…there’s not only nothing wrong with writing one’s poem and sending it down the river on fire, it might be a significantly better way to transcend the technical issues and consider what it means to *be*
the idea struck me so much, I decided to do this very thing in a literal sense.
And sent the burning boats afloat.
It was quite a lovely little experience in impermanence, shifting the metaphor into a literal act.
As the boat burned and floated, I ruminated on the analogy, wondering if this is what it is like to release the essence of my creative contributions into the web, into the unknown, allowing it to be freed, destroyed, reshaped or potentially disappear.
I decided that with both the boat and my online presence, it’s not the permanence of the act that is powerful but the agency. Of course, nothing ever stays the same. Everything is shifting and changing. I accept this fully. It’s the agency of the act that I have a difficult time relinquishing.
I made the boat with my paper. It was my decision to burn the boat. Even if natural disaster had caused my boat to capsize and sink, it was my choice to let it float away. The agency of loss is my own.
Parts of me are fragmented in ways that I’ll never know about. @DrGarcia likens this to a social media horcrux, where portions of your soul are splintered across multiple objects (or in this case, websites).
We can still maintain stoicism about impermanence. Disappearing online artifacts can stand tribute to this. But this is happening less and less. It’s not the disappearing that is the problem but the fragmenting. When my artifacts get locked up and these pieces of my soul get shifted behind walls, I am robbed of my agency.
It is the loss of agency that is worthy of concern.
And more importantly, this is the loss of agency that we can actively prevent by keeping our spaces and helping others set up their own spaces. This is a role I see as ever more important for librarians and educators in higher education.
To dramatically mix my metaphors, I’ll pull in D’Arcy’s thoughts. We may be the funky downtown losing business to the giant box stores. I’m okay with that. I like to think every time I blog, release a picture into the creative commons, pingback, comment on my friends’ blogs, help others create open spaces I consider that my contribution to the Funky Downtown Economic Development Office.
*Again another opportunity just #ds106 #GIFest it up.