Monday, December 28, 2015

Instagram: Life in Pictures

Instagram taught me something this holiday season. You can make the life you want by posting intentionally selected photos. Of course, I knew this was true. For several years, we've been reading about celebrities and Instagrammers with huge numbers of followers who create Martha Stewart lives for themselves and give the rest of us the illusion that it's all true. We weep because our lives are so different than those pictured. Our own lives are harried, drowning in doldrums, not half as pretty as those depicted on Instagram.
Since my debut into social media with Finding Our Way, I've uploaded lots of photos to Life on Rockbridge on Instagram. It's easier and faster than writing blog posts, captures moments in real time (really?) and offers a venue where I can document artful details and mini tableaus too.
Since mid-December, my Instagram photo stream is chock full of Christmas in Seattle: colored lights, wrapped gifts, frosted cookies, gingerbread houses, and photos of my daughters and grandchildren - all busy-busy, laughing and/or thoughtful and generally looking good. All of this family and their activities are interspersed with photos of Green Lake and Discovery Park - backdrops to daily 10,000 step walks. Every image suggests a lovely holiday. What is illusion and what was real?
Cousins at Seattle Center's fountain.
First of all, December days in Seattle are dark and short. Sun-up arrives at 7:41 a.m. and darkness settles in about 4:40 p.m. Daytime is overcast, gray and most often drizzly. If the sun does appear, it is sudden and not for long. For a brief time, the sky is weighted with picturesque cloud mounds - hence, this photo taken during our Christmas afternoon walk across the meadow in Discovery Park.Most of the time, we walk in the rain, get up in the dark and wish for the long days of summer.
So are these winter holidays idyllic?  Our family Christmas in Seattle as depicted on Instagram certainly appears idyllic. Well, so much for that. Let it be noted, once and for all, that photographs can be edited into a decidedly pleasant narrative.
Mrs. Claus off to last day of school before Christmas. Full costume.
Caroline samples frosting as we glaze Christmas cookies at Jeanne's diningroom table.
Charlie Bean LOVES raw osyters. Hurray!
Lulu decorates the family Christmas tree.
The truth here in Seattle is that family cross currents flow strong and habits encrust the simplest of activities. Everyone is doing his/her best and stretched to the limit. Well-being is illusory. So, what I am saying is this: there is a lot of love here in Seattle and I can show that on Instagram. I can also edit out those emotional cross currents and unfortunate habits with each picture I upload.
Lauren poses in a big tree trunk in Discovery Park. Great afternoon.
'Cousin moment' at Chihully Glass and Garden Museum, Seattle Center.

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