Monday, May 30, 2005

Getting my feet wet

For someone who usually can't stop talking (or typing), I've been very hesitant to write this first blog entry. There's too much pressure to make it impressive, witty, insightful, worth someone's time to stop and read. I'm used to e-lists where I'm just blabbing and expect half the people to delete me anyway. But I guess, to keep with with the analogy of my blog's name, sometimes you just gotta jump in water.

Which segues nicely into, why does a person who lives a six hour drive from the ocean name her blog Beach Treasure? Well, for one, because beachcombing and beachcomber were both taken. But no matter, I think I like Beach Treasure better, because that's really the heart of the matter, that's what beachcombers are out there looking for, treasure. Not necessarily pirate's treasure worth a fortune (although wouldn't that be fun to find!), but small personal treasures. Each person wandering along the surf's edge marks a trail of footsteps slightly different from any other trail, each person finding different treasures. Even if paths overlap, a rock that the first hunter didn't even notice might cause the second ambler to pause, pick it up, turn it around in his hands, and slip it quietly into his pocket. Not everyone is even hunting for the same thing - rocks, seaweed, driftwood, sea glass, patterns in the sand, the solace of being alone under a big sky, or the contented happiness of watching a young child make a sand castle.

I go to the ocean as often as I can manage it and it always replenishes my spirit, calms my thoughts, rejuvenates my body (even if I do have sore leg muscles from all that sand walking for a few days). I am an avid beach comber and have to wear jackets with numerous and roomy pockets in order to carry back all the booty I manage to collect over the course of one walk. My favorite thing to look for are agates. I love the the way there seems to be more agate on the inside, compacted between the many layers and swirls, hidden beneath the sometimes quasi-opaque shell, then there is agate on the outside. It's like a tiny piece of an alternative universe accidentally washed ashore in our world. But I also gather up other, less exotic treasures: more rocks of all colors and types, driftwood big and small, glass, shells, the rare unbroken sand dollar, kelp, rope. Once I found a piece of a broken glass art ball that communities miles north of that beach put out for the tourists. I also collect photographs of the moods and colors of the ocean.

I bring it all home and decorate my house like my own sandcastle. Driftwood sleeps along the top of the retaining wall, large stones of dull jade nestle amongst the bright greens of the garden. Baskets become home to shells. Glass jars fill a bit more after my return from each trip, with tiny pebbles of red or green or white. Feathers pop up from my pencil jar. Heart shaped rocks go on the altar that holds a photo of Joshua's smiling face. It sustains me during the usual busyness of my daily life, to see, feel, even smell these small treasures, and be transported, if only for the length of a breath or two, to the elemental matrix that is the mother ocean.

So, there I was, driving along a mountain highway one afternoon a few weeks ago, determined to use the two hour drive to come up with a good name for the blog I wanted to create. I was having a problem because I had thought it over and decided I didn't really want to limit my blog to one interest or aspect of my life. Some people have blogs about their families, some about their jobs or creative endeavors, others focus on a favorite hobby whether that be dog breeding or drooling over their favorite movie star. I knew I couldn't do that, even if I tried. I'd end up branching off here into a side topic, and looping around over there to comment on another topic and before you know it, my blog would reflect who I truly am, probably the world's biggest walking eclectic. I wanted a name that reflected the multiversity of my world.

And so I was driving and mulling. Cars are the best place for thinking as far as I'm concerned. (Unless you're in heavy traffic, then I'd appreciate if you kept your mind on your driving if you don't mind.) And I decided that beachcombing was a damn good analogy for my life as a whole. I don't have a lot of big treasures in my life. No fancy house. No expensive car. I think the most expensive thing I even own is my computer and my new puppy. But I have more small treasures then one person could possible ever count, and high amongst those treasures are those that I hold only in my head. Those small happinesses, sillinesses, memories, fascinating paradoxes, compelling unknowns, that make it worth getting out of bed and making the coffee again every morning. That's what I want to share in this blog. Nothing special. Just a bunch of wet rocks, sandy shoes, and the sound of crashing waves.


Blogger JulieZS said...

You're off to an excellent start Laume!

1:06 PM  
Blogger nina M said...

A most auspicious(sp) first posting and one that I found very profound. I'm off to the beach for next week and I'll be thinking of the treasures I can find.
Nina in BC

1:09 PM  
Blogger :-D eirdre said...

You almost make me want to brave the sand, crowds and water to go and look at the edge. Whoops too late! Maybe next week!

This blog was worth the wait - I look forward to coming back and visiting!

2:47 PM  
Blogger NW Quilter said...

Your usual wonderful writing style that makes the reader feel included in your family.

3:33 PM  
Blogger moondancer said...

Beautiful as always! I can almost feel the wind and the sea spray!!

I love the tide pools...keep finding those treasures, Laume!


9:47 PM  
Blogger susie kline said...

Wonderful, Laume!


6:05 AM  
Blogger Phoebe said...

I love it! Your writing is so wonderful. I'm glad you started a blog, because I always look forward to your posts on the QC list.
Now I really want to go to the beach. Although, Virginia Beach never seems to have any treasures.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Way to go, Laume! You are a treasure yourself, and I will enjoy reading your future blog posts.

7:43 AM  

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