Taken in 2008. I don’t recall where. Los Angeles?

It’s a major time suck to look back at shots I took years ago and never published. Seeing these photos nestled next to the kids when they were younger is an emotional velcro wall. I get stuck reliving the moments in the images and stray from doing final edits the image I want to share. This has always been a thing for me. I’m drawn to the past and whenever I look at anything from the past, my mind instantly races to construct the world around the thing I’m looking at. I think it’s that aspect of personal history that drew me to blogging; saving the memories of a specific time for later review. So much of what I’ve done in the past has been topical or ephemeral. I’ve been spotty in the personal history area, largely due to my inner Victorian. I have, deep within me, a composite E.M. Forster character. Some people talk about the angel or devil on their shoulder. I have this super uptight, highly judgmental hypocrite who plays both simultaneously. To wit:

“Share your life experience. It’s full of wonder and excitement. And poop!”

“Airing your dirty laundry for the world is unseeingly and in poor taste. You don’t want to seem craven and weak. It’s one thing to write fictional accounts but it’s quite another to tell the truth.”

Or some such.

The modern version goes something like this:

“Get off my damn lawn.”

* * *

Daily affirmation: Stop making myself crazy.

  • Angeerah

    If you learn how to stop making yourself crazy, share for the rest of us.  I sure don’t know how to stop!

  • Kristan

    I think those two opposing perspectives are fairly normal for bloggers of this time. We grew up in between the two — an older generation that thinks we’re self-absorbed and clamoring for attention, and a younger generation who are growing up online and will have very, very different ideas of privacy.

    All we can do is try to find the right balance for ourselves and then walk that line.

    Speaking of lines, I love all of them in this photo.

  • Amy Jacobs

    I think this bit was my favorite thing you’ve ever posted Jon. I can totally understand that side of your personality. My husband is the SAME way. He does not, nor has he ever, understood my need to tell my “stuff” to people. I find it cathartic. He sees it as oversharing and inviting “trouble”. I’ve come to understand his perspective over the years and have adopted a more sensible approach to sharing.

    I had a blog once, for five years. My kids were little. I was a writer. I was going through alot. I wrote and journaled their lives. Then one day I had life hit me in the face with some very bad stuff. The desire to share just vanished. I shared my grief and shock. And that was the last thing I shared. My kids were older…both were in magnet schools because of their intelligence and they realized I was writing about them for strangers. The oldest promptly told me to stop. So I did. I moved my sharing over to FB to people I actually grew up with, who knew me and my husband from our hometown…his family and mine. I started a business and these people became my clients and I re-established friendships I hadn’t had in 20 years. I post pics and quotes from my kids, I mark my days with statuses about our cookouts or the kids annoying the shit out of me. And, what I get in return instead of comments from strangers is replies from people who I actually KNOW…with their real support or funny quip. And, the best part, is that I get to share in their lives as well, seeing all the posts of Easter Sundays and Christmas morning, of breaking out the swimming pools for summer or a toddler’s first snowfall. I get lots of understanding of other people’s daily struggle as they get up and not want to go to work or get a flat tire. Other’s divorces and the pain of loss of a father or premature baby. People I knew for years from a distance, can recognize on the street with no problem, but never took the time to really get to know…until Facebook. Mark Z. is a fucking genius!

    People need community and personal interaction. It’s just human nature. There is nothing wrong with sharing…or being self-editing when you do so. Blogs can be real devils in terms of what effect they have on people’s lives in my opinion. You walk a very fine line between inviting support or really inviting trouble. Proceeding with caution is completely reasonable. I personally decided the blogsphere, in regards to sharing my life, was just too dangerous and open-ended to participate in. I’d much rather cultivate relationships with people on my friend list who I know, like and am interested in.

    Don’t give in to any pressure from strangers to be someone you’re not. Our views and opinions DO NOT MATTER, nor should you ever let them. I say this with an ulterior motive that I hope you “get”. Letting all that static into one’s life can literally make one deaf. Tight, closely guarded circles of family and friends are a very good, healthy thing!

    And, hey, I love Victorians…lavisly over the top, yet insanely withdrawn. A wonderful example of the Ying and Yang!

    • Michael Mathews

      Pretty powerful comment here. Thanks.

  • Lilly O’Handley

    Truthiness = Brave

    I am a people who wants to  connect to what is real, not what is “sold.” In my experience, most people are selling. I’ll take the truth, even when painful, ANYday!

  • Ryan Waddell

    Can I just say?  I love this photo. LOVE it.  The lines are amazing.