Wednesday, July 28, 2010

blogging in place

We bloggers appear to be in a navel-gazing mood these days.

Or, perhaps, we are simply being analytically introspective.

Billie and Theresa have recently discussed changes in their blogs and talked about why we blog in the first place.

Felipe has blogged about a comment he received chiding him for the use of the term "yummie."  And it appears to be a topic of great interest.   As I write, there are 26 comments.  26!  Chatting about "yummie."

I started reading Mexico blogs about four years ago.  Back then, I was convinced that I was going to go native and live in a small fishing village on the Pacific, eating fish that I caught that morning.  Chacala would be my new home.

I do not recall how I picked Chacala.  I must have read about it in a tourist book.  Or maybe one of those airline travel magazines where someone has partially (and incorrectly) completed the crossword puzzle.

That is how I met Andee.  She had moved to Chacala in the same way that nuns enter convents -- renouncing the world to seek a simpler life.  (The change was not that drastic, as we were to discover.  Her life had long been based on the essentials.)

She blogged almost daily on My Life in Chacala.  It was the only blog I read, and each entry helped open my eyes to the reality of living in such a small place. 

There was joy.  She loved the village -- but she loved her Mexican neighbors even more.

But it was not paradise.  It was simply life -- in a new location.

I anticipated each of her posts.  Commented on them.  Emailed her.

At some point, perhaps on my trip to La Manzanilla, I realized I was not suited for Gilligan's Island.  After all, I don't even like fish.  So, I started looking at larger towns further south on the coast.

That is when I branched out to reading other blogs about Mexico.  I was surprised at the number -- and the wealth of information available from other expatriates' experiences.

I now read as many Mexico blogs as I can.  Over the years, I have added additional blogs to my daily fare.  The result is apparent from my blog roll in the right column.

This trip north has given me an opportunity to think about this blog.  I finally got around to a new design.  But the title remains unchanged -- for now.

Being separated from daily experiences in Mexico reminds me how much I am dependent on that type of immediacy for blog material.  At the moment, I feel like an outsider looking at my former home town. 

I have context to comment, but it is always based on memories.  Not new experiences.

For now, I will continue to write as an outsider.  Knowing that I will be returning to my home in just a few months.  Three, to be exact.

Until then, I need to find something as interesting as "yummie" to write about.


Calypso said...

We look forward to your return to Mexico amigo!

Tom said...

Reading your posts helps me see that my wife and I, as prospective immigrants to Mexico, are somewhere near the end of a long line. I went to Andee’s blog and read some of her bittersweet story. It reminded me of a picture I took last winter vacation in the Yelapa cemetery. The epitaph on the worn and stained tombstone of a 55- year-old woman with an Anglo name reads, “Every woman has a secret dream where her soul should be, hers was a small palapa home in a village by the sea.” Do we all have a secret dream where our soul should be? Is that the rudder plunged deep in the sea of our life that moves us from the familiar land?

Anonymous said...

As I've been reading your blogs, along with Calypso, Gary, Felipe, Tancho, Todd's, Bab's,Bob, Billie, Debbie and Richard's "Gangs" for the last 3 years. I don't always comment, but be assured that every new entry is eagerly awaited, and thoroughly enjoyed. Each of you have your own unique styles of writing from Sr. Zapata's laid-back cafecito mornings to Constantino's YUMMY (there I used it!) food musings and Billie's high altitude breads- to Mexico Bob's erudite explanations of matters of faith and philosophy.
Somewhere in all the musing about the good, bad, and ugly of Mexico, the true beauty in it's people and lifestyle comes blindingly through in the little things that keep you there or constantly draw you back. Keep up the great work!
Dan in NC

Anonymous said...

A blog about blogging?

I would call that a meta-blog, similar to when a novelist goes reflective on her art and writes about writing. Coetzee does this. I hate these meta-novels. But I'm not a writer nor a graduate student in English.

I am interested in the controversy surrounding "yummie," however. I mean, there's a group with time on their hands.


Tancho said...

It's nice that you are referring to life South as Home.
67.88% of the battle is you need to finish it off.
I look forward to your travels around the pais'. After which I expect you to share with your blogger buddies a plan to develop a more or less permanent solution to your journey.

Brenda said...

No, I somehow don't see you as the Gilligans Island type lol.
Lots of info. out there now both good and bad, requires lots of sifting through.

Ah, with the following line and I quote,
"For now, I will continue to write as an outsider."
you have opened up endless blog post possibilities.
In my mind no matter how long you live in another country or how well you think you have assimilated you will ALWAYS be an outsider.
I know this is not how you meant it in this context; but think about it.
It doesn't matter how much one "gets into things" in your new home/country you will always be on the outside looking in, (unless of course you only associate with others of your kind).
If you take the time to think about it and disregard all that you have read about the "accepting and friendly" qualities of the people and friends you make in your new location you will perhaps come to the same conclusion or not.

JerryL said...

One of the few programs that I use to enjoy for some sick reason was Seinfeld. He did 10 years about a show about "nothing" so I think a blog about blogging would be apropos.
I have noticed that writers go through waves. I ponder now, about starting a blog.
About nothing.

Nita said...

I read your blog and love your writings and pictures about Mexico because it takes me back to some happy, happy times. We didn't live there but went every winter for years, not to just the seaside resorts but also small villages.After traveling all over the country I never found a place I didn't love and enjoy.

Steve Cotton said...

Calypso -- As do I, Señor.

Tom -- For some of us, there must be vagabond DNA. It is why we all ended up in the New World. But some of us keep looking for something new.

Dan -- Thanks. There is something that really draws me south.

ANM -- Mirrors looking at mirrors.

Tancho -- I look forward to that series of posts, as well.

Brenda -- I agree with you. We will always be outsiders while we live in Mexico. And I have an idea for yomorrow's post.

JerryL -- A blog about nothing? Sounds good. Zen posts?

Nita -- Mexico is -- and will be -- full of interesting times.

Felipe said...

Señor Cotton: It´s yummy, not yummie, and so far 147 people have voted on the poll touching on this pressing issue.

Anonymous said...

If you marry the right person it will be the best thing you ever did and if you marry the wrong person it will be biggest mistake you ever made. Marriages aren't made in heaven... they are made here on earth with a little luck and a lot of hard work. Single or married....both can be wonderful.

- Mexican Trailrunner said...

Awww. I knew Andee too, spent an afternoon with her in Chacala once when I was living in Sayulita.
Andee was a special person, I was lucky to meet her. I think of her and some of the stories she told me often.
Paz, Andee.

Steve Cotton said...

Felipe -- You, of course, are correct. "ie" words are always more problematic than "y" words.

Anonymous -- Great advice.

Mexican TrailRunner -- I still miss her.

Islagringo said...

I have been pondering the direction and fate of my blog quite a bit lately. Things have changed. I have changed. I still haven't decided if I even value continuing. This post has given me something to chew on.

While I no longer think of her everyday, Andee still remains in my heart and I do miss her too.