One year ago, give or take I started a project. I tasked myself with taking a single photograph everyday for a year. No one is as stunned as I am that I actually followed that path all the way through. It’s certainly not an original design, but what is, right? The intent as originally conceived is to gain a deeper insight into the authentic person one truly is. I admit that may be an idealistic pile of hippie nonsense, but at the time I felt like it was worth a shot. In hindsight, it was the best if not the only move I could have made.
It’s a rare thing to be consciously aware of whatever it is that is all around you on the regular. And though that was the goal of the project, I think I too often photographed out of necessity – to fill my quota. It became more of a photography exercise than a self discovery endeavor. I’m okay with that – there were a lot of thoroughly decent photographs and it did shed some light for me personally. All things being equal, the project was a success. Tonight as I look back on the year, my initial evaluation at the end of that first month is reaffirmed.
My hope at the start was to try to learn something, anything about myself. What I became quickly conscious of is that I have a pretty damn good life. It’s not always what I thought it would be, and everyday doesn’t always turn out like I think it should or how I hoped that it might. Life isn’t always fair, but that doesn’t mean that it has to suck. Everyday is a new adventure and a chance to make another memory, an opportunity to make that day better than the day before. Taking (365) photographs in daily succession didn’t teach me this specifically, but it did illuminate for me that which I’ve too often missed – the simple good that happens right in front of my everyday eyes. It reminded me to seek out the positive thing, the illusive obvious joy that resides in the minutia of every second of the day.
It’s difficult sometimes to not get sucked in by the bullshit of life, especially the bullshit that is of one’s own making. Everyone deals with whatever it is differently. For me the sometimes forced positive daily creative aspect of this exercise effectively averted my attention from what had become my near obsession with the negative.
I’m satisfied with the outcome but now I’m done with it. It’s far too egocentric to sustain publically. I’ll continue to snap pics of my everyday and I might even post some here from time to time but (365) as a thing is over. As an aside, I’m perplexed by the fact that no one seemed to give a shit about the music I started adding (31) days in. That was/is effectively a primer on all things musically cool and it fell sadly on deaf ears as far as I can see. I suppose, helping the world see and dig the same music as me isn’t my job after all. Oh well, now you’ve got an epic playlist if you want one.
So now what? I’ve been painting a lot more lately, painting the canvases that I want to. My limited success (and/or lack thereof) on the festival circuit inadvertently forced me into painting what I thought would sell and I hate that. As such, I have pulled out of all of the festivals I had on my calendar for 2014. I need to refocus on the art, on the act of art making. I’ve always painted for me only until I started getting paid for it – that must get rectified with a quickness.
Past the art thing, I want to refocus on the craft of writing. When I started this blog in the fall of 2011, it was deployed as a therapeutic device, and it still is at some level. Writing has always been exactly that for me, but I want more out of it now. As much as I love posting whatever random is on my mind, it is far too often only about me. In spite of that wallowing fact, sometimes it has been really good and I'm proud of those moments, but sometimes it is little more than self-indulgent drivel and I’m sure I’m better than that. Perhaps it’s my incomparable arrogance speaking, but I feel like I have a helluva lot more to say, that I haven’t made my voice heard yet. I’m sure I’ll keep writing it, but this blog isn’t the best venue to develop that voice. To that end, I’ve decided to finally write the book that’s been bouncing around my brain for the last (20+) years. I’m aware that I just committed the cardinal sin of public proclamation that I railed against earlier this year but that’s a risk I’m willing to face. The undertaking of sifting through a lifetime of unfinished thoughts, incomplete plot twists, character profiles, forgotten outlines and unrealized scene structure is daunting but it sends a charge through me that I haven’t felt in a long time.
There are of course, endeavors of greater import that I could and should probably busy myself with…this ladder isn’t going to climb itself, is it? I no longer however see any reason not to ardently pursue all of my passions equally. If I am who I say I am it’s the obvious next logical step.