Or: A treatise on the complexities of people
I was listening to an interview with Steve Martin on our national radio station this morning. He was talking about Lawren Harris, a Canadian painter and national icon. I was particularly struck by his intelligence – he wasn’t his usual silly self, but knowledgeable, insightful, and interesting.
I’ve seen Steve Martin play his banjo with his bluegrass band before – he came to Ottawa a few years ago to play at our Jazz Festival – so I know he is intelligent and has an appreciation for art – and that he can be serious. But I still always expect him to lapse into hilarity. I’m impressed when he doesn’t.
It is this complexity that intrigues me about humanity. In this day and age when we all, inadvertently or purposefully, create a brand for ourselves through our social media accounts, there can be a tendency to weed out certain aspects of one’s personality. To think, that doesn’t really fit with who people think I am, and to post selectively.
I used to follow Steve Martin on Twitter. Somehow over time, my Twitter account has become more about my day job, though. It’s full of thoughts and pictures on migration, refugees and humanitarian issues. I follow the IOM, UNHCR, Refugee Watch. I use it to keep an eye on the icons and leaders of that world. It informs my daily work.
Steve Martin doesn’t really fit into this picture.
Then again, I also use Twitter to follow a few unrelated pages – a tourism site for Cape Town and an indie band from Toronto, the Lowest of the Low, for example.
These have nothing to do with migration, unless we’re referring to my own personal migration, from Toronto, to Ottawa, to places out there in the rest of the world. But that’s not why I followed them on Twitter. There really is no thematic link, no connection…
Other than me.
Which is kind of the point. Like Steve Martin, whose silly screen persona, love of fine art and bluegrass music aren’t really linked except by the person himself, it’s the interesting complexities that make a whole person, and an online presence.
My Twitter account may be mostly about my work, but it’s not all about my work.
My Facebook account is mostly for friends and family, but not solely.
This blog is about me – about my family, my work, my thoughts, nature – but there are holes in my self-representation here, too.
Who am I? A mother, a writer, a runner, an international migration policy advisor. I like music, nature. I promote liberal politics, human rights, and love, acceptance and tolerance for all people, regardless of religion, skin colour, hair colour, eye colour, sexual orientation or gender.
If you put it all together, it might not look like it all belongs, but it does.
This is me.
Thank you, @SteveMartinToGo, for reminding me about the messy combinations of things that make a person whole, and for reminding me to get over myself and follow whoever I want.