This is a post about how I started tweeting, some poems I have tweeted, and a fun venture you can join me in tweeting about.
I’m not enamored with social media. Don’t get me wrong, I like media—music, poetry, art, storytelling, informative news– and I like being social, so I see nothing inherently problematic about combining the two. But I’m hesitant to jump onto popular social media band wagons for two simple reasons.
First, most social media websites take an inordinately long time to navigate when the person trying to get around them is totally blind. I once tried planting plants in three friends’ farm patches on facebook, and after an hour and a half of technical negotiation, none of which involved down websites or malfunctioning programs, I succeeded. Which leads to the second reason I’m suspicious of engaging in too much social media: even if the sites were accessible, I believe I would get just as obsessed with posting on them as I already am and waste lots of precious time which I could spend on my career or, perhaps more importantly, on socializing with friends over email or in person which won’t result in PDC (i.e. Public Display of Communication.)
I’ve used facebook since my sophomore year in college when it first came out and was a way for students at top American universities to connect with one another and the friend requests you would accept were from people you were already close friends with. You know, back in the day…
Mostly I now use facebook to participate in closed private groups because anything I want to post on there is usually something I ought not associate with my real name: I’m still in the broom closet. Actually I am technically at the moment in my living room, the closet is metaphorical.
But, it’s surprising how often, as a pagan, I have to be exceedingly careful, especially as I have as many friends in the physical world as on the other side, and that’s not considered normal. If only facebook let you have more than one identity! (I’m sure men and women fleeing abusive relationships and double-agent spies would appreciate this as much as closeted pagans and other targeted minorities, facebook! Come on with it then…)
In any case, although twitter does allow, fortunately, sensibly, responsibly, for as many identities as you like, I struggled for a long time with actually getting onto twitter. I kept feeling like I am this old fashioned thirty-something person who likes face to face communication, and more importantly, I’m a person. Whoever heard of a person tweeting? The concept sounded so absurd to me. I mean, if I walked into a room and five or six people were literally standing around tweeting, I’d get concerned, and quickly. Especially if their vocal bird calls were too convincing. Then I would probably sincerely ask them if they were channeling bird spirits—and I don’t mean the kind of spirits birds might consume to get intoxicated.
I decided therefore that I never wanted it to be said of me that I had tweeted. I imagined a list of modern honors and deeds one might recount upon a person’s death: “She was a wonderful person, no one has ever spoken ill of her, she was a loyal friend, she was never rude in the use of her cell phone, and she has tweeted.”
This imagined scenario made me shutter and adamantly think, not of me, please! I felt like tweeting might once and for all situate me in the modern age, an age I often don’t understand and even less often agree with. Not that past ages were any better. But I live now, so I can point out what’s wrong about the present and usually get away with it, and with sympathy.
That all changed when Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty posted an invitation to tweet love poems based on Irish mythology to coincide with the coming out of their jointly written book, Grá Mo Chroí, , which I encourage everyone to read! It’s a wonderful book. And, what is more, once I read the previously mentioned invitation, my antitweet resolve began breaking down. To my astonishment, I found myself creating a twitter account. Then, to much less astonishment and great fun, I discarded my, albeit never officially stated, vow to refrain from having tweeted, and have tweeted (twittered?) more times than I can count now.
I’m not sure what the protocol is about posting tweeted things on a blog, but here are a few of my tweeted poems. I’ll create another post with poems by/about my ancient family more directly, as they deserve a space of their own.
Songbird and foghorn
Take care, come listen
Sirens seaward cry
A soaring and a warning
As day sings itself awake
To walk the path
Steeped in mystery
With false starts strewn
One word, yes
Begins your hero’s journey
The six encircle me in love
At the center
I, shaped as a star
Their single light
Resonate with joy
Fierce passion Consumed their young souls
Now centuries flown
In the otherworld
They are love
A gentle light
Between them grown
For ancient reverence
Carve a place
A new old way
Weave the pattern
Of what happens
Come home you say
Fretful my night
Until your light fills
This space, glowing
Dissolving my fear
Your silent strength
Guides your lost child home
Finally, I love playing around with words and decided to create a hashtag called #absurdwordnerd under which to write ridiculous new definitions of words. Creatively changing the word by adding or subtracting a letter and then redefining it is also totally silly and acceptable. For example:
Indentured servant: a servant with false teeth. #absurdwordnerd
I am doing this just because why not, and because I think the world needs more humor. So come participate whenever inspiration hits you (just ask it to hit nicely.)
19 thoughts on “I Resisted, I Got Inspired, I Tweeted”
Lovely post Éilis! I’m glad you gave in and tweeted, its been a lot of fun! Having said that, life has worn me out this weekend, and I havent responded to your lovely poems yet, but I will. I’m just a bit braindead right now, and need to sleep. #absudwordnerd??? I’m sure I can come up with a few…
No problem Ali! Glad you enjoyed the post. I sure hope we all get permission to be braindead once and a while. I mean I had no space to post on my blog last week, too much going on and super overwhelmed. This week is looking so much better! 🙂
Glad to hear it. I was listening to all your music yesterday. You have composed some lovely pieces and you have a lovely singing voice.
Thank you for such kind words, Ali! Someday I want to do something with those songs, but at least I’ve got them up somewhere. 🙂 I’ve linked to twitter now, exciting!
I guess you will when you’re ready to. You’re very busy just now, but your time will come!
Also if you connect your blog to your twitter name, every time someone tweets one of your blog posts, it will come to your twitter feed. Its in your blog settings.
Thanks, Ali! I’ll figure out how to do that. Do I need a wigit?
No just go to your blog settings in your blog admin. I think its called coomunication or sharing, cant remember. It gives you the option to connect to about 5 social media sites ie twitter facebook. You just have to type in your twitter name and hit connect, if I remember rightly. Its very quick and easy.
I laugh scornfully at the thought of your being a thirty-something old-fashioned person ! [grin]
(I can do things like laughing scornfully, at my age …) 😀
Oh good. Glad it gave you a chuckle. 🙂
Hi Eilis – what a great post! This really resonated with me, as I am currently resisting Twitter (only ’cause I’m not sure what I’d do with it when I get it). But the chance to see some more of your lovely poems is a great incentive – perhaps it’s time for me to unfurl my figurative wings and find my inner bird 🙂 Thanks for sharing xx
Hi Helen, thank you for your lovely words! I’m so glad you could relate. 🙂 I did have a bit of a learning curve with twitter but it wasn’t that bad. And it’s very easy to sign up. You could always try your hand at some twitter poetry too, it’s super fun. I love writing the poems as much as figuring out the puzzle of how to express my thoughts in the fewest words possible. So far all I’ve used twitter for is that and coming up with crazy new definitions of words, and reading awesome tweets from my friends. Jane and Ali have some wonderful poems to check out on there, too. Your inner bird, lol, I love that. Can I borrow the phrase occasionally?
Absolutely, Eilis, borrow away 🙂 And thanks for giving me something more to consider re:Twitter – I guess part of my issue was what to use it for – I’m not much of a one for tweeting where I am or anything, unless it’s fairly spectacular! xx
Inner bird unleashed! Just signed up for Twitter 🙂
Awesome, I’ll go look for you over there right now! Personally I think we should have bird avatars next to our names. Mine would definitely be a hummingbird. How about you? 🙂
What’s your twitter name?
It’s @AuthorHelenJ – and I’ve yet to make a tweet! 🙂