I haven't been visiting Flickr very often over the last year or so. No real reason really.. just part of the ebb and flow of my attention span. But today I uploaded a few things and poked around my contacts gallery for a bit.
With fresh eyes, it suddenly hit me hard and clear, that this is nothing less than an abundant celebration of life. Whether it be tree, rock, child, cloth, graphic, paint, body, sky, light, dark, sad, happy... it's all such a pounding, throbbing, screaming declaration of love for life.
Passion is what I love most about creative folks, and I'm astounded at their ability to communicate such deep, rich, profound emotion in pixels and light.
My husband and I were recently discussing the relative merits of the online world for those of us who happen to be introverts (of which he and I are two ripe examples), and it helped to clarify for me why I get so uncomfortable when I hear folks lamenting the dangers of an "artificial" connection to others via the computer. My flickr contact gallery is a prime example of why I think the online, artistic, creative, community is so valuable. There I am inspired not only to own and nurture my own artistic development, but my development as a human being.
Pretty pictures can be a pitfall of unrealistic expectation for one's life, since life is utterly messy and pretty pictures are not. But, if one can firmly plant one's feet to the ground and realize that pretty pictures are the lens through which to view the world, we find we choices. Divorce, loss, finances, stress can all be real and difficult, and noticing the way light passes through a glass or water, or how beautiful even a weed can be doesn't change that difficulty. It does, however, give us a wider context, a focus on what is right along what is wrong in our lives. Without the online creative community, without Flickr, Etsy, Pinterest, etc., I for one would be missing so much beauty and so many reminders to find the beauty in the "real" world.
So, thank you technology, for making my life richer, deeper, wider, more passionate, more rooted in the world around me, in the earth and dirt and nature that gradually gave rise to you. Thank you, in all your artificiality, for bringing me closer to the natural, the actual, the literal... for being the lens through which I discovered a world, outside your magic screen, that I never would have known existed.... and a me that I thought quite impossible. Thanks computer, and everyone who ever contributed to you.
I think we will be alright. I think we know how to stay human no matter how much technology we surround ourselves with. I think we know, in our cells, what's most important... and those who don't, probably never would have... regardless of what happens to sit on their desk.