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Audio Post polyvore 21 Sept 2012

Today, after weeks of absence, I rejoined the activity of the social networking site Polyvore.com which is an art and design site. Before the fire I spent many hours designing both fashion and art sets. After the fire I just did not have it in me to design.

I like Polyvore as a social media site, it is less chatter and more doing things. Sometimes people make comments on sets sometimes people send private messages but mostly we make art and design and we view art and design. There is something special about knowing people through on their work.

Facebook is the social media yardstick. Billions of words are put there every day. A lot of people use Facebook for sharing photographs. I use it to share this blog (intermountainwest.tumblr.com). Some use it for political statements. Still others use it to share with their friends and family the minutia of their lives. I think that it is wonderful to be able to share with many people at once. When you have to share one-by-one the sharing gets truncated, I think. Once I discovered that my family expected to travel to my house on the day before their flight actually left. I was able to sort it out because of Facebook. In that, and so many other ways, Facebook helps all of us connect.

Facebook makes me weary. I feel bad about saying it but it is true.  There is so much activity and so many words. Polyvore does not weary me. Perhaps it is my need to do, to create, something. Perhaps it is my latent desire to create beautiful things. Perhaps it is my love of seeing what others create. In reality, I think it is all of those things.

So, we Polyvorians mostly know each other through our work. When I view sets that others have made I make myself try to guess whose set it is before I look at the artist name. I want to try to recognize the person by their work. In “my crowd” people do both art and fashion sets. Some actually do art, fashion and interior design. You have to see the essence of the creator of the set to see who made it, not just the style of the set. Sometimes people do something that is entirely new to their style. For years one person included a visual metaphor that in form changed daily but always had the same meaning. Suddenly it was gone. The sets are just as good, in some ways, better. The essence of the person still resides in the set. Still, when the style changes, it gives the viewer who knew the work a bit of vertigo looking at the new work.

When the fire came, I first wrote about it on Polyvore. There are political sets on Polyvore so I felt that it was an OK place to do it. I wanted people to know and I was grateful for the support from people I respected and cared about. However, I also came to realize my family had a story to tell and that it was going to be a long one. We wanted to tell the story because we believed that the story we had to tell might help others; we had a blog.

In the ensuing months I have not had the energy or desire to do work on Polyvore. The level of creativity that is poured into the design seemed overwhelming to me. The endless tasks of the inventory of personal property, the details of cleaning the site, deciding what to buy, finding it, ordering it, unpacking it, and sometimes returning it consumes my energy. Making a Polyvore set would be a good thing. My family wanted me to do it. I just could not.

Day before yesterday I made a set. It was an abstract.One person commented that it looked like smoke. I did not see it that way when I was making it but I could see what she saw when she said it.

Today I gathered my energy and viewed, liked and commented on a few hundred sets. Of course, people showed up to welcome me back.

It is good to be welcomed. It is good to see the beauty that others have created. I think it is good that I have the desire to make beautiful sets again. Even though the fire changed our style, the essence of our life remains. On Polyvore, as in life, it is stabilizing to be able to see the essence of something even when the style has changed.