Journal

i don’t want blogging to be dead

i logged into my feed reader this morning to find… nothing. it made me sad. i used to love reading most of these blogs every day, essays and updates and inspiration from everywhere. i don’t blame people for not posting. even my own blog has suffered as i have tried to do something bigger than i am. you end up having to let things go, even if you’re just living your normal life.

i wish i could just hit the brakes on all the things right now. i want to make the world slow again. i think we did more as people, because we weren’t so busy being… well, busy all the time. i think moments and relationships were more meaningful. so were holidays.

but even i don’t sit down very often and live into my life. my kids are a force, the older two doing school and making friends and the littlest one being a full-time two-year-old. i like them. they make me crazy. i try to teach them how to lead meaningful lives and not just go from one thing to the next.

i bake bread for them, and i use my crockpot three times per week. i light candles into chaos and i try to think about words i would write while i am doing dishes. i want to write poetry again. i don’t believe i have it in me anymore. everything is “yes, no, we’re not going to do that, we need these groceries, clean up after yourself, do your chores, please just leave me alone for a little bit…”

Technically, i am taking some time off from my business over the holidays, but it’s not really time off. i’m actually working on a personal project that is very close to my heart. i’m trying to decide if i could publish a real book from this shoot. i don’t even know where to begin. i don’t know who i could hire to help me begin. it’s funny realizing how much i need others to help me achieve my dreams now.

proper capitalization will probably be important if i want to get any words published. except here. i can do what i like here, and i’m going to keep trying that. possibility, my friend sarah, says. here’s to making possibility, and to making a life right here inside it.

nourish – the stories

 
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“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die,
we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”
― Sue Monk Kidd

I am not just a photographer. I’m a storyteller. My pictures begin and end with story. But it seems that in making a business, I’ve forgotten how to find the story. I have been trying so hard to make it up that I haven’t been able to see what is already there. I’m so afraid the stories have died for me; I don’t want that.

I don’t want to waste my life on acceptable words. I don’t want to say things that the rest of the world has already said. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time with meaningless chatter meant to create SEO rankings, get a post up, fill a page.

When I come here, I want to say real things. I want to spin stories here like morning spider webs with words and in pictures, and I want to open out my heart because the silence is too lonely. It is time for me to tell stories again, no matter how embarrassed or vulnerable or dramatic or tired I feel. I want this place to be rich with inspiration, not just for my readers, but also for myself, so that on the days when I doubt myself, I can be reminded that I am bringing beauty to the world.

On Reincarnation

 

Sometimes you change so that you hate the sound of your own voice, so that the world you live in is so unfamiliar that you have to go back to where you began before you can take another step forward, before you know how to live in the world again.

This summer, I left my home in one place to make a new home in another. I left my business one way in Charleston and found it another way in California. I’m not sure most days if I am coming or going. Everything is in process. I am tired of being in process. I wrestle and fume and frustrate because I want to be *something.* Or maybe it’s that I just need to uncover who I am becoming now.

I want my words to count, to be rich with meaning, so that no matter how few I speak, they will last. I want to take pictures that share my feelings, because that is what I do. So here I am again, a person in the world, blogging. This is where I began to make sense of how I fit in my world. I hope at least a few of you will bear with me as I re-begin.

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meriggiare

we have named our apartment “meriggiare,” which is italian for “sit out the noon.” it’s a shaded place, a hot-but-shaded place, and it is welcoming and restful and wonderful in the heat of this desert, and i love that the light reminds me of europe. it makes me happy.

i’ve been saying that a lot: “i am happy,” “i am so happy!” “i am really, really happy.” It feels like an experiment in joy, a “did God, would God, has He, is He” meeting my expectations and going far beyond what i could have imagined when all this started back in november last year.

we have margin, and a place to “sit out the noon” and invite people in and sit down and do some quiet living if we want to, in spite of the construction and remodeling around us here. i kind of don’t want to move very soon. i could see us doing christmas here, maybe a year or two until we have saved a little to put down on a house or something. it has its quirks, but we like it.

i keep thinking about life, about how it would have been dumb of God to make people and then give them a to-do list in regard to Him. we put our own spirituality onto our dust, almost like an eternal penance for eating the fruit in the garden – but we were made in His image as humans, spirit in dust, and i really do believe that He meant for us to praise Him by just being what he made us to be, with the added element of eternal life that allows us to know Him and eventually, to see Him as He is.

i don’t know how it all works together, living human and being His, but that’s what it is, a paradox that means i am in the world and not really of it, and it is what i was meant for…