07 March 2014
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.
28 February 2014
Catch up on this project of mine at the links below if you're new to the blog. This is the scheduled last one in the series (but I'm sure I will find a way to subvert that shortsighted rule.)
Thirty-One Days in March (Part 1)
Thirty-One Days in March (Part 1)
I think this one's a little too cheery, no?
Song of the Day: The Things We Do For Love - 10cc
Sweet Belle turned (6) years old today.
Song of the Day: If You Wanna Get To Heaven - Ozark Mountain Daredevils
Random ATL: 1180 Peachtree
Song of the Day: Seneca Falls - The Distillers
I had a site visit down in Montgomery, Alabama today. The project is coming along better than expected but I could barely concentrate on why I was there due to the preponderance of trains passing by the property. You know that wide-eyed wonder that little boys have about trains? I still have it and man I hope it never goes away.
Song of the Day: Pick Up The Pieces - Average White Band
Random ATL: Hill Street at MLK
Song of the Day: Will It Go 'Round In Circles - Billy Preston
My obsessive daily bridge construction distraction continues unabated. Rebar cages make me happy...takes me to my way back, I suppose.
Song of the Day: Time Machine - The Winery Dogs
Best studio meeting on record. Read more here.
Song of the Day: A Bit of Purpose - The Dirty Flaws
Out and about wandering this afternoon, I happened upon this dusty jewel at Moreland and Memorial. I'm not typically moved by rat-rods but this bad boy had a Cadillac engine, so there's that.
Song of the Day: Chelsea Dagger - The Fratellis
Today marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles first arrival in the states and subsequent appearance on the Ed Sullivan show – for no particular reason I commemorated this historical fact with roast beast, ten-dollar wine and '90s grunge.
Song of the Day: Sex Type Thing - Stone Temple Pilots
With the threat of a catastrophic winter weather event, some people rush out to buy milk and bread...others do not.
Song of the Day: Going To Hell - The Pretty Reckless
Perchance the ATL learned it's lesson last month – the downtown connector was nearly deserted at 6:00 this evening. That's an unexpected welcomed first for me.
Song of the Day: Shaking Hands With The Holy Ghost - Blackberry Smoke
The snow finally came, so I worked from home today. Maybe it was the uncommon view from the dining room table, maybe it was the sleeping dog at my feet, maybe it was pure happenstance but today was by far the most productive day I've had this year. (I should get to work on my value of telecommuting speech to the bosses.)
Song of the Day: Lil' Tico - Big Ass Truck
Belle and I had a helluva lot of fun in the backyard this morning before the big thaw forced me begrudgingly back into the office this afternoon.
Song of the Day: Shambala - Three Dog Night
A while back, years ago probably, I thought it would be cool to have a ukulele. A few days ago I pulled the trigger finally and ordered the damn thing. It arrived today and I promptly set about fumbling through Somewhere Over The Rainbow. It's important to keep your brain active and engaged, right? I can't think of a better way to do that than teaching myself how to play a new instrument.
Flogging Molly at The Tabernacle – epic as always.
Song of the Day: Drunken Lullabies - Flogging Molly
I like it. I'll call it Sunset Behind The Weeds if I still like it in the morning.
Song of the Day: New Madrid - Uncle Tupelo
Song of the Day: Invisible City - The Wallflowers
I had a 7:00 breakfast meeting at the W in midtown this morning. It wouldn't have been cool even if it was as impressive as it sounds but what it did afford me was a perfect view of 1st Presbyterian against a flawless blue morning sky.
Song of the Day: Great Expectations - The Gaslight Anthem
Random ATL: Georgia State Archives. This has been one of my favorite buildings since day one in the A – there's just something about travertine, right? It exists in no-mans-land, unconcerned between (2) freeways and I've never thought to try to experience it up close. I see it every morning from MLK and I see it every night from I-20 in a different light and that's exactly how I'm suppose to.
Song of the Day: I'm Your Negative - River City Tanlines
I stepped way outside of my comfort zone this morning and went to a local elementary school to teach 2nd graders about art. Faced with an empty canvas, the first little girl asked, what am I supposed to do? I replied in the only way that I knew, whatever you feel like. I don't have kids of my own, but I can imagine the satisfaction a parent feels must be tenfold what I felt when I saw the light go on and she and her classmates embraced the moment. Today proved my life thesis that everyone has art inside of them just waiting to get out.
Song of the Day: Teach Your Children Well - Crosby, Stills, Nash + Young
I won my category in the 1st Annual Chili Cook-Off at the office today!
Song of the Day: You Probably Couldn't See For The Lights But You Were Looking Straight At Me - Arctic Monkeys
I had a peaceful nap with Belle this morning after a ton of ball time and a hot bath. She left this afternoon for the last time to go live with her mom. She's off on a new adventure now and I suppose I should do the same. We had a long talk last night and she knows what's what. I sure am gonna miss that crazy dog, but we'll both be fine.
Song of the Day: Sticks And Stones - Ray Charles
Enjoying the beautiful weather and the Sunday paper on the front steps this morning I noticed that the Chrysanthemums I planted last fall are starting to wake up and peek through. That's a wonderful hopeful thing right there.
Song of the Day: Atlantic City - The Band
Song of the Day: Trouble In Paradise - The Like
I punched one of our data center projects in D.C. this morning – I think these guys are as ready for a new season as I am.
Song of the Day: Tip Of The Tongue - The Donnis Trio
Song of the Day: My Old School - Steely Dan
Song of the Day: The Longer I Run - Peter Bradley Adams
Song of the Day: 25 Or 6 To 4 - Chicago