Notes on the journey of motherhood

Blogging as theatre of intimacy



I studied film at university. You wouldn’t know it. I don’t know what passes for a filmy person these days, but I’m pretty sure they actually go to the cinema more than twice a year.

I stumbled into film class in first year uni after the crowds, bright lights and early starts of the 500 student psychology lecture proved too much. With the lights low in the film lectures, I could slip into anonymity with the silver cloak of the dim light wrapped around me. This was the only place my adolescent sensitivity seemed appropriate; watching films, crying and writing notes. Like what I did outside of school, but now with more intention.

I wonder if blogging (or, telling stories on the internet) is more like film than any other artistic medium, using photographs and personal first person accounts to create a theatre of intimacy. I clicked over to this blog and it ran a shiver up my skin. The photography is so tightly-framed and provocative, as in a film. I could almost hear the projector whirring in my ear as I scrolled, dust mites billowing in its beams of coloured light.

It also felt a little dangerous. Here was a girl on the cusp of womanhood, and she’s already fallen deeply in love, run away from home and had a baby. Her life is budding and already she has thrown herself into a photography career, a boyfriend and a baby all in one jump. Admittedly her work is truly, exquisitely beautiful (even the road kill shots) and she is extremely talented, but I look on waiting for something bad to happen. Not because I want it to happen, only that in stories there is always so much for our protagonists to lose. In this case, her whole heart is on the line.

It’s true, a picture can paint a thousand words, but when we put those very personal pictures on the web where the audience is almost unlimited, we have intimacy on a massive scale. How much can one heart handle?

Where do you draw the line with what you share on the internet? Do you ever feel uncomfortable with other people’s intimacy on the internet? Or am I just being an old Nanna?

17 Responses to “Blogging as theatre of intimacy”

  1. shambolicliving

    I think this is a really difficult question. Yes there are times I do feel uncomfortable with other people’s intimacy on the internet, I worry they are oversharing, laying bare the personal to public scrutiny. I especially worry when the sharing involves other people’s lives (partners, children etc). Sometimes I am grateful I was late to the blogging party, if I had been blogging when the children where younger and I was struggling with the stay-at-home years I too may have shared too much. Now, the children can comment, question, argue and ultimately veto their involvement on blog posts. It keeps me on my toes. (And possibly stifles what I can write about too). There is no doubt that intimate posts are rewarded with page views, comments and shares. But somehow you have to find a balance between intimacy and respecting the people who share your life. I looked briefly at The Road Is Home, I understand what you are saying, but I possibly felt less uncomfortable with the intimacy because the young girl clearly has a style, perspective and direction that on a short reading remains constant throughout the blog. Will she regret some of what she has shared in the future? Maybe. But given her voice is so strong I suspect she will take her talent and forge an artistic career where that sort of intimacy is valued. So maybe what I am saying is that the intimacy in her writing/photographs seems central to her artistry, where sometimes on other blogs is seems out-of-place?

  2. Hannah

    This is beautiful work, a blog is a canvas, everyone paints differently. What I read there in pictures and words was raw, and heartening, and well, raw.

  3. sarafoley

    Yes, it is a beautiful blog. My very favourite blogs are nearly always ones that have a personal element. I have definitely read the occasional blogs where there is too much shared for my liking – but then again, it’s not my blog. It’s probably perfect for them! I like to be affected emotionally by what I read, and I love when I can get insights into my own life from someone else’s experience. I guess I really enjoy integrity and honesty in communication, and the feeling that the person is truly being real.

    • rhythm & method

      It’s really interesting reading this, because I think I come from it at a different angle and didn’t realise until this very moment. I find it hard to be emotionally affected … perhaps I did all my crying in film class. ;)

  4. Carli

    I felt a little of that imminent danger on The Road is Home. The images are quite dark but I don’t mind art that makes me a little uncomfortable. I’m not sure I’ve completely appreciated the intimacy of it all though because the film-like quality almost makes it feel fictitious – if that makes sense.

    Personally I draw the line when I feel like I’m starting to tell another person’s story but I do like hearing other people’s thoughts because my own feelings on the issue are continually evolving.

    • rhythm & method

      Great comment Carli, I’m with you but if you’re only ever telling your own story, don’t you get a bit sick of yourself? This is my never-ending problem with blogging; I too avoid telling stories that don’t belong to me, but at the same time I worry I might slip into narcissism. (I’ve never thought this about your blog, which is wonderful and stylish, but I am curious how you deal with this …?)

      • Carli

        I do, and I worry that people are getting sick of me too! Being fairly opinionated I usually find something in the media to upset me so I can then write something less me-centric. I’ve stopped doing the fashion-y type posts though because I can’t cope with the narcissistic feelings that usually follow!

  5. ameliadraws

    As an artist who uses her body as a model and my heart as the drive i am used to sharing and exposing. i live in a small town where gossip is rife i approach it and the net and my art with a sense of no shame and with no shame comes no regrets. However i like carli’s point about who’s story is yours to tell. i am to beguileded by the road home’s photos to distract with words. i’ll get to them later. my family is sometimes concerned by what i share about myself what people may think of me. hubby shares my view of just not caring

  6. Gill

    I would have been hiding in the lecture theatre with you. Actually I wouldn’t have been with you because I always made sure I was late so I could creep into the dark theatre and hide deep in my chair. Writing, reading, learning, they are hugely personal pursuits to me and I guess blogging is hugely personal for me too. I stopped blogging when I realized real life friends/family were reading. I wanted my blog to be private but open to the rest of the world at the same time. What on earth does all that say about me…

    I like carli’s comment. I try to draw the line at sharing someone else’s story.

  7. Gill

    The Road is Home throws up all kind of mind battles for me. Somehow the blog, the story both terrifies and captivates me. Is she incredibly vulnerable or incredibly strong? I really don’t know. There is still so much secret squirrel in me, I could never be so
    open with the world.


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