Less Facebook, More Time in the Garden

A dahlia bud starts like this

This week I took Facebook off my phone (though I still get alerts for some reason.)  I haven’t yet decided on whether or not to remove messenger.  I don’t mind people getting in touch with me through it.  It functions more like email.

And it blooms like this.  You can see my sandal and footplate from my wheelchair.  

I found myself looking at my phone a lot for awhile, then remembering, there’s no stream of information.  Nothing to follow.  I read my email, maybe a blog, but then it’s back to reality, baby.

I brought a lot to life, even though my own health degenerated.  Every day, this summer, I watered my front porch garden from my wheelchair and it just bloomed and bloomed.

A few days later, I took it off my kindle.  Now I don’t check facebook before I start to read.  I just start whatever book I’m reading and become engaged in a long insightful story.   Or, I pick up an actual paper book, and let myself get lost in another person’s story, or the story of natural history, or the way our brains work.

I went with a friend to see the giant Art Outside installations of Brook’s Museum of Art
Installed on an abandoned building on E H Crump Bvd
The original painting at the Brooks has always been a favorite of mine — William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Au pied de la falaise (At the Foot of the Cliff), 1886

Now the only place I can check facebook is by sitting down at my desk and deliberately looking at it, checking on a few people.  I read a post that seemed pretty benign, a joke, but turned into a lot of argumentative comments, and I turned the damned thing off.  Still, I felt residual anxiety about needing to inform the people I disagreed with.  As if that would make a difference.  They aren’t going to make a difference in the way I think.  Not in the small, hostile comment format.

Another exhibit at the Brooks — Wednesday is free day

It’s an addiction, facebook.  I have an addictive personality, in many ways.  I also tend to fester over things that make me anxious, things I hear about from others.  I feel my own powerlessness over it all.  And yet, I keep on looking into that small screen of the world, and thinking I can somehow make a difference.  Or maybe it’s a kind of thrill seeking.

How will she 3
How will she bear the weight of her hair? by Joy Murray 2017

My goal with my own facebook page was to share my art, share others’ art, and add a little bit of beauty to other people’s day.  I shared serious matters, too.  I found a community of people dealing with long term disabilities like me.  But it all got overwhelming in this past year.  Maybe the whole world was going to hell in a handbasket.  All that anguish, it colored my life.

print photo
The Fragile Nature of Delight by Joy Murray

Then I realized I can do all I want to do online with just my blog, and by reading other people’s blogs.  Blogs are more thoughtful, I think.  We take a little more time, it’s more lie an essay.   It’s a long deep breath, not a short sharp gasp.

still she rises
Still She Rises by Joy Murray 2016

There were so many times this week that I thought, I should put that on facebook.  I’ve become used to looking at the world in terms of whether it will make a good facbook picture/post.  The first few days, it really was like withdrawal.  What will I do with all my photos?

hibiscus and glory
Hibiscus, Morning Glory, and City Street

Well, I found I could edit my photos a little bit.  And then if I want I can share them here, with you.  Friends who support and make time for me.  Comments can be made here.  Communication can happen.  There are no algorithms to worry about.

I’m happy if people share my blogs on facebook or twitter or reblog them.  But my job is to deepen and improve my art.  That’s what I can do to make the world a better place.  Open my eyes to it all, paint and write.

And share.

Thanks to all the new subscribers and Patreon supporters.  I hope we all take a deep breath, hold on to our sanity, and take some time to see what it blooming all around us.

I saw Delight by Joy Murray


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10 thoughts on “Less Facebook, More Time in the Garden

  1. Thank you for this. You reflect my sentiments about me and Facebook. I have considered creating a blog for the same reasons you shared, and as soon as I figure out how to do that I shall join you.

    1. Please let me know when/if you do. And if you want, I can show you how I do it. It’s not hard, it’s just not pen and paper, which is a little bit of a struggle to for me to manage sometimes. 🙂

      1. I am not particular savvy to all this. I don’t do technology well at all. Just last week I mastered a mechanical pencil and I feel like I deserve a gold star.

  2. Joy I applaud you. It is hard and weird to not be on Facebook. I only got back on because of the support group, but have it only on my computer and not phone. We all need more down time and time to be focus on what really matters… I agree !
    I started painting myself and drawing, I am amazed at how focused I am, never with anything else am I that content and focus. I figured since My Grandmother court start at 60, so could I… ha
    I hope you’re doing well. Love, Robin

    1. I think growing older can really open up new creative territory. It’s a good time to reconnect with visual art making. We’re encouraged as kids, discouraged as adults. As older adults, we can rekindle that love of art, line and color. I’m doing well. You can always share your art with me at my email address if you want. Glad to hear from you!

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