hahahaa!
    Eli todellakin ymmärrän!
    Vaikka harmittaa tietenkin, että en nyt saa seurata teiän elämää edes tämän median kautta.
    Ehkä pitäis ruveta kirjottamaan kirjeitä? Mutta kun se posti sinne on niin arvaamaton. Ja ihan niinkun mulla ois aikaa kirjottaa kirjeitä. En edes kirjota aamusivuja nykyään. Ehkä sitten talvella...
    Pusuja ja juttuja <3

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    1. Meinasin jo jättää kommentin, mut huomasin just et oot skypes ja nyt oottelen et ehditko jutella mun kaa ;) .

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  11. oh my love, how you echo my own thoughts and even despairs so gracefully. and how i have loved both reading all your words (every single one with nary a glance away) and your commenter's words; what a dear group you have created here. i do think your blog fills a special, relevant and even necessary space in internet land but it is certainly not your responsibility to ever do anything you don't love to do.

    my blog is still for myself and i do keep it as a log of my life without much care to how other people perceive it (boring long posts about my family with no consideration of who's reading, yikes, self-serving anyone?! haha) i've been in babyland for a while now anyway and find myself lacking the creative and passionate fervor in any sense of academic, scholarly or literary writing spark i once had, for the most part. and i think it will not last long this way, so i am giving myself space for it. i think the baby-time in my life will be fairly short and sweet in the long run. i look forward to a time that i can do writing again that delves more deeply into the spiritual, creative, and intellectual pursuits i've always loved, but for now a bit of happy baby land is not too private or sacred for me to share online quite sporadically. ;)

    however, that being said i will add that i agree with you wholeheartedly about the dangers and negative social effects of our media devices and networking outlets these days. it is no joke to me, but a sad sad state of affairs, that a friend who came to visit from maine and made the rounds of her california friends, told me that it was so nice to stay with darin and i where we actually TALKED to her and to each other. it made me want to cry. she said everyone she'd been staying with in the bay area and north bay just looked at their phones all day (while grappling with struggling children and then setting them in front of the ipad) and never connecting or looking anyone in the eyes. i cannot participate in a world like that. and i refuse to believe that it can keep going that way. i think people will resist it in their hearts, because the possibilities if it were to get any worse are too ugly and isolating to bear.

    i do think things like smartphones can certainly be used responsibly, and there may be a time in my life when i use one. for now i am actually downright grateful to be too poor to be tempted to have that or any other cell phone. i plan to continue to communicate and connect as well as i can and as much as i can face to face. it will be an interesting challenge to raise smart, thoughtful, respectful, interactive children in a world so obsessed with technology and media. i know there is no opting out, but i sure hope to navigate a very lovingly resistant path!

    i support you, i love you, and you inspire me. thank you for always being so you, so articulate in difficult matters, such a gifted writer and thinker and observer and commentator in this world. i appreciate the sweet knowledge that we will be friends (REAL LIFE friends yipeeeee) on this earth together for the duration, because of this here wise and wonderful little space you created. thank you on so many levels.

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    1. Heather, dear, I love you so much. You're such a voice of reason, such a stalwart. I hope I've told you about my "what would Heather do?"-program.

      It is no joke to me either. Being outside of it, due to geographical restrictions, I feel like we see the effects of mephones and mepads a little more clearly when we do see them. In the last few years venturing into "the real world" has been such a freakin' trip. Not everywhere, not always and not everyone, but still, seeing people use their technology at times when we normally wouldn't, or constantly, is very unnerving. Sitting down for a meal, with smartphones hanging out by everyone's plates. Twice a year family time with ipads all around, fact checking conversations. oh and don't get me started on people and their kids and technology...sigh.

      I won't even list the ways "smart" phones and the internet are and have been helpful and fruitful, because I feel like those reasons are somewhat self-evident.

      What seems to be a huge blind spot in our culture is how they're harmful to "real" relationships, how they're undermining the foundation of what is to be a person, connected to other people. I agree with you that people are starting to wake up to this reality and hopefully start resisting the negative and embrace the positive.

      But first I think we have to talk about these ideas, on levels both personal and cultural.

      Did you ever read "A Visit From The Goon Squad" by Jennifer Egan. Last weekend Missa pointed out that there's a very good description in it of a "futuristic" reality where young people communicate exclusively through devices. What Egan was most likely trying to do is describe our own "freakish" world, through the lens of speculative fiction in order to point out that we're on a dangerous path.

      When it comes to technology, I feel like even folks who are otherwise dissenters and conscious in many of their choices, just give into the unexamined idea that 'this is how it is now", rather than figuring out alternative ways of dealing with it. It makes me so happy to know that you of all people are in this camp as well, trying to figure out how to do this right.

      I feel really blessed to count such a wise, measured and radiant women among my friends. You're so loving and calm and hopeful and always seem to find the best in everything and everyone. Love you and yours.

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  12. I'm one of your silent reader ;)
    Take your time, but don't doubt for a moment that you are an inspiration, at least for me you are.
    I fully understand that you need to distance yourself from it, but don't think you're exposing your life useless,
    I think minds like yours should not remain anonymous, need to enlighten others.
    I send you all my love and respect. (Sorry for my english)

    Victoria, your spanish fan number1!

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    1. Dear Victoria, thank you so much for putting your voice out there and your english is lovely. (Folks always apologize for their english but really it's a total magic to even be able to express yourself in another tongue. You know how many english speakers wish they could?) Thank you for being a reader, a thoughtful woman, thank you for being someone with whom these ideas resonate. It bear repeating that it's so good to know you all exist. Big love to your corner of the world.

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  13. You are writing a lot of what I have been feeling lately. Earlier this summer, a stranger was talking to me for a while before revealing that she had read my blog (had found out about it through a friend from my son's preschool) and the whole conversation suddenly seemed extremely creepy, like she had the inside scoop on me and I had nothing on her. And honestly, I don't have that many readers, so I can only imagine what you've been through!

    I recently started reading a book The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age (by Catherine Steiner-Adair). It is haunting to read some of the quotes from young children regarding their feelings about their parents constantly being on their smart phones and computers. I see it all the time and it makes me queasy. Obviously it's not just a parenting issue, but that's where my concern is right now. I have to constantly weigh what I am getting out of blogging against "do I have time for this" and "is this interfering with my family."

    Frankly, I'm with you. I don't know how much longer I'll keep it up. But yours is a blog I read regularly, even if I don't comment as regularly as I'd like. You are, as said by many, a true inspiration. You often bring up such thought-provoking things and I will miss reading you, but do I ever understand the need to be alone. Love to you, Milla.

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    1. Dear Lauren, you know it's funny how synchronous these thoughts seem to be and it's awesome too, because this wide-spread unease means that there are folks who are planning a life relatively free of skim-reading and like-buttons. A life full of realness, some of which seeps through blogs like yours.

      It's funny too how much I love, still totally love peeking into different worlds, seeing how different women live and see themselves. You present yourself so honestly and sweetly and even though our day-to-day lives are very different I feel very connected to your thoughts when you post them. Your pics and writing really do transport me and make me think of things differently, the best kind of interaction. I do hope you keep posting, though i often marvel at how prolific you have time to be.

      I'm excited to read The Big Disconnect, as I do often wonder how people do it, how they draw boundaries. In one way I'm appalled by parents and smartphones, but in another I totally get it; a smartphone is like a tiny bubble of personal space that you can carry with you, something I imagine is rather precious to folks with wee ones. I'd be interesting to read some scholarly work on this, as well as hear everyday people's thoughts.

      Thanks for being a writer, a reader and a rad rad mama to look up to. Love to you and yours!

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  14. Wow. This post has perfectly echoed the thoughts tumbling through my mind the past few days, while husband and I are on the road, and I am separated from the convenience of regular blogging. I have been contemplating deeply what purpose this strange medium serves in my life - and whether it enriches it. Which I think it does, in many ways, but when it starts morphing into (your brilliant description of) reduction, I feel betrayed by what I've always cherished as meaningful therapy (because I, too, am an introvert and a word girl). Thank you for giving a voice to this.

    M.

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    1. Thank you for reading, and for writing and for being a rad herbal word girl in this topsy turvy world. I look forward to this wacky internet deepening our connection and who knows, we do after all live pretty close to each other I believe? It's so funny how a few days on the road changes your perspective on the world wide webs, something I think having a smartphone would also take away from, because you can carry the web in your little pocket that way. It's good to take a brake and weight your options always. Love to you m'dear, lots of love.

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  15. On ollut ihanaa lukea ajatuksiasi ja nähdä vilaus kauniista ympäristöstäsi.
    Lähetän lämpöisiä ja vauvan tuoksuisia halauksia,tyttö syntyi Tiistai aamuna aikaisin:-)

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    1. Ihanaa on myös ollut saada sinuun vähän tutustua, toivottavasti jaksat vauva-tauon jälkeen taas päivittää blogia. Kiitokset lukijuudesta ja kauniista sanoista, ihanaa syksyä sinne kauas!

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  16. Part of me is calling out to you: no! Don't leave us! Stay! Be my friend! But everyhting you have written hear is so true to my own experience. That feeling of apprehensivesness (apprehension?) about who is reading and what they think and how I appear to "the world" makes me feel even more introverted and shy, even as I use this medium to make contacts "out there". And the amount of time spent blogging / reading blogs instead of doing the stuff I write and read about...! So yes I understand, but I will miss you. Come back when it feels right!

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    1. Thanks so much for being so caring and understanding. A reader, a fellow introvert, a word-girl. At least we're not alone in this topsy-turvy world of internets! Thank you for commenting and for reading. And for being a rad gal out there. Happy Fall m'dear! It's the introvert season!

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  17. Millakin,

    Honest to blog ;) you are the best most precious thing the internet ever gave me. That positive is enough to outweigh all the negatives in my book. I love you friend. I'm so excited to be able to say I'll see ya (like actually three-dimenionally see you) soon and we can talk about all this and more with no pressure or sense of self-inflicted obligation to document any of it!

    That said, whether blogging ends up being a part of our continued connection or not, I'm in it for the long haul sister :)

    As for all the ways that social media is leading us down a path of disconnect, it seems to be a super hot topic right now which is hopefully a sign that people are beginning to wake up to the illusions. I love Heather's sense that people will eventually resist a lack of inauthentic connection in their hearts and also agree with msh that it's all about how we choose to integrate these types of media into our lives because when used in a conscious way I think they can be powerful and positive tools. Maybe this path toward disconnect is ultimately leading people to a point where they will be forced to grapple with all of this stuff, and in doing so, find our way back to each other with an increased awareness of how true connection is vital on so many levels to all of us.

    Love,
    Missakin

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    1. Honest to blog! I think pretty much wrote my reply to this here comment in the form of a whole post. I want to echo every sentiment. You are the best. Thank you for all the letters, all the comments, all the conversations. ♡

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  18. you are so diplomatic -- when i am in such a mood i feel like taking to the net to proclaim what a giant load of bullshit it has all become ;-)
    i have noticed in the past year, when i do get to the blogs, what a different set of comment-ers there are. it used to be all the same gals (many of whom found ways to meet up in person along the way), and now i can read one of your (or other OG's) posts and not recognize a single handle of those who have commented before me. a passing of the guard?
    i think i am at the far spectrum of introversion, where i am uncomfortable [publicly] sharing anything more than a few carefully chosen [and cropped, haha] photos and words. my wit escapes me in front of a keyboard most days, and all days find me suspicious of these interwebs. unfair of me, really, since i have made real, in the flesh, living friendships through blogs? perhaps not, as even with my half assed/hearted approach to blogging, i noticed that i was modeling behavior for my kids, and that this strange focus on documenting every damned thing that one wears, eats, reads, sees, listens, thinks, shits and so on was impacting how they approached their daily lives (yuck). at the moment, i blog when the mood strikes me, when i feel inspired to do so, when i have a little set of photos that tell a story...and usually that inspiration hits when i am totally focused on living and being, deeply focused on my family, my art, the feathers and driftwood that make my head spin with possibility (and not at all how it might make for a good blog post).
    i wish you a peaceful autumn full of inspiration and the time and energy to harness it. frankly, i can't imagine you not returning to blogging... but i would not fault you one bit for it. it would only inspire me to get better at using the phone ;-P
    xoxoxo

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    1. I am being diplomatic. You know why? Because I spent a lot of my twenties screaming at the top of my lungs at people and alternately silently moping when they didn't get that OBVIOUSLY their behavior was STUPID. Yeah, I was pretty fun. At the same time I've always had an almost painful empathy for other people's feelings and opinions, part of which was what made me so mad, because I could see the exact shitty, egotistic motivations and self-denials for what they were. However this empathy has made me genuinely able to see a lot of sides to an argument and I've discovered that this is one way of actually being heard-fool proof your argument against mere emotion even if it stems from emotion and intuitive knowing.

      So yeah, when I'm about completely loose my shit (unless it's with C-he still only occasionally gets to benefit from my measured response attempts-hahaha) on an issue, I take a step back and try to separate my very frustrated feelings from it. Plus I love a good debate so the first thing I do is make a note of what I believe in and then play the devil's advocate to figure out what the other arguments might be.

      And sometimes I just totally lose my shit and flip out.

      I think that the line between inspiration and posturing is such a thin nimble thread here. There's just less and less empowerment in statements about what one made be it complex meal, crafts, whatever...in the stream of picture-perfect lives other people's accomplishments seem less inspiring and more intimidating. At the same time, the more I ponder this, the more I realize that it all depends on the context, that there is much to be said for forming media that empowers and encourages people. As quickly as its been co-opted for profit, I still have a lot of love for the DIY-movement, and prefer the (at least partially) self-published media over the other alternative.

      As you can plainly tell from my quick return to blogging. Thank you so much for being out here in the world dearest, in what ever capacity you can be. I think one of my goals for next year is to spend a little facetime with you. Lots of love.

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  19. You noticed too huh! The gradual dropping away. Maybe it is because we've made the connections that we unintentionally sought? It's funny, i've just blogged this minute a trillion photos from the past year that i had thought about posting at the time and never got around to it. And there weren't many words, I admit. I miss you gals and your words....but i absolutely get not wanting to be on here so much, sharing so much, and even just lacking time or motivation/inspiration. Having said that I totally get a little thrill still to see there is a new post up from my favourite gals. love and keep in touch xoxo

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    1. I think that's exactly it. We've gotten to a place where we can talk about all the things, without the front of a blog-post and in someways that's freed us as a group from this medium. Which I think is awesome. It's like the one good thing about facecrack for me. But I still love it when you guys post, because it is less formal, more narrative and yeah, there are visuals. I think blogging has always been one of those ebb and flow things for me. Sometimes the words come, sometimes they don't.
      Thanks for being my friend, dear. For writing and reading and being an all around rad, inspiring, funny, honest example of womanhood! Proud to know you, I really am.

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  20. no pressure! I'll keep in touch. xo

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    1. no pressure ever. just in-touchness.

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  21. Dear Milla, I understand how you feel, and you are so right to follow your intuition and instincts - in these matters as in every other. Sharing our thoughts and life is an intimate process, at the very least. But I must say here - once again - how grateful I was, at every post, that you actually did share all this with us, your convictions, feelings, adventures and daily environment, all the inner beauty and strength of yours reflected both in your words and in the pictures you chose to show.

    I have posted comments a few times so hopefully I don't feel like a silent stranger to you, but a lot of your quiet readers probably feel the same!

    For the past two years almost, your space has been a constant window of fresh, real air for me. It gave me - at last - the impulse to travel to the Southern Gulf Islands last summer, thereby fulfilling a longing that had been deep in me for a very long time. I went there with my friend Pierre, who lives in Paris, and to whom I have often sent a link to of one your posts, so that he could breathe deeper, too, while reading your thoughts and taking in the light.

    Thank you, Milla. With love,

    Emmanuelle
    xx

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    1. And regarding your preoccupations - my way to maintain a healthy relationship with the Internet and connectivity in general is mostly: sobriety and focus. I don't have a TV or cellphone. I don't read articles online (or in the newspapers). I read only a few blogs, the ones who really have a voice, a spirit, an identity - and whose authors I would definitely enjoy talking with. So they ARE windows into real life for me... kind of skype / story / documentary / group discussion involving true people.

      I do spend a lot of time writing each email (or comment), because words are important and they matter to me (and to my correspondents). So yes, sometimes I do this instead of going outside and I often regret it.

      But when I do carry my computer with me, it's only to be able to work on my translations outside on the Mont-Royal, among the trees and birds - and racoons sometimes. Which is why summer is so precious to me ;o)

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    2. Dear Emmanuelle, you are one of my sweetest, most thoughtful occasional commentators. I really appreciate each comment you have written to me. That's one of the things I like to do as well, take time, think about what I want to communicate to this person. Sometimes, a "oh my gosh cute dress/baby/kitten/craft" is plenty of appreciation and enough, but most times, especially if folks are discussing a serious question, i really want to put myself in there and say something. I do this because I like it when others do that here and because I like the authentic connection that this medium can facilitate.

      I feel so honored that I've made your small, select list of blogs. I'm beyong freakin' honored that you or anyone would feel inspired by anything my little old self does. I'd love to hear more about your trip to the Channel Islands, for boy am I obsessed with islands big and small.

      When I read I try to stick with the same list of criteria as you, but as a writer I've also always been so curious (read: nosy) about how other people live their lives and often read blogs for fun that have nothing to do with what I believe in, or am interested in. At the same time, I'm also interested in this media as a whole, having stumbled on early on and become part of it, and so I browse popular, crazy life-style, fashion and political blogs as well, just from the perspective of trying to understand where we stand as a fragmented, multi-faceted whole.

      I just want to make sure I spend as little time online as is fruitful for me and then venture out. Part of being fruitful, is this blog. When I need (!??!?!) a distraction I work on writing a piece. Less facecrack, less trawling for news, more purposefulness is my new idea for this media.

      Thank you again, for being a reader, an inspiration, a long-distance kindred spirit.

      Love.

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  22. I have loved reading your blog, I love and have valued the fine mix of fire and fun, which you always seem to hit , pitch perfect.But we all need time to pause, think and wonder what are we all about. Time is so precious and racing by so quickly.Please be reassured though, that there are loads of us quiet readers of your words, and we are going to miss our updates from your island and world...

    Take best care, and hope your creative journey takes you where you need to go,

    Catherine :-)

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    1. Thank you m'dear, for being so kind and understanding and reading and caring and encouraging me to have fire and fun. I love that phrase by the way. And thank you for telling me that we too are on the same page, in this mess together. I think I'm figuring out how to make this space feed my other creative urges in a great balance. Happy fall, good vibes and love to you.

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  23. As much as this saddens me, I also truly understand. Clearly, I have not been one to blog very much myself and much of your sentiment, so eloquently phrased in a manner I can not reproduce myself, is exactly how I feel. So I will defer to the good old "ditto." I think that blogging and the blogosphere has changed significantly from what it was when I started. I changed immensely in the process-- and I got confused about why I blogged in the first place? I also got an iphone... did I mention that? It has certainly changed everything! I still don't Twitter or Instagram (if those are verbs?), but I find myself on Facebook way more than I used to be. Never mind Pinterest and Polyvore (which has become my adult paper dolls). Speaking of which we should become "friends" there. The good and bad of that is that I don't spend as much time on my computer as I used to, and I kind of enjoy that. It also is why my desire to blog has waned more than it already had. Like you though, I fear that stopping will prevent me from keeping in touch with "friends" I've made, although most of which I have never actually met.

    In one sense I feel grateful to have not grown up with computers or cell phones-- in another sense, I feel like I am living in one giant social experiment as the generation that has lived to see them develop. Perhaps, this feeling that has come over you (and me, and many others) is a burnout that is connected to our non-technological roots. We had patience for such things as blogging, and laptops, for so long for that reason. Newcomers have less so, and therefore the word limit count on twitter, or wordless Instagram works best for them. I was contemplating this change is much akin to those who grew up before cars, and lived to see the ways that they changed daily life forever. On so many levels its tragic. I feel as though a part of humanity is going with it-- let alone basic manners. I'm not sure where I'm going with my ramblings here, but I think I'm making some sort of connection. Perhaps, a timeout from this world is precisely what you need. A chance to reconnect with yourself, and the other things in your life you value more. That is not to say you won't be sorely, sorely missed :) Your blog is the one I most enjoying reading. Hopefully we can keep in touch Ms. Milla :)

    A great big hug, Andrea

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    1. Andrea hun, I feel so happy that we've met each other through this hurly burly topsy-turvy internets world. And so lucky and honored that you would consider my blog a favorite. Thank you for that. For your words and for sticking with us from the go. Good 'ol internet subculture ;)

      I think you're right on the money about the shift in technology and social modes and norms. I think the interesting thing about the generational stuff is though, that while more of the younger generations take all technology at face-value, a lot of folks our age and shockingly much much older have also fallen into the idea that this is just how the world works now.

      I also think that you, and everyone else who's talked about our responsibility in using these media in a productive, pleasurable way is absolutely right. There's a way to do it right, to take time to connect, to learn, to enjoy online time without addictive behavior. But it's a fine line and I feel like as a whole we are overstepping by about a hundred miles. Yet there's such hope, in these comments alone, in the comments of others on fatigue of social media and online addiction. I'm excited to see if we can keep this a good thing!

      Here's hoping and yeah let's you and me stay connected whatever it takes! Love you and yours.

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  24. Milla, you are an incredible writer. Alms to you. I have dropped in over and over during the past year+ since I discovered this beautiful circle of blogs. You are so articulate and touch on a range of topics which are pertinent to my own life.

    You have hit the nail on the head apropos to social media and the reduction of expression to streamlined photos/thoughts. I have been saddened by how my own interactions with friends and family have changed over the past seven years I've been living abroad, mainly through the platform of Facebook, which has replaced quantity for quality. I actually deactivated my account yesterday.

    And then last night, actually, I took out a box of letters (hundreds!) I've squirreled away since moving abroad. Reading over those letters, which have become fewer and fewer over the past few years, made me feel so special! In a way 100 likes or affirmations in the virtual world could never do. It made me think, huh, perhaps this xmas, we'll put together another card and message and I'll send it out to some of my old friends EVEN though I know most never write back.

    I began (with very limited success) to write a blog, but it never quite took. I didn't know what to say, and yeah, the idea of crafting a self image/lifestyle/ focus on myself just didn't feel very authentic to me. I think that is what we are all craving, a touch of the authentic. Over here (in Europe) it seems like there is less focus on smart phones/constant connection to the grid & when I was back visiting SFO this summer I was just kind of bowled over by how self-conscious and integrated into the culture it all seemed.

    Also, I have one musical suggestion for you, which I considered sharing during your previous music post: Hope for Agoldensummer. Start from their first album, I Bought a Heart Made of Art in the Deep, Deep South (2004). SO intense and so beautiful. Claire and Page are sisters, their harmonies are haunting.

    Bless you and your pursuits. You are sure to bring light, creativity and innovation to your projects. Thank you for inspiring me and countless others!

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    1. Thank you so much, m'dear. Thank you. I so agree with you on Facebook, even as I have to use it to stay in touch with far-flung friends, it's such a weird, glossy, self-absorbed thing. I miss letter writing days a lot, there was such intensity and meaning in each word.

      Blogging is a weird thing. I think it's only really possible to make a genuine presence online if it serves some purpose for yourself. For instance, this blog once was my escape route from a depressing real life situation and it's gain in popularity has been very gradual so I can still largely ignore it and the possible expectations that come with having actual real folks read it. Over the years the purpose of the blog has changed, but I'm just as uncomfortable with crafting a self-image as you are. I still pretend no one reads this thing, but a few friends, the folks that comment. I don't know how authentic it is, but it's what I strive for.

      Excited to listen to these new tunes, sounds right up my alley! Thank you so much for being such a dear, for taking time to write this thoughtful comment, for being a reader. Happy Fall and Bright Blessings to you and yours!

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  25. hehehe my friend, there is something in the air, I haven't posted in weeks. breaks are good! xoxo

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    1. hehehee! what fictions are you cooking up?!??!

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  26. I came back to reread this. You are so good at expressing thoughts like these! I'm definitely an introvert too and have been struggling with my blog for what must be years now, taking little hiatuses now and then. It does seem like it would be so easy to walk away from, but for me I always find myself coming back... so far. Gradually though I've come closer to the edge of just deleting it all (except even so I guess I've still got an old livejournal hanging 'round, not deleted, just locked down- so I suppose I'd never truly commit blogicide even here on blogger).

    Maybe it IS a generational acceptance of a culture, almost a technological fad of sorts, that is waning for those of us getting closer to 40s? It's like we all had something to say/share around the same time and now we're all reaching a maximum TMI level. I deleted my facebook about a year ago and rarely tweet. Once I got a smartphone I did try out Instagram but just couldn't stomach it, it always felt like such a rat race.

    Anyway, I hope you have some good, quality offline alone time! But then come back and tell us all about it. :)

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    1. Thanks hon, you've been on the blogging train since the ground floor (nice mixed metaphor to really convince you of my writing prowess!) and seen all the same changes I have, and yet, here we are. There's something about it as a medium. I actually think Tavi Gevinson put it really well on (of all things) a stylelikeyou-video, where she talks about how appealing it is to be able to catalogue your reality. I think that appeals to a very specific type a person. You, me, Tavi ;)

      I really appreciate your kind words, I honestly wish I was better at expressing complex concepts like these, it takes me a while to process stuff. Might be 'cos I'm OLD, right? I think you're very right about the age thing. I was actually just thinking about that, how people older than us, like my mom's generation, still clings to email for dear life, my mom prefers it to Skype, honestly. I think it might be the same thing, some of us, this is as far as we'll come.

      Happy Fall Dear, glad you're here with me!

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  27. As someone who doesn't keep a public blog, I understand. But you will be missed!

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    1. Thanks hon. Funny, I don't even think of this blog as "public". I might have cognitive dissonance ;)
      Happy Fall, thanks for hanging around this 'ol corner.

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  28. I like the new layout, I hope it's part of your process towards coming back to us ... even if it is in a minimal way.

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    1. Thank you m'dear. I went a little HTML crazy one night. It's like a crossword puzzle, mindless, yet infuriating??!?!?! I don't know. This will be the revamp for like the next five years.

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  29. I just had a conversation this past week about the reduction aspect of Instagram and Twitter and online vehicles. There are some long articles around but it's only a certain type of person who reads them. And it's hard to be nuanced if you're trying to reach many with your message...in a tweet or on Instagram. Blogging has more of a chance but you need to package it quickly and neatly.

    On one hand, I think social media of any kind has to be valuable to us in order for us to spend our time doing it. Part of that value is who is sticking around where and where the conversations are happening. I've been in Instagram more than blogs lately (and part of that was the demise of Google Reader and my horrible time with Feedly) - but it does strike me that blogs are slowing down and a lot of people are "micro-blogging" on Instagram instead.

    I still blog because I like having that kind of a "home base" - right now Instagram isn't enough for me as a home base platform.

    But yeah. I would be sad to not see you around as much but everyone has to do what makes them happiest, right?

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    1. Hi hon, yours is a blog that always makes me think, even if you just bust out some goofy outfit business. I love that two lives as disparate as ours can intersect at places like these. That to me is the real value. I'm hoping someday to get into a real conversation about veganism, omnivores and vegetarians and if that day comes I pray you will be there, with your fireball words. I also want to add that you have the raddest style, and actually sold me on the american apparel pocket miniskirt a couple years ago, a decision that turned out not so great for my body type ;D
      Happy Fall and Lots of Cats!

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  30. I'm sad. I did/do read your posts beginning to end without scanning. I enjoy the wordiness. I miss that with the shallowness of social media. Too curated. Too perfect. I like the messiness of a blog like yours or The Noisy Plume where thoughts are thought and emotions expressed. You will be very missed. Jill (Seattle)

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    1. Oh a word girl! A word girl! Thank you for your kind words, your readership. Thank you so much for the recommendation! It's an awesome blog, awesome images, awesome words.

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  31. For one, you're writing is what MAKES this blog.
    Two, the art of storytelling will always be compelling. I totally understand what you're saying about our it shrinking our brains and stripping us of focus and patience when it comes to actual reading, rather than glossy (dime a dozen) visuals, BUT, part of me feels like it's the age we're in. The internet and the smartphones are here to stay. The technology monster growing bigger and stronger by the year. Which is why having these conversations is good to keep our thoughts and habits in check. All of us need a healthy reminder to balance this crap. Especially once you have children who depend on your undivided attention. My blog is nothing near what I'd like it to be. I wrote lots in college, fiction - a medium I so loved, but had to give up once all the boys came so close together. My posts are typically brief, mostly unedited and never drafted. But it's still a small place for my voice and heart to linger and connect and share. I take it for what it is, and try not to worry about what anyone else reading it is getting or expecting from it. I write and share for me. And as long as I stick to that it remains a fun hobby. But you know, like everybody, there are times when it just seems draining and downright self involved. I go through phases. And then eventually come back because of the sentimental yearning to seize the moments that I love so dearly.

    As for instagram. That too is what you make of it. The way I see it - it's another way of telling a life story. Sure it's carefully curated - and sharply edited to fit our inflated vision of ourselves and the lives we are living, but I still enjoy glimpses of the stories people are sharing. All the bullshit I see through. They're in my feed, but they mean nothing and offer nothing more than eye candy. Others inspire me because of particular traits I see reflected in their photos. I like the stories. And no matter where they are being told, authenticity still counts for a lot. People like other people who they feel a genuine connection with. I've made some great friends based on a mutual interest initially rooted in Instagram. So while I have plenty of critiques, concerns and confusion over how quickly the age of social media is twisting. I try to focus on what good it's brought me. How I can use it to offer positive output and embrace the friendships in my life that exist because of it.

    But thank you so much for writing this. If I had more time I could go on for days. The conversation is a good one. I much enjoyed reading over everyone's responses and agree with so many sentiments expressed here.

    At the end of the day, it's nice to rediscover quiet. Like noted in my prior comment on the last post - it's easy to get back to simple life, when you make an effort of it. Either way, pretty sure we're all hugely rooting for your stay.

    Love and light,
    J

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  32. Mila! I didn't even know you as a blog-space. I feel like like I've been lurking in your real life, without ever reading your written word. How fun! What a sweet community of readers you have. A whole world in here!

    I kept a blog that I used to pull together my perspective on connections between issues and ideas in the world that I felt weren't getting connected as I saw them. I mean, it was a foodie blog...but you know feminism and consumerism and the environment and all that. But I got frustrated with the amateur/expert of blogging and life-style writing in general. It is fine that the only way to have an interesting, purposeful life where you spend your energy on self-suffeciency that doesn't pay rent means you have to write about that life to pay rent...but it gets a little silly when you try something and then immediately you become a significant voice about that thing. At least I was feeling like I didn't want that to happen with me and I got pregnant and felt ready to stop processing and analyzing and sharing and just wanted to experience, be, and learn. So it's been two years now and I'm working on carving out real-life space and internet space to write again. Limiting my categorization as a mommy-foodie blogger hopefully.

    As a family we are really trying to be conscious of useless internet time to preserve the useful-mess of it. It really is an addiction, the scanning, the clicking, the following a strange thread until you'd forgotten why you're there. We've said "move the computer" "only do Facebook one time per day" We have really convinced ourselves, and yet, we haven't followed through. It's worrisome.

    I was told once in a comment thread "you can't criticize science while using the computer" I disagree. Anyway fun to see your word and pictures.

    see you!

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