ECLIPSES // INSTAGRAM
Two nights ago, we had an eclipse. On the East Coast, it happened around 11:30 pm. It was a full moon lunar eclipse. It was also called: the Super Flower Blood Moon Eclipse. If you can believe it!
The internet tells me that it looked like this. ^ The reason the middle moon is orange is the same reason that sunsets turn orange and red. Some vibrant, insane refraction.
Eclipses happen when Earth passes between the moon and then sun. We’re actually in the midst of ‘eclipse season’. This is really just means that there have been two eclipses in succession recently (the last one was April 30th) – the next set will come in November.
Because I am an *eccentric lass*, I have been studying astrology. I realized recently that I started really digging in right when I last my last formal kitchen job. Interesting! (I also write horoscopes for @ DVF and my ‘books are open’ as they say! Let me know if you’d like a reading :) but also… when is my book ever even closed. !!).
Why are eclipses fun to think about, other than their wild physical nature? Well! In traditional astrology, the Sun represents consciousness, what is illuminated, physical, and clear. The moon represents what’s unconscious, unrealized, or shadowed. The alignment of the two, and their mutual exposures, are what make these moments, to me, magical. It’s also sweet that they come in pairs. It is said that eclipses are the arbiters of transformation and initiation. While other lunations signify challenges or lulls, eclipses have capacity to demarcate narrative and energetic phases in our lives. They are rapid fire.
I’ve been anticipating these eclipses, secretly counting down. My excitement about events like these doesn’t necessary come from any certainly that much will shift, nor that the days and nights of the eclipses will feel particularly extraordinary. Mostly, I find myself drawn to mindfulness of the eclipses because I cannot resist the joy that the potential of change can bring.
Do I hold every detail up for inspection under the light of the eclipse? No! Do I believe that things always line up perfectly? No! Will I shift my life in any significant way to accommodate these events? No!
But weirdly, I can actually look at the last few eclipses and tell you that I moved close to those dates, or that central relationships changed or ended, that I was about to start a new job, or that I uncovered something new that would substantially inform my life. For me, somehow, this stuff checks out. And in a world that can be GRIM and BORING, boy is it nice to find meaning in the stars, to be surprised with wonder when these things seem to speak up :)
The week before last, I learned about the internet for the first time.
Or at least, it felt like I did. Because I did an Instagram takeover for the food Instagram/magazine DOOF. Which was a massive honor and pleasure! I felt very lucky.
Part of me has always wondered what it might be like to be good at Instagram, or at least to be in conversation with a petit audience through that medium. On my own, I have a lot of fun with the app. I like nice light and posting pretty things and my gorgeous friends and food that looks special. But my missives have always been for my friends, or at least people who know me, or even at least people who kind of know me. Suddenly on this platform, presented with over 11 times the followers I normally have, I felt some deep paralysis. Wtf was I doing and who tf was I supposed to be ??
I’ve always felt a little lost when it comes to online time. I’ll self-promote and truly hate it, so to cope I’ll pretend like I am writing to a robot and not to humans. It’s not the most nuanced thing in the world for me to say that the internet is complicated and not great for the mental health. I was left, as usual, with more musings than answers. Here are some specific ones:
-Omg we love dopamine! But, where does it go when it evaporates? 500 people liked a post of mine, I am dying, I am seen, I am extraordinary. I scroll, and 1000 people liked another person’s post. Suddenly, I am a sad old hack.
-In what ways is vulnerability capital? One of my least favorite types of real-life interactions to observe is when strangers trade their secrets to prove that they are friends. However, on a platform that is about visuals and surface, is sharing a secret an act of transcendence? Exhibitionism? Some courageous juxtaposition?
- The Phantom Arm! I’m sitting at dinner with someone I love. They get up to go to the bathroom or take a call or whatever. My left hand grabs for my water glass, but my right hand goes into my bag to touch my phone to click on Instagram to see what’s happened. Only when my eyes hit the screen do I realize that my right hand has moved at all. Sick sick stuff!!
-Running a large account meant that I got to observe ‘engagement’ beyond what I had known before. People really do click around! This was kind of the light in the darkness of my self-consciousness; though people do scroll very fast, they also say very sweet things and it means a lot! In the same way meanness on the internet is shocking to me, niceness really is too.
Just a moment to reflect on how confusing food instagram has the potential to be
It’s images… of food. But you don’t know how good food is… unless you taste it. So essentially our system valuation of food has to be exclusively aesthetic. Isn’t that strange?? What if you see something that someone makes and it looks compelling but nothing tastes good at alllll!? That’s why, I think, we have dug so deep into this insane world of ASMR. A great video to demonstrate how strangely warped the visuals of food media are: this perplexingly cringe video of Karlie Kloss and Emily Mariko making oatmeal cookies of all things!
This thing has 737.5 K views :o
Why am I so bad at this
Is something that I asked myself a lot, even as posting came easier each day. At another point, I’ll write about my theory that people who are chefs who are famous on Instagram are mostly doing a media job, and we get bamboozled-- but that is not for the moment. Mostly, I was wondering how, if I am a person who likes to express herself, do I feel such deep incapacity to do so well through this medium.
And then I remembered the eclipse.
SUPER FLOWER BLOOD MOON EXPLI ALIDOCIOUS
How often is it that the sun and the moon align? How often is it that the outer self, the physical, seems to shed just the right light on the inner self, the shadow, the unconscious? How often does the silhouette fit the substance so much so that there is a moment of transcendent light that shines transcendently through?
AKA how often does our inside match our presentation? Rarely. And the cosmos have, after all, had years of practice.
ONE ALWAYS LEARNS ONE’S MYSTERY AT THE PRICE OF ONE’S INNOCENCE
Is a quote that popped up for me yesterday. It’s a Robertson Davies quote. I wrote it down, like this, in caps.
My *one hater* during my Instagram takeover was elicited in response to an esoteric story I posted about how astrology influences my cooking. The iconic hater simply dm-ed me something brief, but poignant:
And I simply… agreed!