August 1, 2008

Walking Wednesdays

It never ceases to amaze me how one can walk the same route time and time again and fail to notice the most amazing colors, textures, and compositions just waiting to be encapsulated in your viewfinder.
On this walk I decided that I no longer want to let myself be intimidated by others, possibilities, the state of American democracy, or even myself. I only want to feel dwarfed by trees doing yoga with limbs contorted and outstretched, an expansive sky, rusty mesas, lush mountains, torrential storms--by the power of mother nature.

It also amazes me how simply electing to walk on the other side of the street can thrust one into an entirely new realm of sensations, impressions, and mindfulness.
I walked past that leaf and stopped dead in my tracks--turned around and gazed at it, noting its solidarity, the rich gold against the monochrome sidewalk, the drops of dew intact.
A few blocks before that beauty, I had stumbled across a pile of severed trunks and limbs stacked thickly on a parkway awaiting removal. I felt moved to take this picture of its heart meat.
A few weeks ago two trees were hacked down on my block and I can't shake the feeling of loss when I go outside. Thinking about how the elm across the street was the same one I ricocheted off just after I had my training wheels removed. Now when I step off my stoop the sun is glaring. I walk down the street and everything is changed. The lighting. Now there are these gaping holes that I cannot forget.
On my walk I remember smelling cinnamon, dryer sheets, and construction. I love the smell of construction--freshly dug up earth mixed with sawdust.

I used to feel dwarfed by "photography" in part because many of my friends are enrolled in photography programs but more due to the fact that I allow myself to be intimidated by new things. It's the perfectionist in me: if I can't start this new thing and do it perfectly from day one or after a month I quit. But now I'm prescribing to the idea that if you love something do it (at least as far as photography is concerned). I've accepted the fact that every frame I shoot is not going to be magnificent. In fact most of them are going to suck. In making a daily practice of it, however, I trust that I will slowly learn to see or rather my lens will learn to see through me.

In thinking back on the countless opportunities for exploration and growth that I've ignored simply because I let myself be intimidated by the idea of other people already knowing what they're doing and what they want, feeling worthless before I even begin, I was angry at myself. Thinking maybe I'd already be that person I'm supposed to be right now. Regardless, I want to do the things that terrify me--that Improv class, vlogging... because if I can do it I know I will be closer.

In that vein, I want to start a Walking Wednesday blog that encourages people to start walking and taking pictures of the things that inspire them to share. While I like the alliteration, the importance of Wednesday is linked to it being the middle day--"hump day," as it were and therefore a time when walking is (imho) necessary. More on this project later as it starts becoming more tangible but I'm really excited about starting something!

This means a new vintage hat may be in order :)
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amy said...

Love the photos and your idea of a walking Wednesday with people from all over the world out walking and exploring their world. :)

Kaitlin said...

1. vintage hats are awesome (as we know from the flea market) :), and the picture is awesome! I love reflections because there are so many layers to the pictures. and I keep on staring at it trying to find you and I cant..hmm. I also like the idea of walking Wednesdays. I think it will be very interesting to see and get to know others through their habitats! :) As for walking in general, I should take your advice and try walking on the other side of the street next time or taking a different route. I really think you are great with a camera and you should take a photo class one day even if it is intimidating or a torturous beginners class