Life in Photos, Poetry & Words, Travel/Moving

Nashville or Bust

Oaxacaborn is moving to Nashville!

We’re moving, friends, in a whirlwind.

Josiah was laid off last fall, and now, suddenly, he’s got a new job in Nashville.

The cloud is moving. [1]

Seven years ago this month, I held a one-way ticket to Orlando, stepped on a plane with a (very!) infant Aveline, and touched down in this subtropical land where palm trees sway and hurricane winds rage.

Eleven years ago, I packed two suitcases, took my last $600 out of the bank, and started my life over in California..again.

Fourteen years ago, I climbed up into a Jeep and drove away from the golden valley, drove away for days and days, until the radio crumbled into static and everything slowed, frozen in time and ice.

Eighteen years ago, we’d all driven that path in reverse.

Twenty-seven years ago, we escaped war.

Exodus and genesis.

My life has been wave after wave after wave of exodus and genesis. Exodus: the departure; and genesis, the rebirth.

The exodus involves a period of parched land, a wandering, a time where it seems you’ll never land again. But after the night, genesis dawns, and all is reborn. The roots begin to make their way down the deep green soil, the leaves unfurl, and everything within creation looks up to the light.

This is the way of Life.

This the way of Redemption, and the golden thread that finds its shining way through all the twisted tapestries.

This moment, too, is part of that tapestry. This set of goodbyes. This set of all the movements one has to go through to complete an exodus. The last one, the next one,  this one.

Every one.

Every era.

Every epoch.

Every color, every twist, every knot, every cut — they’re all necessary. They’re all needed.

Now, we’re needed in Tennessee. The boxes are all stacked around me. I don’t know why yet, just like I didn’t understand why seven, eleven, fourteen, eighteen, and twenty-seven years ago.

But that’s not for me to know, yet. It’s for me to follow my God through the exodus, and await the genesis with open arms.

I’ll be there soon.

And then we’ll all sing, along with Johnny Cash,

“I sure found a place I belong…
Proud as we can be
to live in Tennessee…”

P.S. I took the above #nofilter photo while driving through Nashville during a cross-country move nine years ago (that’s right, the above litany of moves wasn’t a complete list). How wonderful, then, that I should stumble upon this photo again today.  Nashville or bust!

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Travel/Moving

TRAVEL :: Aveline is a Parisian Shop

What a delightful discovery! Aveline is an art gallery on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, specializing in objets d’art from the reigns of various Louis.*
Aveline, an art gallery on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, France
Thanks to Follow Lauren — who’s currently happily roaming somewhere between Barcelona and London — for the sighting. (Photo via 1-cities.)

*If the lack of proper pluralization here bothers you, 1. you are likely an astute pendant, and 2. you may wish to peruse this.

Poetry & Words, Travel/Moving

POETRY & WORDS :: The Oaxaca in my Mailbox

 Beautiful Oaxaca embroidered blouse and embroidered coin purse wallet - Textiles from Oaxaca Mexico  Beautiful Oaxaca embroidered coin purse wallet - Textiles from Oaxaca Mexico

You never know when kindness might really, really touch somebody’s heart.

It’s been a long week. But today when I swung past the mail boxes on the way home, there was a package waiting for me. A package of goodies from Oaxaca. 

You guys, I’ve never even met Grethel, the sweet lady who sent these to me. We’ve exchanged messages about our mutual love for Oaxaca — she is from there, and visits each year — but we haven’t met in person.

When I opened up this package today and saw the beautiful tangible pieces of Oaxaca inside,  my eyes filled with tears. (Oh, thank you, Grethel!) It’s funny how a place becomes a part of you, even when you haven’t been back in years heaped upon years.

And it’s funny how home isn’t a single place. It’s funny how home is really composed of many individual threads, all separate yet interwoven, all tied up together in one beautiful and sometimes tangled tapestry.

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” -C.S. Lewis

—-

(Grethel Van Epps Photography | Personal Blog | Facebook Page)

Inspiration, Travel/Moving

TRAVEL :: Taiwanese Photographer Zachary Su

Sometimes I stumble upon a photographer’s portfolio and immediately, I am lost inside the photos. I can be sitting right here in my living room, but it feels like I’ve been transported to another world. Such was the case when I found Zachary Su’s photographs of Taiwan. Plus, I’ve been drawn to images of windows lately anyway (case in point) so I was especially enraptured by his work with light and windows.

Zachary Su -zacharyziggy on Flickr- Taiwan Photographer

Zachary Su -zacharyziggy on Flickr- Taiwan Photographer

Zachary Su -zacharyziggy on Flickr- Taiwan Photographer

Zachary Su -zacharyziggy on Flickr- Taiwan Photographer

Zachary Su -zacharyziggy on Flickr- Taiwan Photographer

Zachary Su -zacharyziggy on Flickr- Taiwan Photographer

Zachary

Zachary

Aren’t those incredible? I haven’t posted them here, but he takes a lot of black-and-white Taiwanese street scenes too. You can view all of Zachary Su’s photos on Flickr.

Poetry & Words, Travel/Moving

POETRY & WORDS :: When Home Can’t Be Pinned Down

When Home Can't Be Pinned Down - Gina Munsey on OaxacabornWhen I was little, I knew my grandparents through letters and home-recorded cassette tapes. I used to dream of hugging them, of spending long days beside them, of just looking at them and listening to the sound of their voice.

And one day, a long time ago, we showed up from another continent, from across the ocean, and “by the time we were at the bottom of the hill and had parked beside the house, my grandmother, my grandfather, and Aunt Margaret were all outside, looking exactly the way they had in the calendar picture. I ran right into my grandmother’s arms as if I’d been doing this every day.

‘Welcome home! Oh, welcome home!’ my grandmother cried.

I hadn’t known it, but this was exactly what I’d wanted her to say. I needed to hear it said out loud. I was home.” -Jean Fritz, Homesick pg. 138

All those memories came flooding back to me, this month, when I set Aveline down on the airport floor and watched her run at top speed into my dad’s arms. She latched onto him, she threw her arms around his neck, she pressed her cheek to his shoulder, and I felt it again. I felt I was a girl with one foot here, one foot there. A girl to whom home was a many-splendored thing, altogether here and there.

And in between the here-ness and there-ness is a place that can’t be pinned, a place that can’t be caught or ordered around, a place that can’t be pushed into a map’s tight little squiggly lines. It’s a place I can’t visit whenever I want to, but only when the road we’re on lets us go there, and maybe that’s the beauty of it.

Grandma never stopped smiling and Grandpa buckled her into her very own seat in his truck, and we all piled in. Looking at this scene, I didn’t know if it was 1991 or 2013. I didn’t know if she was being buckled into the seat or if it was me. Here and there passed each other so closely they became one, the one thing that can’t be held down.

Home.

“I paid no attention to the road. I just kept looking out the window until all at once there on my right was a white picket fence and a meadow, fresh and green as if it had just this minute been created…the whole scene. The perfect greenness. The washed-clean look. The peacefulness. Oh, now! I thought. Now I was in America. Every last inch of me.” -Jean Fritz, Homesick pg. 133

Every last inch.

Thoughts on Grandparents, or, When Home Can't Be Pinned Down - Gina Munsey on Oaxacaborn