Saturday, November 6, 2010

This Is Why We Do It

You know, after going through over a thousand pictures last night in iPhotos, it would appear that my entire life has been made up of either (a) serving funky-homemade birthday cakes

or, (b) watching the sunset at either Dog Island, Cozumel, Mexico or Roseland, Florida.

Now that is not a bad life nor a bad representation of one, either. But the fact remains that I do far more than make and serve birthday cakes and watch sunsets. Or even forcing my kids to dye Easter Eggs, which is also an activity which is over-represented, it seems to me.

And then a little over a year ago, Owen was born and obviously, all I've done since then was take pictures of him.

From this
to this

And okay, serve birthday cakes and watch sunsets and force my children and their friends to dye Easter Eggs.

There are hardly any pictures of Thanksgiving and you want to know why? Because by the time I get done cooking that dinner, I am cooked myself and can barely manage to lift a cranberry to my lips, much less a camera to my eye. I mostly sit in a corner with a glass of rum and weep.
Not really but doesn't that sound like something I'd do?

Well, so be it. I make birthday cakes and I watch sunsets.
I do more than that but who wants to see a picture of me blogging or doing laundry or slicing onions? Or lying in bed with the covers up to my ears or scrubbing a toilet or rehearsing a play or setting the table or washing the dishes or feeding the chickens or making a martini?

I don't know. But in the long run, I think it's the pictures of people doing things that do not represent a celebration or a Big Moment which say the most. And that's one of the things I love about my blog and other people's blogs. We take pictures of the little things of our lives and post them and thus, we memorialize pots of soup and baby chickens and the tiny, tender sproutlings of spring and the pets we love and the kisses we give and receive and the cakes we bake and the salads we make and the floors we mop and the trails we walk and the places we live in, messy and imperfect and glorious.

And you know what? The pictures I take of those prosaic things that I usually delete from my iPhotos because I think that I can always take more are probably the most important ones. I always think there will always be endless pots of soup and there will always be another kiss and there will always be another chicken picture opportunity and there will always be spring and these things I have gathered and placed in my home as altars of one sort and another will always be here.

But of course they won't any more than I will.
And when my grandchildren and great grandchildren ask about me and say, "What was Grandmother like?" I have this tiny sneaking hope that this blog will still be somewhere so that my children can show them and say, "Well, she looked like this when she was watching the sunset or working in the garden or tending her chickens

and she loved her girlfriends so much.

She was crazy, your grandmother/great grandmother.

She had really strong calves

and she and Pop-Pop loved each other so much. They had so much fun together.

And she loved to write.
The pictures are one thing, the words are the rest.

And that is what I am thinking about tonight.

Don't disregard what you write on your blog as unimportant. DO NOT DO THAT!

Someday, someone may want to know what your life looked like.

And maybe, just maybe, this will all be here for them to see.

Isn't that amazing?
I think so.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Well, that chicken soup seems to have perked your right up! Loved this trip down memory lane. Looks like you are seeing the threads in your photos as well as your writing. It is good to recognize the things that we keep coming back to and that keep us coming back, non? Nachty Nacht, N2

  2. oh gosh, you just made me cry.
    i don't want you to ever not be here, and i can't even imagine what your kids feel for you. that picture of you and Lily is the sweetest darn thing, the way your body is leaning toward her is so loving and mama and sweet. and this post was just so poignant and true and achey, but in that kind of joy infused way you do. your blog, your writing, your pictures are so full of life and full of you and they will live on forever and your grand grand grands will read you and look and wonder, and laugh and feel so proud to be part of you. but i want you to just stick around for a long long time.

    i love how you wrote about blogging too.

    those pictures you chose sure tell a story, i can't really explain the feeling this post gave me, kind of wonder and sadness and a kind of connect.

    Birthday cakes and sunsets and chickens and such strong calfs!
    The one of you and Mr Moon building the chicken coop is wonderful.
    And I've been meaning to tell you i love the tribute to Miss Betty.

  3. N2- We must pay attention to that which is important. Nachty nacht to you too. And that sounds little bit naughty which is nice.

  4. Bethany- I feel as if you were one of my babies, too, somehow. I would love to make you a birthday cake. Isn't it something and lovely how we have all found each other in this big, wide world?

  5. What Bethany said.

    I don't like thinking of you in the past tense either.


  6. Michelle- Here's what I think- the fact that we will all be in the past tense eventually makes each and every moment the sweeter. I ain't dying tonight any more than any of us are. But one day- yes. And if I have planted a tree or continued on my foremothers' genes then I have done my job and I am happy with that.
    Mother Nature does not ask for more. And yet- I have been given so much more.
    Isn't that something? Isn't it?

  7. Beautiful post and how right on you are. Many times I find myself hesitant to write on my blog about things because I always have that nagging voice saying "why would anyone care?" Now every time I hear that voice I will think of your wise words. Love to you.

    Now I'm going to nag you about getting some back up for all those pictures and memories. Take it from someone who's had a computer crash.

  8. Ooo, yes yes. The "mundane" pictures are my favorite! I absolutely would love to see pictures of you doing laundry and slicing onions. I don't know what that says about me, but I do love peeking into others' lives and those moments are us at our usual.

  9. You have such a good eye for taking pictures. Every photo you take tells a story. Every. Single. Photo. You. Take. Breathtaking!

    On Thanksgiving, maybe you're just too tired to tell your story by lens?

  10. Mel's Way- Next time I go to Costco I am buying a damn external HD. I swear.

    Lora- I look just like you when I am doing laundry or slicing onions. Except really old.
    I always say this but I'll say it again- you KNOW.

    Rebecca- Yep. Too tired. And thank you for what you said about my pictures. I mean it.

  11. I love this snapshot of your life (no pun intended, I promise). I think these are the things we really want to know about the people we love. This really makes me think about they way I write and if it truly captures what I'm like. Thank you.

  12. All of them are wonderful but the one of you and Mr. Moon is spectacular.

  13. aw, thank you for saying that. So sweet and kind. i always have to stop myself from calling you mama here, because you are the epitome of mama wonderful and i often use it as a term of affection with women i love.

    yes blogland is amazing and lovely, esp since I met you, your family (blood and blog).

    you and N2 made me belly lough with your "natchy natch" comments.

  14. I can't wait to meet you all someday--because somehow, I know it will happen. I was thinking the other day how intertwined our lives all are, and how absolutely utterly amazing it all is.

    We will sit in the corner with rum together and weep :)

  15. Yes, yes, so amazing, all of it. That photo of you and Mr. Moon laughing is a prize-winner ~ do you remember who took it and what the joyful occasion was???

  16. Ms Moon, i love this. It starts out funny and ironic and sweet and then suddenly you get all deep and profound and it al makes so much sense. So many aha! moments here, as in, so THAT's why I don't have any Thanksgiving pictures, and so THAT's why I'm posting all these pictures and words, and Ms. Moon, you really touched on something, which is that our blogs are the art we make of of our lives, which is born of the little and big everyday moments, the sunsets, the birthday cakes, our children's faces, the corners of our homes. The love. You have so much love. That is what your grandkids will know about you. You are love, personified. And I love you, too.

  17. G- I have just been over to visit you at your place and I certainly like the way you write. I look forward to getting to know you better. Come back any time.

    Lisa- That IS a good one, isn't it?

    Bethany- You can call me mama anytime.

    Ms. Fleur- Thank-you, sweet neighbor.

    SJ- Sounds good to me.

    Lulumarie- That was on our anniversary two years ago. We were in Vero and I took the picture with the PhotoBooth on my Mac. Mr. Moon was helping out by holding me in such a way that I looked as if I had cleavage which is why we were laughing. I love that picture.

    Angella- And aren't we lucky to have this form of technology so that we CAN make art of the daily and sacred? Aren't we? I love you too.

    Jo- x?

  18. Well, of course I had to go back and look again ~ very nice cleavage indeed! It looks real to me!!!

  19. oh just made me really cry..this whole post is like on of these movies..the ending where you hear a nice calm voice from the off..telling about someone while you see all these wonderful scenes from the movie and..uahhh..tears again..i m such a babxy:-(

  20. Wonderful images and words - as always! This made me think about my grandchildren and what they will pass on about me and how my blogs will add to all that. We're leaving behind information our parents and grandparents didn't. Interesting.

  21. It looks like a beautiful life to me. Laughter and love--a very good combination.

  22. And that is why I blog...for the someday Grandchildren, my wonderful kids now....for me too.
    Ms. Moon your description of Thanksgiving made me chuckle so much!! I too try to take photos at gatherings and sometimes I do and sometimes I am swamped with all the cooking, cleaning, more cooking, tasting, laughing and then the sheer exhaustion from the who evening...oh my! You are just too much...and I am so very grateful to have you as a blog friend!

  23. Jesus, what magnificent calves you have! That's all I got from that beautiful post. I'm a damn moron, but I love you.

  24. It's amazing, but scary too. Because I'd be remembered as completely poop obsessed. Which I might be, but I'm not sure I need to be remembered thus. You must have been quite sick to be thinking about how you'll be remembered.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.