Last year my son who is majoring in photography encouraged me to do a 365 photo project (one photo a day for a year). He knew I enjoyed taking pictures, and I think he knew I needed the creative outlet, particularly at this time in my life. I took him up on it, and it has been a surprising experience of growth and joy. Long ago, I enjoyed sketching, drawing, and other art projects. In various seasons of my life I’ve needlepointed, made jewelry, decorated cakes, and started — and even finished! — some sewing projects. I’ve never felt particularly good at any of these, but there are creative urges in me that want out. When Will suggested the project about a year ago, with an unwanted divorce imminent, being creative was the last thing on my mind. All I wanted was a full night of sleep and a day without tears.
But I took on the challenge as soon as I arrived back in Georgia, and I’m so very glad I did. It has forced me to look outside of myself, beyond my circumstances, and to really notice the world around me. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m learning things about myself through this project, and I’m drawn to texture. I don’t edit because I just can’t make myself learn Photoshop right now, so with my photos you see what I see. And I’m finding beauty in mundane, sometimes even unlikely, places. God has lavishly decorated this world with beauty, and I feel like I’m on a scavenger hunt of sorts.
I’m posting my photos on my Facebook page and on my private blog. Sometimes they make it over here. I can’t tell you how many times a day I wish I had my camera handy. I’ve started noticing light and how fickle and fleeting it is. I see so many things that as my dad says, it’s exhausting. It’s almost like this 365 project has given me new eyes or at least made these old ones more alert. Oh, there are days that I phone in my photo because I don’t want to break my streak. But even on those days, the discipline of the project is good for me.
Lord willing, I’ll finish the 365 early this summer. In the meantime, I’m grateful for the creative outlet.