I used to read blogs and more personal Internet stuff, a long time ago. Part of why I maintain my web identity the way I have been, after all of these years, is because of my love for what I found a long time ago.
It was stream-of-conscious writing, and that’s the only kind of writing I did back then. I liked/like the diary and the mirror that the Internet is and can be, even if everyone's delusional and fake.
I still emulate and maintain the kind of digital life I developed then, now mostly by using the popular social media outlets that are really just a portal to funnel data; my identity as revealed by way of other people’s articles on this or that topic. A cat video, a tweet, photo after photo after photo… I've evolved personally and changed as the trends have. (I had little choice.)
I like it? I’m mean, it’s something. I’m participating. It’s relatively satisfying. I’m very busy anyway.
I don’t even think I can be who I once was anymore because my game is different. Can what I do be called a game?
Anyway I don’t want to post tips on hair-straightening or eye-liner application and I don't want to make video clips using or referencing other popular video clips. I guess I call that “the game,” and I’m not interested in it. I really don’t understand how anyone is but then again I like to watch a guinea pig eating a blade of grass on Youtube.
Now I spend my time teaching. No time for devotion to anyone’s blogs or diaries, particularly my own but the kids I teach speak the language of memetics and Internet narcissism. I’m observing and trying to sort it all out in a crone-like-anthropological sort of way. I like some of the jokes that aren’t supposed to be jokes. I’m on board for that.
I really miss letting it all go though and painting like I used to. -Using my hands, for myself, but right now there’s no room or time so I'm investigating and gathering "material" from my surroundings and doing whatever I can with that.
A student asked me the other day why I didn’t paint in the classroom while she painted and I told her that when I paint I have to be selfish and it makes me feel a certain way that I can’t feel in a teaching environment. She laughed and said, “You want to steal all the art supplies?” I laughed and said, “Well, yes, I’d like to, but that’s not what I meant by selfish.” I explained to her that time moves fast when I’m making art and when I’m in that state of being, I wouldn’t want to stop doing my own thing in order to help her or other students out, and my job at school is to help her and the other students out.
Other than teaching I do paperwork. Most of that paperwork is digital. It’s still paperwork. On weekends I rest some and then I do my own paperwork. I pay bills. I crochet when I can. I try and keep up my practice in all mediums and I try and keep my presence online. I do the best I can.
In the morning I drink my coffee and look at writers who have mom-blogs and people seem to love it. I look at reality stars who are taking selfies and selling garbage and that gives me motivation to try and teach children to use their hands and think critically. I do my best to follow the life advice people layer over images using attractive fonts that are shared on my news feed.
When I can muster up some energy I hike around the Hollywood Hills where things are pretty because people who live there get paid so much more than teachers do, but the birds sound prettier up there and it smells like jasmine. Open-air tour vans drive by and I try and regain some of the dumb enthusiasm I once had for this town.
I think about money a lot and try to fit myself inside the mindset some people have. Those people who get millions of dollars for working less hours than I do. Feeling that some kind of expectation of it makes it happen. Damning the place in life I was born into and wedge myself within but then feeling very connected to it, as well. Wondering if, deep down, I’m aware that I’d have to exist in some kind of "circle of Hell" type of delusion so I’m actually refusing that kind of life on instinct. Or maybe I’m just comfortable with the delusions I’m used to. I don’t want to be a horrible person. Anyway, poor people can be awful too.
Life is magic. Magic is life.
My name is Linda Lay and I'm an artist, a writer and a teacher.