Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sea Glass & Other Fragments: Why I've Changed My Blog

Whoa! Wait a minute! What the [insert expletive of choice here] is going on here?

I thought this blog was called Love Is Not a Pie. What's with this "Sea Glass" stuff?!

Calm thoughts. Deep breaths. Especially you adoptees! (I know some of you really don't like change!) Everything is going to be okay.

So, why have I suddenly changed my blog title, nixing one that was perfectly fine to begin with?

I'm glad you asked.

I love the title Love Is Not a Pie, and it seemed a perfect fit for a blog that focused on open adoption and adoption reunion. But lately I've been coming to the realization that I want to broaden the focus of this blog somewhat. The new title and look of the blog are my way of announcing my intention to branch out a bit with my writing.

Am I still going to write about adoption and my journey to find my way in this world, as both an adoptee and an adoptive parent? Absolutely! In fact, it would be impossible for me to do anything else, given the extent to which adoption has shaped my identity and my experience of life. Some of the future posts may be less obviously about adoption, but adoption will continue to be both an influence and a common theme in my writing.

OK, Rebecca, so that's why you are changing the title. But why sea glass? In fact, what the [insert expletive of choice] is sea glass?

Once again, I'm glad you asked.

Sea glass is one of my favorite things in the world. It consists of bits of broken glass that have been transformed by the motion of the sea and the friction of tumbling rocks into soft, translucent gems. 

See what I mean when I said I was still going to be writing about adoption?! Sea glass begins with fragmentation, followed by a period of tumult, and yet somehow ends up as something beautiful and whole. It is an emblem of transformation.

Photo credit: Maureen of Tidal Gems
Sea glass has long been an important symbol for me, even before I connected it to adoption healing. In fact, many, many, many moons ago I wrote a collection of poetry as part of graduate work in a creative writing program, and that collection was called (wait for it) ... Sea Glass and Other Fragments.

And then, about a decade ago, I wrote the following:
I sit on the pebbly part of the town beach at the end of the shore path, combing my hands through the damp loose stones looking for sea glass. I am looking for blue pieces, of course, but they are too rare and I’m not having any luck. I don’t want to go home empty handed, so I begin to gather the white, the brown, the green. I study the subtleties of each piece. I look at them the way some people must look at diamonds, noticing the unique way the light shines through each one. I am a connoisseur of sea glass. I rub my fingers over the edges, judging. Is it soft enough? Is it ready for plucking, or does it need more time with the sea? 
Two children, a boy and a girl, about 10 years old, possibly twins, begin to hover nearby. They pat my dog, then stand, unselfconsciously, as 10-year-olds will do, watching, waiting for me to take the lead. I explain to them that I am looking for sea glass for two friends from Massachusetts who have been especially kind to me lately. I tell them that I want to bring these friends some little bits of Maine. I don’t know if they understand the last part or not, but they don’t question it. They sense that an important mission is at hand. Without a word, they begin to help. The girl, whose name I eventually learn is Krista, works beside me, putting the pieces in my hand one by one as she finds them. The boy, Cain, works a wider territory, wandering off on his own, returning periodically with his finds. We work quietly, with reverence almost, with only an occasional comment about the beauty or uniqueness of a particular piece. It feels almost as though the three of us are participants in some sacred ceremony. 
The children do not adhere to my standards for the sea glass, and soon they are also adding small rock, shells, and even pieces of shell. My first impulse is to protest. “No, that’s not what I’m looking for.” But instead I relax. I decide to accept whatever gifts they have to give. I watch as the mixture in my hand grows increasingly messier, and richer. When my cupped hand is full, I tell them it’s time for me to go. I say my goodbyes, thank them for their help, and slip the collection into my jacket pocket. As I walk away, I look back at Krista and Cain. They sit, heads close together, still sifting through the rocks.
The lesson of that beach outing continued to resonate with me a couple of years ago, when I first published the story on this blog, and it is just as meaningful, if not more so, for me today. I am a woman in middle age, looking at the beautiful, messy life I have ended up with instead of the one I envisioned. I am an adoptee who has realized that healing is not about being "unbroken," but about seeing the beauty and the strength in what I have become after years of being tossed in the sea. And I am a writer who is about to make a leap of faith, trusting that the right "pieces" will come to me and that the end result will belong together in some fashion that I can't yet fully envision.

What will the new "mixture" look like? I can't really say for sure yet, but I hope you'll stick with me to find out.


  1. I love this, Rebecca. Our lives evolve, and so should our blogs! I've been thinking about this same thing lately. Good luck on your new endeavors! I will be here following along.

  2. Oh my goodness, what happened to Love Is Not A Pie??!!! Yes, I am an adoptee who struggles with change. :) That being said, I love your blog's new name and new look, and most of all, I'm thrilled that you're taking this new step in your writing life. I'm so excited for you! I can't wait to see what comes of this.

  3. I love it! I have also been thinking of broadening my blog to include the struggles I have with my raised children. Although I think the name of my blog wouldn't need to change. :) It is still my fight for motherhood. Lol

  4. Congratulations on your new lovely space and expanded scope. As I said in a comment on the post you reference here, my MIL turned me on to sea glass, also in your neck of the woods.

    Sea glass will forever make me think of you and of her :-)

  5. Wow. Great story, and a beautiful connection of sea glass to adoption. Adoption has forever altered my life too, yet out of it I believe will come something beautiful. Thank you for continuing to share your heart, and I for one, wholeheartedly support and admire your leap of faith.

  6. What a perfect metaphor! Your writing is just lovely, too.

  7. Ohhh... So lovely, Rebecca! I will never look at sea glass the same way again. I have a wonderful mobile of silver-wrapped sea glass, pieces I collected on my own beach wanderings. It catches the light in my kitchen window and will now remind me of you & your lesson to appreciate the beauty of the broken in my own life. Thank you! And kudos on the new direction... Wherever it leads!

  8. Love the new site! Having grown up in Florida I have a whole bottle of sea glass I collected over the years and what a wonderful new way to appreciate it as an adoptee.

  9. Wow -- the analogy of sea glass to adoption - that's powerful!

  10. I love the new blog name and the freedoms that it affords you. As someone who has been an archaeologist in a past life, I believe the fragment idea is inspired. Congratulations!

  11. Rebecca, this was just SO beautiful, and I LOVE the way your story flowed!! What a perfect summation: "I am an adoptee who has realize that healing is not about being "unbroken," but about seeing the beauty and the strength in what I have become after years of being tossed in the sea. And I am a writer who is about to make a leap of faith, trusting that the right "pieces" will come to me and that the end result will belong together in some fashion that I can't yet fully envision." I will definitely be sharing that on my page! Such a positive take on our journeys. I used to collect, or at least look for, bits of broken cobalt glass, when I was a child in San Francisco--rare, as you said. I went on to collect whole pieces of cobalt, for years...and then suddenly, after my adoptive dad died and my adoptive mom moved back to a retirement home for a short while, I switched it all out for RED glass! There may be more to it... :-) Keep on growing, changing, exploring, and call your blog whatever you want to ;-)

  12. Rebecca "Sea glass" is absolutely perfect. It fits, it works, it is correct. As a 40yo male adoptee I am happy that you've created this metaphor : )

  13. Thanks a lot for sharing something wonderful. And I really
    love both of your titles. But I guess writing about sea glass is more
    interesting. And it seems to remind me of the time when my sisters and I are always on the beach collecting beautiful sea glass.

  14. I like the original name.......but understand the change