Poetry & Words

The Place Where Time Can’t Find You

A Place Where Time Can't Find You

Everyone needs a place where time can’t find you, where the landscape swallows time the way the water gulps up the shoreline every second of the day. This corner of the world is detached from time, wholly present, endlessly still, yet always in motion. The water sees to that.

It’s good to disappear sometimes.

It’s good to be suspended in that ethereal space between perpetual motion and perpetual stillness.

As bloggers, our livelihoods are attached by a fragile string to algorithms and engagement and content. We feel a constant push to be active, to be relevant, to be on top of the ever-raging onslaught of consumer habits and user trends. We photograph, we edit, we caption, we package, we sell. We ride the waves of Instagram stories and live streams and pin boards and tweets.

But photographs don’t last, here, in this empyreal place. Oh, photographers have tried: these deep-ridged trunks and these limestones cliffs dissolve into silvery liquid depths on the developers’ trays — but then fade again, swallowed by time. And as I stand here, I put the camera back into my bag, reverently. This moment exists so deeply outside of time, that to photograph further is to crush the gossamer wings which bore me here.

Few things are constant. Grace, the tide, His omnipotence, eternity. These rocks of chalky white have not always stood sheer, have not always born sturdy roots of cedar red. But they have outlived me — and outlived Instagram — a thousand times over.

A place which swallows time also swallows up egotism, and vain ambition, and leaves only perspective behind. Existence is not dependent on audience. Performance is not dependent on audience.

The water in this bay does not stop faithfully sweeping up shore, the cliffs do not stop holding up the trees, the sun does not stop feeding chlorophyl green for mere lack of audience.

What is the reason you picked up the pen? What drives you to tap away at a keyboard and scribble fragments on napkin shreds in the wee smalls? Were you born with the incurable drive to find the one shareable Facebook meme that will allow your analytics to exceed last week’s numbers — or were you born with a story inside you?

I see the story in these cliffs, in the sky, in the tools left in the white clay dust beneath the crumbling foundations, in the iron anchors sinking, in the blackened chimneys still. And through this dimmed glass, I see.

The beat of my soul pulses to a rhythm composed  by all the unphotographable places I’ve stepped inside. These northern cliffs, that impenetrable eastern curtain of iron, the southern mountains edging closer to the Equator. My heritage, my culture, every place my footprint has pressed. This is my soul, my heart, my life, my story.

I can’t iron this all out and square up the edges to place it neatly into Instagram. You’ll never see it there. But if you listen quietly, you can hear it, in a place that swallows time.

You have this, too. It’s not just me.

You have moments you can’t contort into a photograph. These are your illuminated treasures. Pull them out of the ash. Hold them up to the Light. You are a blacksmith. The fire refines. And these words are molten in a way photographs will never be.

Lift up your tools, face the fire, and write.

Advertisements
Homeschooling, Life in Photos, Poetry & Words

Books, Books, Books: the Evolution of the Oaxacaborn Blog

Books, Books Books: The Evolution of the Oaxacaborn blog

When I started blogging publicly — over at Xanga, fourteen years ago! — I was in college, and blogged too many song lyrics and homework details. Then over the years, I moved back and forth across the country, working at sheet metal factory, a juvenile detention center, and an IT department, and wrote about all the ups and downs. When I became a mother, I even went through a phase where I predictably blogged about cloth diapers (I am so sorry). I’ve written about death, beauty, brokenness, joy — and interior design. And you’ve likely noticed that in the last few months, I’ve written a few longer pieces about homeschooling.

My blogging “methodology”, if you can call it that, hardly follows all the blogging advice. It’s always just followed the seasons of my life. But that’s the beautiful thing about life, too — it’s not stagnant.  It moves like a current. It flows, it goes through seasons, through changeable states of being. Way down at the bottom of this blog, in the footer, Anaïs Nin reminds me, “Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”

Books, Books Books: The Evolution of the Oaxacaborn blog

I kind of feel like things are coming full circle for me, and it all has to do with books. As a girl, I devoured books, and read everything I could get my hands on. Now, it’s only April, and Aveline’s already read 130 books since the beginning of the year. So, you’ll probably be seeing a lot more posts about literature and children’s books, and more posts about homeschooling. (Although, this is no surprise if you follow me on Instagram @oaxacaborn). I have so many good books to share with you all, but I’ve been holding back, thinking for some reason that this isn’t the right place for it, and worried about losing followers. Well, that’s kind of ridiculous. Because when it comes right down to, perhaps, like Margaret Atwood said, “Perhaps, I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.”

I’m just thankful some of you keep following along as I scrawl in the snow.

Books, Books Books: The Evolution of the Oaxacaborn blog

To receive an update in your inbox each time I publish a post, click here.

Poetry & Words

POETRY & WORDS :: Reevaluating and rethinking my approach to blogging

Finding a new approach to bloggingIt’s January, so like millions of other Americans, I have all sorts of ideas in my head about things I need to organize. My need to de-clutter kicks into overdrive every year when I’m putting away the Christmas decorations. (Which I haven’t actually started yet, by the way. But I haven’t even been home for a full week yet, so I think that excuses me. For now.)

My desire to organize and rearrange spills over into the digital realm. I need to clean out files I don’t need anymore, because my poor iMac is choking and needs more space. (Anyone else notice that it’s way harder to organize virtual file folders than it is to clean out a junk drawer? Or is it just me?)

And, I feel the itch to reevaluate — and redesign — this blog. During 2012, this blog grew by leaps and bounds, a dramatic jump up from the year before. But then, throughout 2013, traffic remained exactly the same as 2012, almost to the digit. Sure, I maintained the growth this blog saw in 2012, but I feel like I didn’t really build on it throughout 2013. So that’s kind of discouraging — to get to the end of the year and look back and realize this blog didn’t reach the kind of growth I wanted it to.

Interestingly, though, engagement across social media skyrocketed during that time — with Instagram, Twitter and Facebook chatter climbing up the charts. I think a lot of that has to do with how we spend our time online these days. Blogs are evolving as the internet becomes more and more saturated with content, and I am constantly trying to figure out what the “it” factor is that makes some blogs really take off while others remain stagnant.

So, in addition to doing a little visual spruce up in the coming weeks, I’m thinking hard about how I’m going to approach this blog and its content in 2014. I’m not going anywhere. I’ve been blogging since 2004 and couldn’t imagine NOT doing this. But I want to set some big, yet realistic, goals for Oaxacaborn in 2014.

I’m just not sure yet what they are.

What do you love most about this blog? What do you want more of? What types of posts could you do without? I’m all ears!

Inspiration

INSPIRATION :: How to keep reading Oaxacaborn after Google Reader dies July 1

It’s true, Google Reader is disappearing on July 1.

Are you still reading this blog in Google Reader? Eep! I’d hate for you to be suddenly disconnected from Oaxacaborn when Google Reader is no more. (Each of you is so important to me! It’s sounds cheesy, but it’s true.)

Fortunately, you don’t have to start over from scratch. You can easily move all the content you currently have in Google Reader — all the blogs and RSS feeds you already follow — into Feedly! Feedly offers a one-click Google Reader import.

Alright Google Reader users, I’ll give you a moment to switch over to Feedly now….What to use instead of Google Reader

…well, that was quick and painless, wasn’t it?

Oh, wait. Maybe the above didn’t apply to you.

Oh dear. Was it all really THAT boring?

Changing to Feedly once Google Reader dies isn't THAT boring

Inspiration

INSPIRATION :: Facebook is Deciding What Updates You See From My Page (And How You Can Change Your Settings)

I’m going to make a wild assumption here. I’m going to jump to the conclusion that if you have liked the Oaxacaborn page on Facebook, you actually want to see the updates I post there.

Facebook did not make the same assumption, and as it stands now, they decide what you get to read from me. Hey, at least it’s not the NSA deciding, right?

Bad joke aside, here’s how you can change a simple Facebook setting to see all updates, and make sure you’re not missing out on any posts!

How to Change Your Facebook Settings so You See All Business Page Updates

Once you’re on the Oaxacaborn Facebook page

  1. Click on LIKED
  2. Click on SETTINGS
  3. Click on ALL UPDATES.

That’s it!

Was this post helpful? Feel free to click here to get the permalink, then pin to Pinterest!