Monday, January 31, 2011

chronologically challenged

Finally, I m getting back to scrapbooking. Specifically, I am trying to get up to date on the Christmas album. Not too tough, right? I mean, it only happens once a year. How many pictures can there be? Well, it depends.

First, if you happen to be married to a man who believes that digital photography was invented solely so that he could now with impunity and no expense shoot twenty-five angles of the same family photo with twelve different lighting alternatives, you know the scary answer to that question.

Second, when you realize that the last entries into our family Christmas album occurred when the Twin Towers were still standing, well, you understand that there might be a few more than your average number of photos to deal with.

I do a lot of my scrapbooking thematically, not chronologically. This makes it a more creatively satisfying experience wherein I can use all my skills at thematic presentation to their maximum potential. OK really, it makes it so that, when I find twelve photos of my daughter that perhaps should have been put in five years previously, I can conveniently still insert them in a page themed “springtime for Becca” and call it good.

But Christmas, being an annual thing, does really beg for chronological order, which is one of the reasons I love my Creative Memories system. If/when I do run across those 1998 photos I had no idea were hiding behind the video tapes from preaching class I have vowed never to unearth to humankind let alone watch, I can pull apart the album and add a page anywhere I please. Photo albums are, thankfully, easier than life.

You can't go back and insert pages into your life to change it, make it more interesting, perhaps improve on the parts that got left out that should not have. Those pages from the past are what they are. But who says that life has to be lived in order? Who says that, even if you have not a single picture of your 4th kid from age two to seven, you can't load up on them at age seventeen? Who says that, in the spaces where something should be and isn't, you can't add something better? Who says that person you cropped out of the photos in 1996 can't possibly return to the album of your life with forgiveness and renewal? Who says you can't add your springtime where you want it, and call it good? Nothing in life is promised necessarily in order.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I know, it has been all quiet on the blog front for quite a while. But there are, I hope, good reasons.

One is that I have had plans for a while to move this blog to a real website. That has required some concentration on actually making that come to pass. As I write this, I am still not certain if it will be posted on the old or the new, but I press on.

Second, I have had a nagging suspicion for a while about the whole blog thing. Why am I doing it? Because someone told me to. Not normally a good reason for doing something, but a good reason, no doubt, when that someone is your agent who knows more about these things than you do, and she should be heeded. Making her one of the few people in my life that I will actually heed just because they tell me to. This is not a common pattern for me.

But why? To ramble? To vent? To go off on tangents that might be amusing (at least for me, if not you)? It does not seem to be enough. Every single how-to guru out there, and many who just think they are, have one thing to say about blog writing—have a niche, a point, and stick to it if you want to succeed. And I have always know myself to be in violation of that strict code. The problem is, I have far too many interests. How does one reconcile ministry, theology, community theater, a grammar and writing obsession, travel, parenting, reading, and a delight in basic nonsense into one 'theme'? Greater minds than mine would be boggled.

So I have spent some time 'mindmapping' these assorted passions and interests and attempting to come up with an answer that wouldn't force me either to write fifteen separate blogs or appear mightily schizophrenic. And I return to my basic reason for being.

To copy a page from my bio on the (soon-to-be) website, my work is all about second chances. Or possibly third, fourth, or fifth. I chose a seashore photo for its home page because each wave is new–not quite like the one before or after it, with a choice to be something different in its moment. Just like you and me. Plus, I just love seashores.

When I thought long and hard about my basic message, it remains one thing: Hey, you’re not perfect. Neither am I. Live in grace. Measuring up is strictly for geometry class, not people. Let’s help each other on the journey to becoming what we were meant to be, not compete for road space. I want to talk about chances—chances to get it right, try again, start over, just say I can't do that right now, or cry out for help and grace.

So, I am working on a website, complete with a change of name and location for this blog to refocus on the purpose. Please stay tuned. And if you could, let me know what you have enjoyed so I know what not to leave out.