Taking the Plunge

At the phase of my Gemini experience where every entry begins with an apology for not posting more. I've had a very busy work month, gone to North Carolina to stay with my in-laws for a short time (a working vacation for me, although I actually got to sleep in for the first time in a year) and made a very major professional decision. Also to be totally honest I've so romanticized using my silly little Pocket CHIP setup to post to Gemini that it feels like cheating to use anything else.

I'm going to try to post on here more for another reason: I've decided to take the plunge and get off of Twitter for... a while? I mean, I should just decide to get off of Twitter permanently. I think it's bad for me, and for the world at large. But I am also trying to be realistic about the function that it performs for me - I have friends on there, both from Twitter and from real life, who I have no other way of hearing from. As a parent Twitter has become ingrained in my life in part because it offers an extremely quick escape in the slim moments I have where I can safely ignore my kids; with a highly stressful job I can take a few seconds break while something processes and renders and feel for a moment that I am communicating with friends.

But the other day, with the release of the IPCC report, it just felt like... Twitter feels like a release valve where people who have no ability to change anything individually yell at each other, and THAT feels like taking action. It's definitely done SOMETHING to my brain but I don't think it's done anything good.

So I've deleted the app from my phone; I haven't taken the further step of changing my password or actually deleting my entire account yet. Maybe if I can untangle some of the behaviors that Twitter has infected my brain with that'll feel more possible in a few months. One thing I have been trying to do, when I pick up my phone and absentmindedly start looking for the app, is to try to replace it with something else to look at for a minute or two - which, for right now at least, is poetry. I downloaded an app from the Poetry Foundation that spins up a random topic and displays a huge list of poems and I'll just pick one mostly at random and read over it a few times.

It's been going pretty well, actually! I've discovered a predilection for the poems of Thomas Hardy, something I did not predict, and today I stumbled upon the extremely wild "General William Booth Enters Into Heaven" by Vachel Lindsay. I had actually heard one of Lindsay's poems before, the very weird "Congo" which is... a kind of afrophilic fantasia which remains pretty racist, and reading this one lead me to an interesting piece on Lindsay - definitely the sort of ambitious and earnest failure that I love.

The other stuff - work, professional stuff, etc. - I might write on more in the future. But I wanted to get back into the habit tonight.

The Ruined Maid by Thomas Hardy

General William Booth Enters Heaven by Vachel Lindsay

Vachel Lindsay profile from the Poetry Foundation