I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning. J. B. Priestley
Fresh page, fresh start. Seems appropriate for a blog at the start of a new year. But that’s not where it came from.
I recently subscribed to a digital photography newsletter (http://www.digital-photography-school.com/) with the hope that it might help me expand my photography skills. Each week, the newsletter sends out a photo assignment. The first for 2012 was titled, “a fresh start”.
That’s it. The editors leave it up to the shutter bugs to figure out what it looks like.
I spent days thinking about it. I didn’t want to do something as predictable as the image above. No blank pages, open books. I thought about freshly fallen snow. Sweetie suggested either a sunrise or a sunset, saying they essentially signify the same thing. But no, I thought. So I’ve dithered about and now the deadline has passed. It was today.
I considered taking a photo of a tattoo I got ten years ago. It’s on my hip. A bird about to take flight. For me, it signalled a fresh start following the end of my first marriage. I assumed because it was on a – shall we say – fleshy part of my anatomy, that it wouldn’t hurt as much. Wrong! It hurt like hell. I’ve never regretted it though. Every morning, it reminds me of how hopeful I felt. And how that hope has carried me through to the good place I’m in now. When I tried to take the picture though, I failed to realize that it would include a lumpy, dimpled hip – not quite the image I had in mind.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that really, any given moment has the power to signify a fresh start. I also realized that if my goal with every photo assignment is to come up with the perfect concept, I will never take any pictures. Although it’s not as if I didn’t take any. There’s this one:
It’s an image of the front of my fridge. I liked the juxtaposition of the calendar with the ad for junk removal. I just didn’t like it enough. So I didn’t submit it. Then there was Erik, Baby Sister’s cat… pondering the world outside on New Year’s morning.
Erik’s never been outside. I wondered what might be going on his furry little brain. Will this be the year I escape out there? It wouldn’t be good. Erik’s a rescue cat without any claws, thanks to a previous owner. But I digress. And again… no.
I’ve also realized that the same pondering/discarding of ideas applies to this blog. I’ve considered, pondered and discarded all sorts of possible posts. I think about them long enough until the moment has passed. And they go into that place where all unrealized blog posts go, a place of disjointed words and ideas, rolling about in a kind of limbo beyond the blogosphere.
The next photo assignment is deceptively simple – something yellow. I’ve already ruled out images of fruit, flowers and other plant life. But tomorrow I promise to take a picture of something, regardless of whether it’s brilliant or creative or original or unpredictable. It will be a fresh start.