Thursday, January 01, 2009

On Starting Project 365

Symbolic Acts [1/365]
Originally uploaded by skippytpe
I'm the sort of person that puts a lot of stock in symbolic acts.

Not to the point that I will take note if it's missing, but as we live in an age where the symbolism seems to have disappeared from everyday life, I'm very likely to take note when someone goes out of their way to attach meaning to their actions.

That said, I'm not sure that the disappearance of the stock sorts of symbolic flourish common in ages past is altogether a bad thing. The symbolic flourishes of society are often tied to classist and undemocratic ideas and impulses. Still, I can't help but think that in the process of stripping them away we have lost something.

For all that love of symbolism though I've never attached the least bit of personal significance or symbolism to New Years Day. I like to shoot fireworks and eat cabbage and all, but I've just never gotten all that excited about the whole idea of "starting anew with the new year" probably because I figure that if I actually have the discipline to improve some aspect of my life, it's not going to matter a tinkers cuss when I start the change. It is simply to be done.

This year is different. I decided when I read Merlin Man's "Photography, and the Tolerance for Courageous Sucking" that I was going to do Project 365 starting on New Years Day 2009. I've had second thoughts since then, and I may again, but for now it's time to put those second thoughts to rest and pick up my camera. If I'm going to improve as a photographer, I'm going to have to shoot... every day... mindfully, patiently, consistently. Not every photo will be a winner, but that's not the point.

Mindful discipline wins the day. Here's hoping it wins tomorrow.