Hey there, friends. Welcome to the “full length” Catacosmosis Instablog.
It’s a long story as to how we got here, to this link – where should I begin? I want to begin first by thanking you for wanting this, and encouraging it. I don’t know what it will become, or when, or how…but become, it will. Secondly, I’d like to say (LOUDLY) that this is not the start of something new – it is, rather, the continuation of something that has existed for a fairly long time on Instagram (and still does, and will continue to) and is more an attempt of doing something that we’ve been doing, but doing it in a different and better way.
I’ve been posting the lovingly dubbed “instablogs” for a little while now – for just over one year (thirteen months today, to be exact), Catacosmosis has existed on Insta. I started it out of both desperation and confusion, and always meant it to be a personal account and an extension of the artist me (Catacosmic). Because of things that were going on (both things that led me to create Catacosmosis and things that would happen after it’s creation), I fell almost completely away from Catacosmic.
Remembering that, I have to mention that I still feel like I failed my baby, my dream – Macro Mextures. I had SO much going on, with cancer and loss and personal pain and brokenness, and at a lot of levels I lost heart – but especially in my art, and in that creation – Macro Mextures. But, rather than kill it altogether, I gave it to some fabulous ladies who, still to this day, are nurturing it and have (along with the AMAZING community of macro/Mextures artists on Instagram) made it into a beautiful and wonderful community.
Joanna, in particular, has truly blown my mind and touched my soul with her passion and commitment to the project, even when my own was limited and damaged. There are some steadfast and amazing people, along with her, who touch my heart on a daily basis as they continue to love and nourish what was originally a creative extension of myself and my macro/mextures obsession, and they’ve loved and kept it alive and still, it continues to grow and become a sort of entity all of it’s own. I love it. I am proud of it, and of them, and of that community.
So my biggest thanks today, I think, goes out to that family. I love and appreciate you – and Macro Mextures – so much. I may be present at a distance but I AM present, and I do see all the wonder and beauty and joy you bring to Instagram and to all the people who are involved with the project, including myself, and it truly inspires and encourages me on. In fact, I wouldn’t even be on Instagram as an artist if not for that community. I did deactivate my art account for a short time as I got things kind of sorted out in my world, but I truly only came back to my art because of that community and the encouragement they didn’t even know they were offering. Here I offer my heartfelt and truest thanks and gratitude are going out to you here, in this little snippet of blog, and I hope that you will continue on for a very, very long time.
As I just mentioned, I did lose heart in my art. In my photography, in my art creations, even in my writing. I didn’t write, really, for a long time. I turned my personal-writing blog into an art blog, and then I was so hopeless regarding my own art that I turned my art blog (Catacosmic) into a blog about Mextures and other people’s amazing art and creations. I felt that was all I had to offer, and wanted to give back, and I didn’t want to lose the art altogether because I knew that I would just fade away if I lost that… So, I spent hours interviewing artists and sharing their work in feature articles about them. It was truly still therapeutic to me because it was helping to stay connected to the art/artists while taking my mind away from my own “stuff.”
When Dorie died on March 22, 2016 (see this post for more about Dorie | coming soon |) I was forced, in order to emotionally and physically survive, to take a HUGE step back from social media, from my blog, from everything. I have to be honest and admit that when she died, a huge part of me died, too. I have stayed active at one place, which has been my sanity, my hope, my therapy, my support – it is what has become the InstaBlog: Catacosmosis. I posted rantings and emotional outpourings, tears turned into words – the pain turned into tangible pieces of me made from letters in black and white, and I pretty steadfastly held on to, and with, that process…
That’s where the handle “Catacosmosis” came from – this inception of the metamorphosis of the Catacosmic (artist me) on Instagram. That whole journey began as a personal account to separate me from my art persona, and then evolved into a sort of safe place for me in my grief, and something that people from grief support and cptsd support accounts I was involved with on Insta started to follow and be fairly regularly involved in. In the early fall of last year, there was a lot of suggestion and talk about creating a (private) podcast or chat that we could all be involved in and communicate with, via Skype and online podcasting platforms. And, that’s what brings me here.
After those conversations began, I started to use the Voice Memo function on my phone to record these random thoughts and this input to conversations that we would be having, while I was doing things like laundry or dishes or cleaning bathrooms and didn’t have the time or the hands to write. I would save them, with intentions of sharing them or at least InstaBlogging them, but it became impossible as the month of December (2016) carried on and wound down. It was going to be a new thing I would do – that we could theoretically do together – in 2017.
But then, I decided, as the clock rolled over, that I didn’t want to do anything new. I didn’t want to start anything, and whatever it was I didn’t want it to be private. That would help no one but us, and surely there are more people who might come across it that it could at least inspire a little bit. I just wanted to carry on, in general. Not even finish what I had started before – because there is no end to this journey…not really. Alas, I had all these voice memos, and this blog (and specifically this post) is actually born of this one:
“Where was I? Oh – yes, I was talking about the blog situation. I had mentioned previously to you that the whole thing went into this conversation about doing versus not doing this podcast, so basically I was talking to you about how I had done a lot of thinking about it, trying to decide how to make that happen. I came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t going to – it couldn’t – happen. There is already SO MUCH happening, for me and for all of us. Another commitment when I can barely manage the ones I have already? No thank you – I don’t want to start a new year with a new stress! But that’s ok! Then I began to think about how we could do this thing, but differently. Let’s talk about a blog…because blogs I can ALWAYS do. Blogs are WHAT I do. Let’s talk about how that CAN happen versus how the podcast thing is just not going to happen.”
So we did. And, here we are. There’s no way to remember everything that was said but at this point I CAN tell you this: I have created this blogger blog page specifically for long blog content that I frequently have to try to stuff into the InstaBlogs. I have, with the exception of the last month or so, been fairly regular with my posts on the InstaBlog Instagram – for the past year I have been exceptionally active, and I’m proud of myself for that, considering the things I have felt were against me (LIFE). Recently, because of life, there have periods where I have gone days at a time – at one point, nearly a week – without posting on my profile, but I’ve tried to remain active in the group accounts because they help me so much and I want to help you, too.
We’re a team. On my profile, even the daily posts have been very limited in their content – I’ve been sharing a lot of music lately, as it it more summational and touching, I think; but, as we had discussed, I wanted to be able to post, and manage everything that was going on, especially regarding the limitations on length of posts and characters, etc., all of the stuff that has been an issue at Instagram even when my life or my moods haven’t been, and I no longer wanted to blend that into the art blog, as it distracts from the content that I want to be the focus there (should I begin posting for other artists there in the future). I was having real issues with that – as we all know, I’m not a writer who can keep it short and sweet on a regular basis, and I – like most of us – have a LOT to say once I get talking, especially about these topics. And, I reached a place as recently as a week ago where I was freaking out about that.
Along with the things I just mentioned, I was also having some insecurity issues (a regular thing for me in the last year or two or three) – I didn’t want to write about certain things, and then there were certain things that are exceptionally hard to write about via InstaBlogs because they’re really complicated (topics like dementia, recently). I DID want to share them because I was experiencing them and a lot of others were (are), as well, and I feel like all of us have valuable information and experience to add to the broader conversation and pool of knowledge about these things, and I know that we all appreciate that from each other. But some of those topics – well – you can’t write about your own story, the pain or the experience you’re having, AND write about the lesson or the tool you have discovered, so forth and so on, all in one post on Instagram. Impossible. Not going to happen – not if you want to convey a complete message that people can grasp.
The idea here is that what I want to do instead of the private podcast/chat option as a solution, and instead of the extremely LONG and numerous posts on Instagram about things, is that I will post a snippet on Instagram and link it back to this page – our very own full length InstaBlog. It’s kind of the new, 2017 version of this thing that’s already going on, and so it’s not really something that I was as nervous or pressured by or about. I DID NOT want to create something new, or start something new, or go on this new adventure, because we do that all to often, I think. We set ourselves up and then let ourselves down, over and over again, because we feel like, you know – we’re not even finishing what we started before but we have to have a fresh start – even if it’s JUST because it’s a new year – and there’s all this pressure and just too much going (for me personally) to deal with a lot of change in my life right now, especially change I’m forcing on myself, and this is none of that. This is my alternative to a “fresh start,” and it feels good, and I’m good with giving it a go.
So, I hope that those of you on Instagram will join in here as you have there – I understand not everyone wants to step outside of Instagram because the whole point of it is convenience (and I totally get that) but it has limits, too, just like everything else online. Pros and cons… And, I can’t promise that I myself will be on a specific schedule or that there will be any routine to this because you guys know that it’s me – that’s just my life, this stupid crazy thing it is at the moment, and general life events – not to mention my moods and emotional abilities – range so much from one day to the next lately. I’m looking forward to this, but not allowing any pressure (from myself or anyone else). We’ll see how it works out, and if the conversation is any better or easier on the longer, harder things shared here, or if you’re even able to really contribute here.
None of us want the negative stuff but the negative stuff is there for all of us, and it’s real and valid and a part of our stories and lives, and it deserves to be recognized so that it can be handled. I’ll be posting a more in depth writing about that in the very near future… The reason I mention it here, now, is to say that Instagram has been the ONLY place in a social media or online forum that I have found the kind of non-expectational, unconditional, just-be-you kind of thing that exists among like minds without the ridiculous amounts of hate and noise we see in other places, like other art sharing sites, or Facebook (God help us all), or espeically private forums where people feel veiled from the public by the private status of the group and so they’re much more comfortable growling and snarling and showing their teeth and lashing out because they disagree…
We don’t need that. We don’t want that. So I’m so very grateful for what these Instagram communities have brought to my life and I hope we can share more, deeper, and better with each other – or at least that I can, from me to you. I do hope that you will share your ideas and suggetions, etc. It’s about US. It’s about what is happening, and how we are making it through these things we face. We’ve got this, and we’re gonna make it, together.
See you soon, friends.
All the love,