My friend, Vanessa Herald, sends a daily letter to my Inbox. She is a writer and owner of Make Time Farm. This is her fierce practice – showing up every day with a typewritten quote and thoughtful notes and questions of the day – written in the from of a letter from one friend to another. A few days ago, she encouraged her readers with this assignment.
For the next week, or as long as you can remember to practice, be wildly, abundantly generative of new ways to define yourself. To others, and to yourself.
What do I mean? The next time someone asks you any of the following questions, do not fall back upon the standard answer that exits your mouth most routinely. Instead, be detailed, descriptive, action-oriented, possibly bizarre, yet totally truthful.
What do you do?
How do you spend your time?
What do you write?
What do you make?
Perhaps because of my stage of life, a time of great renewal, this assignment spoke to me. I wondered how to answer these questions, deceptively simple, yet really quite revealing. Over the next few day, I'll pair my answers to these questions with my daily photograph.
What do I do?
I am a photographer who makes pictures of things and places and people that I see and feel as beautiful. And I mean beautiful in the broadest sense of the word, from sweet love to heartbreak.
I’ve been on a very long journey, where I was trapped by the need to master the camera and make pictures that were pretty, to the place I am now, which truly is somewhere in-between.
I awoke this morning to see a familiar and comforting sight, my husband’s eyeglasses resting on the bedside table. I love this view because it brings reassurance that he is by my side. I quickly grabbed the camera and took a few pictures. Then, I noticed the thin layer of dust on the table. I wiped the table clean and replaced his glasses just as they had been, and yet the picture was not the same.
There is progress here. I recognized the beauty of this simple scene and sought to elevate it to art. And there is room to grow, because a layer of dust is authentic and real and beautiful, too. I'll try again on another day.