The fourth post I wrote on this blog was called Artifactual Communication. It came to me one day a couple of days after I started the blog when I overhead my husband listening to a talk about it on the internet. It started to turn some gears in my mind and I can still remember the rush of endorphins that coarsed through me as I turned an out of context, random idea into something personal. I knew little about artifactual communication, still don't, but the general concept struck a chord as I began my journey paying closer attention to my surroundings.
Since then, that post has been viewed more than any other post I've written. People in Thailand, Australia, Ukraine, the U.K., Brazil and Indonesia and South Africa have read it and it makes me want to know what they were looking for. Did they find it in the post? Maybe or maybe not, but somehow, in a tenuous way, we connected, however briefly.
Life got exceedingly hectic in the intervening months and my desk has become considerably more cluttered since then, as my writing style continues to evolve and change. A messy desk in itself is a sign of how I work and compartmentalise. It goes from sprawling mess to carefully organised on a regular basis (with heavy emphasis on the messy side). I can't help thinking though that this post first got me practising how to better observe myself and clock my surroundings.
New questions have cropped up for me on this topic. What do my apps and wallpaper on my iphone say about me? Something or nothing? Or some things. I'm a consumer, a person with kids (why else would I have Dream Dresses on my phone?), a person who likes to play with photography. Do they say something different about me than what my bedrooms and backpacks and living spaces have been saying about me all along or is their a river running through connecting them all? My online abode is crafted carefully. What posts I pick to post, what items I like and what I comment (and how) on facebook, on twitter and here on the blog has usurped my original focus on my physical space and flung it into the digital world some of us are so heavily ensconced in.
As a kid I had a little house under the stairs (another day I'll tell that story) and bedrooms that I constantly re-decorated. In high school I had a locker, then I had a dorm room, a first apartment, followed by a backpack. The backpack got followed up by a purse. Then I had a classroom at my first job and then another one and then a cubicle. Then I had a first house and a baby's room to decorate and now I have a phone and an online identity to furnish. Upon examination, they all have so much to say about me. They also say so little. Sometimes I am too tired to care what picture I post or which ornament I choose to decorate my space with but I suppose a lack of artifacts speaks just as loudly as dirty laundry on the kitchen floor, a witty anecdote on facebook and lilacs in a vase which are all artifacts communicating volumes about me.
How about you? Do you have dirty laundry in your kitchen too?