Reflection Point: ‘Social media profile (P 13)
My Facebook page is a picture of me as a ‘wide-eyed’ 9 year old boy. He wears a home knitted cardigan with front zip, has slicked-back hair, which was fashionable in the 1950’s, and he has a startled expression. It does not show the physical and emotional distress of living with an abusive father. I speaks to me of a lost childhood with little love and affirmation and a lot of trauma. I am sure that people cannot see that in that image. I put it as my social media picture as I had been looking at family photographs for a previous module and I had not posted any images of my youth before even to my children.
If I were to construct a more ‘accurate’ portrait of myself I would find this very difficult. In the last module I produced a portrait of myself as a doctor where my arms are crossed and I look straight at the camera. I think that I am like that and can be very direct and challenging but I also have a reflective and softer side which is not in the image. The other issue about depiction is that it is not just about the exterior, there is the inner landscape of the person. Increasingly I believe that I am not what I have achieved or done or what people say about me but someone who is loved by God and others. I spent time praying and meditating day and night and sometimes connect with God. How do you show spirituality and that experience of the numinous? What about the warts and weaknesses? Do I need to show these even though I am comfortable with showing my vulnerability as well as my strengths? Someone could do my portrait and show ‘Me’ but only after spending some time with me.
July 2017 – reviewing this post. A painter has just completed a painting of myself and my younger son. This does represent something of me and my son and our relationship. This is quite a rare thing. I have yet to collect the painting.