Wednesday, March 5, 2014

These are a few of my favorite things

We have a bit of a departure for me today.  (Although, at this stage, everything is a little bit of a departure.  Cohesion has not yet magically happened in the way I keep expecting it to.)  I just want to talk a little about a few things that I find to add whimsy to my otherwise grey and poverty-trodden life. 

1) Coins that are older than me. 
There is nothing like being reminded of your impermanence on a lazy Wednesday afternoon at the cafe.  I mean that, however, in the best of ways.  This morning's example comes by way of a weathered dime from 1978.  Sometimes you fish into your pocket and pull out change from the 60's, battered and worn, and you wonder what it was used for when Nixon was president.  Did someone buy new shoes?  A phone call to a distant relative?  Eggs?  Other times, it's a quarter from 1980, still impossibly shiny and fresh after 30 years. 

These coins are like people.  Every one of them has lived a different experience.  Some of them come to you covered in gunk.  Some of them are bafflingly pristine.  Some of them may have been carelessly spent on gum or comic books by your own 10-year-old parents.  They might have been unwittingly carried into war, seen other countries, spent three years in the sofa cushions of a suburban household.  But they each have a unique story to which we will never be privy.  And that fascinates me. 

2) Reading the beginnings of blogs.
This is actually the thing that inspired me to write at all this morning.  I have a number of blogs I follow (or... peruse on a somewhat infrequent basis...) and, while I love following these people and hearing about their present escapades/successes/wild failures, the first thing I do when encountering a new blog is scroll ALL the way back to the beginning.  It's not that I feel the need to know everyone's origin story, although that is a powerful motivator in and of itself.  It's that I love the fact that I can identify with everyone's bumbling, stumbling, trying-to-find-their-feet first posts.  Those first months where you write everything because you're shooting-glitter-lasers-from-your-eyeballs enthused about your new project.  The halfhearted excuses why you let your blog languish for a week or two (or a year or two *cough*).  The "revelations" that seem so profound when you write them, but they really aren't, because you're a baby at your craft and what the hell do you know about anything?  Or you do, in fact, know what you're talking about, but so does everyone else in the Western world.  It's oddly reassuring to me.

One of my favorites (of course it is, I'm a photographer, after all) is Jamie Delaine's blog.  She started her photography business when she was 16 and it blows my mind how wildly (and seemingly instantaneously) successful she's been.  She's someone whose writing I have read over and over, in a desperate attempt to attain through some form of osmosis the kind of relentless drive and optimism and enthusiasm she exhibits. 

I'm also fond of the blog for Oz Images Photography.  Her first months of blogging sound much like my own, I feel, and, hey, she found her voice and created a successful business in time. 

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