Blink and You Will Miss It

The most remarkable thing happened last week.

Amid the hazy, warm rain of a summer thunderstorm, a rainbow materialized. While rainbows seem to always conjure those somewhere-over-the-rainbow feelings of giddy fantasy (no matter how old one is), the truth is, they are not uncommon.

But this rainbow, it was special. It appeared like a technicolor ghost, hovering in the air just outside my back door, in the most visible area in my yard. And only in my yard. It did not extend to the edges of my yard; it did not span neighborhoods or forests.

It was, quite simply, my very own personal rainbow:

personalrainbow

It was something I’d never experienced before; something I would have missed had I been out, or planted in front of my computer, or zoned out in front of the TV. But I didn’t miss it; I happened to see it as I passed my back door, and so I stopped and stared and smiled. It stayed just long enough for me to snap a couple of photos, then with the same silent proclamation as it appeared, it vanished.

That day, I shared the photo above on Instagram, with a beautiful quote that I thought captured the moment and spirit of my life-nurturing yard, where the deer and bunnies often come to play:

“When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” Genesis 9:16 (ESV)

I am fortunate to have nature so close at hand, so for me, it is easy to remember the blessings of life and land provided from on high. But in the past year, especially, I have felt a genuine pull to a live a less conspicuous, more curious life. A life filled with exploration in the kitchen and beyond, with laughter and private moments and simple gratitude. And although I have always respected God’s creatures and our planet, with so much waste, tragedy, perversion, and blatant evil in the world, I feel an even stronger pull to create a safe haven for myself, with the elements of nature woven through every aspect of it, like a protective cocoon.

While I will always love the exquisite quality of a handcrafted designer bag, and the internal happiness that comes with external adornment, in many ways, I am not the same person I was a year ago, two years ago, three. Things do still make me happy, but these days, I’m finding that those things aren’t always five-inch heels or the season’s It bag. With the ferocious onslaught of technology these last few years (and my early-adopter, geek girl tendencies), I have reached a point where I feel as if it is time to go back to basics a bit. It’s almost as if my creativity is crying out for it, for something other than a flat screen and a keyboard. For something tangible, for something real.

I find myself wanting to pull out a REAL book and feel the pages between my fingers. To laze on a Saturday afternoon with a stack of cookbooks and explore the gastronomic unknown. To write a note on thick, delicious letterpress stationery. To be in the moment instead of obsessively photographing it.

Don’t worry, my iPhone is still nearly an extension of my arm and Instagram remains my bullhorn of choice. I’m not shutting down the blog. I will still wear the heels, don the leather, pile on the bling, and stare in shock and awe at the season’s newest collections. But here on G&G, the focus might shift a bit. I truly thought this year that I could resurrect the outfit-shooting V, the one so many of you started with. But she’s gone, guys. Really, she’s gone. I can’t think of anything more dreadful than shooting outfit posts for the sake of it. There are so many more interesting and less painful things in the world I’d rather do! So it’s official: that chapter is closed. Insta selfies aside, OOTD posts are done and dusted here on G&G.

IF YOU’RE STILL READING after all that, I know you’re a committed follower, and I thank you for that. And I hope you’ll continue to stick around; I kind of feel like the thought-provoking stuff, the posts that might really mean something, are just getting started.

Now back to the personal rainbow.

That rainbow is a metaphor for life, my friends. Let us all look up from our phones, our iPads, our blogs (me included). Let us open our eyes and engage in the beauty that is now, and remember both the covenant and the binds that tie us, so fleetingly, to the people and creatures we love.

Blink and you will miss it. And them.

 

14 comments

    1. Hi Ally!

      Yes, this—>”… feeling trapped to produce content.” I am so fortunate to have one blog sponsor/advertiser that never, ever has issue with the frequency or topic of my posts. This is also why I have not entertained more advertising offers here on G&G. The money is nice, but with a full-time job and life, it adds to the pressure to produce, and Lord knows I don’t need that!

      Your blog looks amazing…the time and money you have invested in it is obvious. I can understand your dilemma, so I do hope you can find some balance.

      Thanks for always coming back!

  1. Wow! Sooooo much here! Succinctly: I get it! Verbosely: I have felt this for a couple of years now. It really crystallized for me at the end of March, when my husband and I went to Seattle for vacation. Walking around, experiencing new things, new sites, aromas, culture…..it hit me. I told my husband, “I’m can shop for my clothes second hand for the rest of my life and be happy as a clam! I can create a beautiful home for us with pennies, thrift and craigslist. I am THRILLED to drive a dependable cheaper car. What I want us to spend our money on is 1) time with our kids, 2) good food, 3) seeing cool places. DONE! And you know what? That whole week in Seattle, I was hardly on my phone and with the exception of a couple of pics, didn’t even THINK about instagram. Second realization for me, when I’m really engaged in what I’m doing, “sharing” it doesn’t necessarily occur to me.

    Everything is clamoring for our attention. And I often have to ask myself if the things I value the MOST are actually the things that I spend my time on. WAY too often, they just AREN’T! Shame on me! I also get what you are saying about all the crap that we see in the world. Call me delusional, but I just want to create my own reality. Where everyone I cross paths with is my neighbor and gets a “Hey! How are you!” wrapped in a genuine smile. Where handwritten notes are keepsakes. Where meals don’t just feed my body, but they feed my soul. I’m exhausted, physically and mentally with obsessing over things, that at the end of the day, don’t mean anything. It’s about the people I love. Heck, it’s about people!

    It may sound silly, but I’d like to actually DO things for the sake of those things, not a photo opportunity. Not a blog idea. And value them even if NO ONE ever sees them or knows about them. I want to learn to knit! I want to crochet a beautiful blanket. I want to learn to embroider and create some works of art on some things I already own. I want to SAVOR good food!! You know what? I’ll take savoring food period!! And not obsessing over it. Not picking it apart.

    Okay, I’m sure I should have saved this big long response and posted it on my blog, but that just doesn’t seem to be my way. Ha ha! You struck a nerve! Can you tell?? Never loved you more! Serene

    1. Oh, Serene, what can I say? Another BEAUTIFUL comment from you! Thank you so much for the time you always take to share your perspective on my ramblings. You are too sweet, and I know we are very much on the same page. Never loved you more either, sweet lady!

  2. Hey V! I know I reached out already on Twitter to say that I actually prefer your thought provoking posts! The first one that lead me to your blog was the one about why you’re not on lookbook and those sorts of sites.

    People change, you’ve been doing this for while now and that’s OK. It doesn’t have to be about fashion all the time and I think you find out more about a person when they share their different interests and passions in life. I’m looking forward to your new content and appreciate your honesty!

    1. Hey Arash, thanks for the feedback on Twitter and here. Always grateful for your contributions to the conversation, and your readership!

  3. I’ve been contemplating the direction of my blog as well. I’ve just accepted that it doesn’t really fit into a niche and that I’m going to write about what suits me.

    I used to feel a lot of pressure to do outfit photos, and I’d even get jealous of bloggers who did it well. Now when I see outfit bloggers posting photos, I can kind of sit back and enjoy their blog as opposed to feeling this sense of, “I could never do that as well as they do!” The truth is, I don’t want to do that. I dress pretty cool, but I do it for me. Plus I can’t stand photographing myself. I don’t know how people edit hundreds of photos of themselves–I give them mad props for that. It’s not like I think I’m ugly, it’s just awkward!

    In any case, I’m looking forward to the new content 🙂

    1. Hi lady, thanks for your comment. I feel much the same…I enjoy the outfit posts of so many other bloggers, but am relieved that I’ve excused myself from even attempting to keep up not only with the frequency, but the caliber. Good on them, I say! I never like doing them from the beginning, really.

      Thanks, as always, for your support and for joining in the convo. 🙂

  4. what a beautiful experience & you’re right, how lucky that you happened to pass by at that exact moment.

    i completely understand your feelings on outfit posts. i used to publish them on my ‘old’ blog but i just found them so awkward. props to those that have the confidence but i’ve since passed girls in the street – all over the world – who’re taking outfit posts & it just looks kind-of cringey & vain most of the time. i do wonder how many of them are from the cities they’re in & whether they’re actually noticing anything around them or just focussing on getting the perfect shot for the blog.

    i will still post the odd ‘outfit’ snap but it’ll be a candid photo & it’ll be posted alongside other content, not as a dedicated ootd or whatever.

    1. Becky, thanks for sharing your thoughts on OOTD posts… I wholeheartedly agree! I mean, the occasional selfie is vain enough, without doing the whole formal outfit shoot. I never was able to them in public anyway, even when I did!

  5. Oh this is such a beautifully written post V! I love that you managed to capture the direction of your thoughts and sentiments with such a simple, yet poignant image. Just goes to show how much you’ve grown and acknowledged your past to shape your future. While I totally agree that fashion is still a first love of mine, bags/shoes/apparel just doesn’t hold the same virtues as it did when I started blogging. That’s the magic of maturity, lol.

    Hope you’re enjoying a fabulous Labor Day weekend love! Catch ya on IG! Muah!

    xo-Julie
    Peace. Love. LOL!

    Haute Khuuture Blog

    1. Hey doll, thanks for your comment!

      I feel so much the same about this: “…bags/shoes/apparel just doesn’t hold the same virtues as it did when I started blogging. That’s the magic of maturity, lol.” I find myself feeling awfully jaded when I read most fashion blogs these days, which is probably why I’ve been bouncing around the home decor blogs a LOT more.

      Hope you had a super weekend!

  6. Wow!

    I *totally* hear that. What a beautiful post. I completely get where you are at with looking to a new direction.

    I am bored beyond belief with expat issues. Or feeling pigeonholed in that regard. Been thinking of moving towards making my blog towards different vistas, too. 40+ fashion? Deleting it? I also feel a strong pull towards blogging for business-minded matters, solely. I never seem lost for content in that regard.

    My greatest conundrum is wanting to go more in a professional direction (ie, real estate, etc. ) and wanting to keep a personal/fashion blog which I really don’t think is conducive to a somewhat public brand that people take seriously. I like having an outlet for exploring fashion but the cost and return is a bit high against a prospective new career direction. I haven’t updated it in a while and have had such a lovely, distraction free couple of weeks with friends, life etc. without burden of the cursor in front of me. Decisions, decisions.

    But I get where you are at!

    🙂 Di

    1. Hi Diana, thanks for chiming in here.

      I can certainly understand your conundrum. Maintaining a social media persona that is YOU, and that doesn’t affect or jeopardize your professional career or social presence is a bit of a feat. But it can be done.

      Unless you are in an ultra, ultra conservative career, there’s no reason why you can’t share your lifestyle via Instagram or a blog…just keep it clean. That’s what I do. I mean, if you have to rant, that’s what texts to friends are for! I think it’s so normal now for everyone to have a social presence online that it’s no biggie, unless you are representing yourself distastefully, or there’s a conflict of interest.

      I feel like some people (mostly the youngsters) feel like they need to put everything out there; every uncensored, real thought; every drunken party photo. Truth is we all wear different hats and keep parts of ourselves concealed in real life, as we should. We don’s say or do the same things at work that we do at home, because there is a time and place for everything…and it’s not everywhere, all the time! So I don’t see why you need to close your blog, unless you’re just over it. I don’t find it controversial, or unprofessional!

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