An Invitation

Are you on Instagram? Jjiraffe mentioned quite awhile ago that you could follow my progress there… Zoebsmom. Just send a follow if you’re interested. I’m finding it far easier to take a few pictures and write a few lines than to gather my thoughts lately.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the new face of the blogosphere. I’ve been thinking about literary fiction. I even made the mistake of looking at the Chronicle of Higher Education yesterday where I realized that my dream job had opened and closed and that I filled all of the criteria except that one big glaring hole in my CV– A published book of fiction.

I inadvertently discovered Mary Jane Butters yesterday having picked up a magazine at the grocery store up north. I am still trying to puzzle it out. I’m in on so much of the organic, the slow living, this has been my aspiration and my comfort zone for so long but what seems so surprising to me is the commodification of it. The branding of it. The old hippie in me, the daughter of a hippie really can’t make sense of the juxtaposition.

Jjiraffe Recently wrote a post that made me think about the Pinterestification of blogging… I have a post brewing about that. What I’ve decided is that what has really happened in the world of blogging is that it has become commodified. We wouldn’t blame Martha Stewart for presenting her life as if she had no problems, as if she never went to prison, we pick up the magazine understanding it is an escape, a fantasy– we don’t look to lifestyle magazines to reflect real life. I think Jirraffe used the term aspirational versus inspirational once…

It takes me back to the days when I was teaching and my students always bitterly complained about the literature I would choose… If they wanted to read about real-life problems and heartbreak and tragedy they would look to their own lives… What they expected fiction to do was to create an escape… And that’s the difference I would argue, between entertainment and art.

Not that there isn’t art in creating those pieces of fiction that are escapist but you know what I’m saying. Perhaps everybody is creating the world they want to live in and are transmitting them out into the ether –all of these picture-perfect snapshots of what their life could be.

Mine certainly isn’t… Even if you were to look at my Instagram feed and think differently. I wake up every morning with the loss of my best friend so glaring in my life. My laundry is piled to the ceiling. Many nights I go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. G goes off to work and comes home fretting and sleepless with anxiety over the ebbs and flows of self-employment. Our 13-year-old is in the grips of the culture and it’s hard to wrest him free.

Life is hard.

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