I was perusing the new WordPress themes, wondering whether I wanted to change my theme. Ocean Mist has always been a favorite theme; I’ve returned to it regularly. Tonight, however, I accidentily gave it up, probably forever.
I didn’t intend to give it up, but my finger brushed the wrong key as I was loading “live preview” on one of the themes. Suddenly, Ocean Mist vanished. I decided I didn’t really want to change my theme after all, so I looked for Ocean Mist but couldn’t find it in any of the lists of themes on the WordPress site. I “googled” it and found it as a download, so I downloaded it– the new, improved version!– but then I couldn’t figure out how to upload the theme into the blog, so now it’s really gone, and I feel a sense of loss.
Poking around the WordPress site, I realized that themes are going the way of other consumer goods— more numerous but of poorer quality and higher price. Custom color options that used to be free on certain themes are now included in the Custom Design option that costs $30 per year. “Custom header” now means (on some themes) that you can choose from several pre-loaded headers but not upload your own. Free custom fonts went away years ago; I’m surprised I can still choose font color. Font size can be changes, sort of, but the limited choices don’t always work. I cannot figure out why this paragraph cannot be shrunk to fit its surrounding paragraphs.
I finally landed on Coraline, a theme I have used and liked, which still offers custom color backgrounds and fully custom headers– free. I have since activated Fruit Shake, with the same custom header and (limited) custom background, my necessary minimum requirements. I’ll miss Ocean Mist, as I don’t think I’ll have the gumption to learn new computer maneuvers for awhile. I’ll keep the downloaded file, just in case I run into a computer guru who would simply love to upload it for me.
If I were knowledgeable about designing themes, I’d craft a Middle-Eastern theme. Maybe someone will do it for me, and if it were gorgeous, and infinitely customizable, I might even pay for it.
At first glance, I may appear to be a middle-aged American woman with kids, grandkids, retired from a job in a hospital, gratefully relieved from the responsibilities that come with all of that. Behind the image, which is true enough, I am fairly unhinged from much of American mainstream living, having spent twelve years in Saudi Arabia, years that sprung me from societal and familial impositions, and narrow bands of truth. I have learned to embrace my identity as a seeker, an artist, and a writer.
I study Arabic and Italian language, because I love them, and I love their people. I still dream of spending more time in the Middle East and Italy, though the dreaming now seems more real than the possibilities. I am a photographer. I write, and sometimes publish, flash memoir, and now a blog or two.
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