362 wins, 3 fails… and a remarkable year of marking moments one day at a time

There’s nothing so unique about the 365 day project.  Photographers everywhere set out to take and post one image per day for an entire year in order to accomplish specific artistic objectives.  These include ‘learning to see’ more keenly, developing a specific photographic style, challenging oneself to be more present… more in the moment creatively.  I forever contemplated pursuing such an endeavor (especially after listening to this podcast) but never quite got around to it.  Then, last October… nearly on a whim, I started (@reybabes).

Some years pass by uneventfully, others less so.  We mark each 365 day interval, across four distinct seasons, never knowing in advance what could transpire, what might come to pass.  We expect there will be joys and there will be heartaches.  One year ago, I started marking time by taking and posting one image each day.  As of yesterday, that process is complete.  On 362 occasions I succeeded, on three I failed.  To get it out of the way, here are the three failures:

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Preaching to the choir?

So often, the task of the preacher is to bring something new to the table.  I mean, the sacred texts are a few millennia old and more than a handful of people during that timeframe have spoken about those exact same words, trying to offer an insight, introduce a new thought, spark something that gets right down to the heart of it and on a deeper level.  And let’s face it, most of those attempts have been offered to those who have already walked in through the front door of belief and have agreed that they were interested in what the preacher had to say about it.  Those preachers are often… preaching to the choir.

But in Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus offers a parable about the times when those words fall upon deaf ears.  When an invitation is offered… and then rejected.

It’s easy for those who count themselves among the faithful to feel as though an invitation from the master once offered will be surely accepted.  But Jesus’ story is about those who are invited to a king’s son’s wedding and refused to attend.  Little reason is given for their decision, though in the second instance of the invitation story, we hear that some went off to their farms and their businesses.  These were the selected few, the invited.  Yet they were busy with life, with their day-to-day affairs.  They did not heed the invitation.  Perhaps they never even heard that it was offered in the first place.

It’s an opportunity to think about our own readiness to hear and heed.  We are all busy living our lives, but are we ready?  Truly ready?  Are we receptive?  Are we attentive?

Do we favor silence?

Do we live in the moment?

Do we listen… when we pray?

Do we take the time necessary… and it does take time… to build a real and true and deep relationship with Christ?

In terms of our faith, being here (in church) is one thing… but doing something deeper about it is another thing altogether.

If we don’t, even if we think of ourselves as the selected few, the invited, the faithful… then we could miss it.  We could lose our opportunity to find ourselves at the great and everlasting banquet.

Together and Alone

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I’ve heard its gentle humming
through orange lamp lit streets
in buildings checkered with yellow
windows full of life; a whispered
cry to find her, to hold her close,
to know the touch, the name of
another and to be with the known.
So simple, yet so seldom in our
world of studios and headphones.
There is already music if you listen-
but to truly open up one’s ears,
that is, to be truly alive, together. Continue reading

The Tracks of My Tears… or whatever…

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Call it a preemptive feeling of loss, but as I wind down on my 365 day project (@reybabes), I’m already anticipating a void in my life.  For (soon to be) 365 days, I will have taken and posted one image per day.  One of the many goals as I set down this path was to record a ‘year-in-the-life…’ not having any sense of what that life might include.  I’ll write about this next week… but let’s just say that the past year has included quite a bit.

Quite a bit.

Will I appreciate not having the pressure to take and post every single day?  YES!

But I do expect that the creative outlet this exercise offered will be missed.  So, I’m ready for something to take its place.  That something could be high contrast, square, monochome images – such as above.  Here, instead of recording my life as happened over the past year, I’m looking to tell a story, to elicit emotion, to lean into art.

I’ll let you know what I come up with…

The Myth of Hidden Heroism

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She recalled the guilt, of thinking less of him only to be shaken out of it by the words of mourners, expressing sorrow, telling her of his rescues.  She was surprised by the condolences, then subsequent stories of salvation metered out by his hands.

So impressed was she in this that she endeavored to garner the same manner of reminiscence at her own end.  She longed for versions of deliverance granted by her pains.

And so firmly constructed was this fiction that she found comfort in acts that never were.   Contentment in mere figment deeds.

The moment of this confrontation… by the sea.  Alone to understand.