Monday, December 23, 2013

on holidays (radical change version)

One of my favorite lyrics is in "White Knuckles" by the conceptually joyful band, Ok Go. Before I share the lyric and why I love it, I must reflect upon the title. Titles first. If they are good, if they have cleverly compressed the song's intention, its key conceptual valences, even better. 

2013 has been a white knuckle year. I've written about the challenges of giving up my tenured position in order to move to Illinois and the embrace of family. Surely, I have compressed in that shared public reflection. I can't imagine how long it would take to render a sense of the multidirectional affective experience of (any or all) of it. 

I began my 2013 reflection hopefully, on 1/1/2013. Signs of discomfort began to emerge, here. Even more, here. And then this webspace wanted a clean'ish slate, a "renewed purpose," so I tried to shape it just so.

So the lyric: "Nothin' ever doesn't change, but nothin' changes much." Perfect ... approaching a 5th Noble Truth-type deal. I want to write more and more about it, but it is likely unnecessary. Maybe what I need is reflection upon happiness and change. How to find it, how not to lose it. And so on. I could end up there. But first, to add context, which may or may not clarify, my perfect lyric is embedded in this pithy verse:

So just how far 
[a beat]
is far enough?
Everybody needs to sleep at night.
Everybody needs a crutch.
But couldn't good 
[a beat]
be good enough?
'Cause nothin' ever doesn't change,
but nothin' changes much.

What to say? I'm still challenged by the "how far?" the "good enough" and "nothin' changes much." I can say it no better. 

But relative to the ongoing reflection I do (and sometimes perform) regading social media, here, I can see developing this post so that it reflects my sense of the value of public reflection. Becuase frankly, writing (even quick hits via social media) has helped me through the move and the change and all that continues to disrupt whatever sense of calm attended tenure, a small but close circle of friends, and the impressive moves I'd carefully made to resurrect my value as a faculty member at my former institution. 

So, yes, the public writing helps, but just as compression works for "White Knuckles" (as public performance), it also renders my challenges in familiar narrative moves and usually in only those that were/are likely to keep my audience reading, caring, helping, and not turning away because "THAT is not done via social media," or "you really shouldn't _____________." It's a long story, the story of how social media emerged, helped and ruined people, and obtains as a primary venue for moving (us) through our lives. I'm still in, but even this small bit of reflection sharpens my sense that unless we are werqin it as carefully crafted performance, we may fail. How to sustain the sanity-sustaining value of it, then? Is it possible? Desirable? I wonder if -- when I find my place, the place where I don't feel compelled to share my stories publicly -- I wonder if then I will get it "right." Or simply write. Oh gads, see that's "clever," which is just gross. (but so if The Clever requires explication, see the bold passage in previous post, and THANK YOU for staying with me)

 ... and since this is my holiday reflection, 

merry happy!!

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