I’ll probably never be an Instagram star because my brain doesn’t work through algorithms or abide in the Principles of the One-Trick Pony. That is, my mind is too random and perhaps too creatively obsessed to attract the types of followers that love consistency and central messaging. Plus I don’t have cleavage.
As for this blog, I produce it not for fame, but for therapy. It releases the bubbles of thought, anxiety and hope that rise from the depths of my mind to reach the surface of existence. Sometimes I gain followers because those bubbles resonate. Other times I lose followers because they make people foam at the mouth.
I took the photos for this blog on a wetland out behind our house. I was wandering around the ice covered surface with our dog, and grew fascinated with the plasticine patterns visible under my feet. In a few short weeks the ice will be melted away and the voices of chorus frogs will burst forth as the first fifty-degree days in March arrive. But for now, the world of the wetland is all sullen bubbles trapped beneath the frozen water.
The other realm of bubbles consuming my brain is the swimming pool. Perhaps you’ve not thought about the bubbles you make while swimming in a pool, but there are millions of them. Turning the head side to side every stroke, we release CO2 and take in oxygen with every stroke. Sometimes we’ll go two or three strokes in a row, head just below the surface, no bubbles to be seen. It even works that way while running or riding. Periods of bubbling presence followed by silent movement. We breathe.
Recently I heard a Sirius radio host interview an author who began talking about the meaning of life. To my surprise, he used a bubble as an example of how life does not necessarily have meaning, on its own. He suggested it has value instead.
Think back to those days creating soap bubbles in the summer sun. If you’ve ever used a really big wand, you grow to understand the delicate nature of surface tension at work. Slowly moving your arm, the bubble inflates with air, takes on delicate colors and then floats away on the free will of the universe. Like a dream. Then it pops and is gone. We are all alone again.
Such is life, is it not? I recall being a young man with a crush on a girl in our neighborhood. I liked her hair and smile, her brown eyes and the way she moved. I was smitten. Then some rough boys from another town made her acquaintance and started showing up on her porch. I overhead one of them talking about her. “She’s got such a bubble butt,” he murmured. “How would you like to grab that?”
I felt protective of her, but powerless to do much about it. So much of life is like that. Some coarse event comes along to burst our bubble and the only thing we can do is watch it burst. The hopeful among us go out and create more.
And have you ever had someone turn to you and say, “I hate to burst your bubble, but…” That’s typically not a fun moment. Well in my case, I now have a bubble butt of own. So fuck all that. Here’s to convergent evolution and showing your ass to the world in protest.
Putting it out there
My mind creates bubbles without really trying. I’ve often been accused of oversharing on social media, and that’s the cause. I can’t stop thinking about everything I see.
Then there is so much injustice and abuse and disgust toward the creative in this world, that putting it out there seems like an act of defiance. So I put ideas and bubbles out there and see who views the world the same way or differently. I’ve even taken a look at tar bubbles that way.
That’s what we’re all doing on social media. Sending out bubbles and sometimes popping them. Laughing at the way we look through them. At the same time, we are trapped in a bubble of our own making.
Algorithms will do that. We can’t always discern where our information is coming from, or where it goes. So it is best to pop your bubble now and then. Get outside the flubbering void of your own existence and dip your wand in the soapy world beyond. It’s not always pretty, but it is often interesting.
Or you can just stare down at your feet. Those bubbles may be calling you home.