the value of visuals and the value of the written word

I am noticing a feeling of over saturation I'm getting from social media.

I am not a person who worries about developing a bad habit of spending too much time of social media.

I don't fall into a habit of scrolling through the news feed on the different sites, reading everyone's posts.

I mostly just get in and get out.

I post whatever I think is my best idea for the day...often promoting a show or this blog...and then I scroll through some of my favorite peoples' stuff, and then I go off for my walk in the woods.

I'm thinking a lot about this blog right now and where it fits in in the world.

One thing about it is that it isn't visual.

Every once in a while I add a photo.

I tried having a photo every day for it, and posting the correlating photo on Instagram and all the other sites with a link to the blog every day.

I didn't like how that felt.

The written word doesn't need a goddamn photo to go with every idea.

It makes me think of how, when I was a child, you knew that the book was for kids if it had pictures.

Grown up books didn't have any pictures.

I remember discovering this early on.

My mother worked a couple days a week at the public library in Chicago.

She was allowed to bring me along.

My brother was already school age.

My dad took the car every day, and we only had one car, so my mother and I walked to the library, part way across our little first tier suburb Park Ridge.

She probably worked for four hours, I'm guessing.

I remember I was allowed to sit at a tiny wooden table for tiny kids, and next to the table was a wooden rack of hand puppets.

There was every sort of woodland animal, these were my favorites, but there were kings and queens, and farmers, and knights.

All kinds of puppets.

And I would sit and look at books.

My mother taught me to read when I was very young, like four years old.

So I would read the books as best I could.

But I remember stumbling onto a book like Little Women and just being like, "what? no pictures? are these people crazy? who would ever read all these words and words and words just crammed together page after page with no pictures? forget it!"

But obviously I evolved past that initial prejudice.

And now I think of it almost the other way.

Lord deliver me from everybody's damn photos.

Twenty years ago I never had to see anybody's crappy family photos until they sent out a Christmas card.

Even Christmas cards used to be a picture of a winter scene or a picture of a Bethlehem star kind of thing.

Then people started being able to make their own cards with photos on them and they started sending out pictures of their family all dressed up in matching outfits.

I did that.

I forced my children to wear matching outfits.

Sometimes they loved it.

Sometimes they hated it.

I did it either way.

I loved it then but I don't want it now.

I'm thinking about this blog as a place of silence.

The words are here for you to delve into if you wish.

They are silent and unobtrusive.

You have to seek them out.

They aren't waving their arms and flagging you down with flashing lights and memes and crap.

The printed words, black typed letters on white background, represent ideas and stories.

The stories have already occurred.

The ideas are in the present and extending to the future.

The blog is an ongoing offering of silent words.

It's mine and it's for you.

I think of the blogs I first witnessed, like The Sartorialist, who I loved at the beginning the way so many people did, or Humans Of New York, which was more sort of a social media phenomenon but still was like a blog.

I don't even like the word blog, but it's easier to explain than an on-line public journal.

But that's what this is I guess.

And I started it to stay in touch with my music fans.

I made it about surviving as a full time musician.

Okay, well all Ive proven so far is that you can force any idea into existence if you hack away at it hard enough.

But that ain't living.

So now I just gave up and instead I'm letting the Spirit move me.

What's going to happen?

I don't know.

So now these words are bread crumbs through the forest.

I'm writing this now so that if anyone ever wanted to look back and say, "how did she get there?" they can retrace my steps.

In case I ever arrive at an enviable destination and someone says, "Hey, how did she do that?".

These are the bread crumbs.

I have no intention of turning around and trying to get back though.

And of course the crows come and eat the breadcrumbs, we know that.

The past gets gobbled up.

That's fine by me.

But each day that I write, I shine a flashlight of hope forward into the deep forest of the future and I get a glimpse of where to go next.

Maybe the reader does too.

Have a great day.

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