Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What's Been Brewing...

don't you think this (completely unrelated) image is magical?

I won’t lie about the fact that occasionally I find myself with a case of blenvy (that is envy of the lives and the loveliness other people showcase on their blogs.) I’ve been at this long enough to know that blog reality is skewed and censored, the photograph only showing the freshly finished craft on the carefully reclaimed table, the heaping mound of procrastinated laundry carefully cropped out. But still. This rosy world of beautiful blogs is tiring, isn’t it? Try as we do to keep things real and honest and doable here at Bloom, I know we’re guilty of it, too -- tiptoeing on the edge, sometimes stumbling over into the wasteland of unattainable idealism. (We’re sorry for those stumblings!)

The fact that this is a visual medium only complicates things further - we post pretty pictures, we feature pretty things. How can we not then be inclined to close our computers and look around at our not-as-pretty real lives and feel like we’re somehow getting the short end?

I have to remind myself that the most beautiful things we do, our most substantial creations aren’t made of fabric or paper (though those are wonderful, too) and they cannot be photographed, not even with the fanciest camera. Many times, they are things that can’t even really be talked about, much less blogged about, because the most beautiful parts of our lives so often transpire quietly, unnoticed - the real meaning only to be diluted in publicity.

But sometimes we just want to be noticed, thanked, praised even.

So from a blog(ger) that appears to give a lot of attention to the pretty pictures and the crafty sorts, I just want to say that I don’t have to know you to tell you that the things I admire most about you are the things you’ll never be able to show me - the way you set other people at ease with your goodness and gentleness. The way you listen to your children and create excitement in the simple pleasures of daily life for them. The way you give of yourself - your time, your means, your gifts - to people who need some of what you have and who you are. The way you are genuinely seeking to be more self-aware, striving for better, but loving yourself enroute. The way you are learning - in a classroom, from a book, from a friend, from the accumulated experience of your life. The way you’re pursuing a dream, even though you’re scared and it’s difficult. The way you support and stand by your husband - even when there’s not a whiff of glamour or romance about it. The way you seek to really understand people. The way you’re enjoying your reality even though it’s different than the one you imagined. The way you’re making a beautiful home with a small budget, and not begrudging your neighbor who appears to have more. The way you nourish your family with a meal - their stomachs with the food and their souls with the experience of sitting down together. The way you’re going through the hardest thing you’ve ever been through, but you’re moving forward.

What I mean to say with all this is that I hope we don’t let all the pretty things of the cyber world distract us from the beautiful things of the real world.


love,
em

22 comments:

Tysha said...

Amen.

I was going to leave it at "amen" but thought I must add something. I am a photographer. People pay me to make a few moments look as beautiful as possible. Yes, I take the food crumbs and runny noses, even some slobber, off of the kids faces. Yes, maybe I make mom's skin look amazing, or dad's teeth a little whiter. Does that make them any less real? Or the memory of the moment weak? No. Yes, images are a reflection of reality. But they are not reality, either. Just like some of our fondest memories get painted even prettier as time passes and circumstances bring wisdom, so do images become treasure to trigger memories of moments we love . It's okay to look for beauty all around, and create it. But oh look out for the dangers of comparison, because when we compare, it is poison to the soul.

Be your own kind of beautiful, right?

Because Beauty is truly in all of us. Make up or no make up. Laundry piles, low or high. Dishes, stacked away or in the sink. It's all about living and not just finding the beauty - but feeling it -in those little moments you mentioned.

I appreciated this post - thanks!

Kathryn said...

Great post! So true, so touching. Thank you.

Sue said...

To Em (and Tysha),
Thank you....this was so needed and so meant for my eyes at this very moment...I won't go into detail....I really just want to thank you (both).

beki said...

beautifully said :)

Astyn said...

Thank you. Well said.....and now back to reality which is always more fulfilling at the end of the day.

Katrina said...

perfectly expressed, em. :)

Mirien said...

This made me cry. I didn't realize how much I needed to be reminded that I'm doing okay even though my house isn't perfectly clean and decorated. I love to create, but the half-finished projects all around me sometimes discourage me. But the reason they are half-finished? I'm busy taking care of the seven other people who live here! That, too, is a half-finished project, but one that will ultimately bring more joy and satisfaction than some painted furniture or a quilted table runner. Thanks for reminding me.

Melissa said...

Great post. I especially loved the end. ;) I have pics of piles of laundry on my blog, but I'm in the other boat too. My blog book at the end of the year presents a pretty picture of what our family did that year. But it's okay. I'm hoping those are the memories that will be in their hearts too...those perfect moments we had together on vacations or at birthday celebrations or wherever. It's all good. :D

Joan said...

Brandon and I were just talking about his last night. Blogs are heavily skewed and unreal in many ways. We don't post about the fight we had with our husband (usually not, anyway) or the box of oatmeal cream pies we consumed in a day--even though we all have stories like that, right? I try to insert those moments in a few posts here and there just for fun...but I often leave them out.
And for the record, I think Bloom does a marvelous job balancing the beauty with the reality.

Ps: funny thing is that picture totally relates (to me, anyway)--it reminded me of how you need a lot of "smoke and mirrors" (isn't that a movie term?)to make things look lovely.
This picture--as romantic and steamy as it is--could be a moment captured just after a misunderstanding or a needed apology. We don't get the full story do we? Just a quick glimpse.

cindy baldwin said...

Absolutely beautiful.

families are forever said...

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.
Helen Keller

Molly said...

"Amen!" You said that so well.

Katie Aldrich said...

Love these thoughts, and I agree with others that you do a wonderful job of keeping things real here.

jacs23 said...

thanks for this...especially when no matter how hard we try, 'blenvy' is just that.

i find myself trying to create an inspiration and be a hope for others...and then get disappointed when i think, 'what do I have to share that is creative, heartfelt, intelligent..." the list goes on.

But i think you said it perfectly....just be you. Enjoy your life...and if you want to share it with the cyber-world...that alone is courageous...and if others see it or dont.....it's okay. Cuz it's not FOR them...it's for you, right?!

thanks for this post and allowing us with a little less glamour, creativity, humor, or what not....to see that even those we may 'blenvy'....are real and have their own journey.

your blog is beautiful...and i enjoy it every time you post. :)

peace,
jaclyn
><>

Carla said...

Love this. Thank you. :)

Abbie said...

Booyaaah! High five. So true. Thank you.

And the image - awe. Love it!

Catherine said...

thank you for writing this

Mary said...

i LOVE how you express yourself. your words are beautiful and true. thank you!

i love you em and anne and all you do in the quiet of your homes and on this blog. so inspiring.

Jennifer said...

Have you been peeking through my window? Just wanted to say thank you, thank you for saying what I needed to hear right this very moment. Now that's a gift!

Brian, Emily, Charlie, and Lucy said...

I love everything about this. Thank you for hitting it right on the head, and sharing it with us all.

KMonti said...

I totally agree... I felt the same way recently and ended up posting this... http://dressedwithstrength.blogspot.com/2010/09/hardly-perfect-honest-post.html
Not fun to share but its reality from time to time.

Nikki Douglas said...

Thank you so much for saying this. I have to admit I think about wishing I could be more like other bloggers and the amazing women I see contributing to Bloom. Thanks for reminding me that I'm okay, that I'm doing good things each day that aren't "blogable". I really need to hear that some days.