As we near the end of Spring, I thought I’d pop back in from my recalibration station to share some postcards from my time communing in the offline world.
The radius of my ambulation and exploration is intentionally small these days. I feel like a soft-shell crab in a midnight tide pool. Resting in gentle waters, bathing naked under moonlight.
Breathing into the seat of my mind, I try to draw my thoughts away from the fear of being hunted and eaten as I unhinge this exoskeleton and pull away from everything familiar.
“You can find soft-shell blue crabs most any time after dark when they start moving into the shallows to shed. The lunar cycle influences the crabs to go through with the molting process. The molting process is more pronounced during the several days before and after a full moon…They can’t move very fast while soft…During the soft-shell phase, a blue crab can be fried, sautéed or steamed and consumed entirely.”
Vulnerability is a delicacy.
Our culture has even made soft-shelled aesthetics highly consumable. Tangled headphones, unflattering and unfiltered camera angles, non-sequitur photo dumps, emotive caption essays, bare-it-all before it gets bared for you. I relate to this content because it doesn’t urge me toward filtered aspirations, it merely affirms exactly who I am when I am most present. Like a candid photo, it’s a rare treat.
Unlike crabs, however, soft-shell content molts in broad daylight, submerged in the shallows of the internet. It’s this audacity that almost summons a form of interim protective shell. Like a wall of bodies assembling into a changing room for a friend on a public beach. I think of the particular vulnerability of people like Billie Eilish or Emma Chamberlain that has amassed such gargantuan followings. Crowds flock to their rawness in shell formation. In the documentary “Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry,” Eilish even describes her fans as a part of her.
When we transform, our protective shells don’t always come with us. People are jolted into a new version of us…some accepting our bigger shells, some preferring our smaller or softer shells. You might be familiar with this phenomena! Which is why I’m thinking of you.
As strange and difficult as it has been to be without what feels most familiar and safe these last few months, I’m learning to find peace floating in the dissolve of what is no longer tangible. In my little pool over here, I am contemplating how to best feed others because I refuse to be consumed entirely.
I’ll end with a little wisdom from Emma Chamberlain wherein she describes the tension between her imperfect internet persona and internal struggle with perfection.
…it’s interesting because perfection to me is not what it would be for someone else, right? Perfection for others might be never having a zit and a perfectly symmetrical face, or whatever the fuck, but for me it’s actually more of a moral perfection. So never having a moment of pettiness, never having a moment of resentment. I want to believe that I’ve never wronged anybody, that I’ve never hurt anybody’s feelings. Nowadays I’m so careful about how I am with others, but you know, you can’t control everything that you’ve ever done. I’m putting so much pressure on myself to only have a positive impact on the world, and that may be great but it’s made me isolate myself because I have this phobia of accidentally hurting others. It haunts me but I’m learning to realize you can’t do good either if you don’t talk to people out of fear that you’re going to hurt them. It’s so bizarre.
That’s all for late night ramblings. More to come, whenever it feels aligned <3