My word for 2014 is BECOME. When making a list of what I want to become in 2014, closer to my Creator and grounded in truth topped my list. I started pondering how I could make that happen.
Then I remembered how I became a better photographer. I surrounded myself with photographers that were better than me. I watched how they shot, what equipment they used, and how they saw light. I decided I would surround myself with women with strong spiritual lives that I respected. I would watch how they live, see what they surround themselves with, and learn to see how they see. For 2014, I will be doing a blog roll project with these four amazing women. We will pick a theme to write about and post to our blogs once a month.
For January we chose the words new or beginning. I really love new things…. new journals, new shoes, new crayons, new days, and new lenses. I don’t, however, always love new ways of being or thinking. If I am out of shape, I don’t want to do something new by working out and eating right. If I am finding myself surrounded by junk and piles of unorganized papers, I don’t start finding a proper place for things. If every person that crosses my path pisses me off, I don’t want to find a new way of thinking. If I am dry spiritually, I don’t want to do something new by slowing and quieting my mind and heart. Habits are hard to break, even if they are bad habits. When I do start making new habits, things slowly begin to change. I find my body moves better and feels stronger. I no longer stress about where I have put this or that. I find patience and grace for others, and ultimately myself. I hear the Comforter tell me I am His beloved and I am surrounded and filled with His love.
If these new habits bring good things, why don’t I always see new with excitement? I think I expect perfect change and quick results. I need to remember that I don’t need to change all my bad habits quickly. I liken it to waking up in the morning and not wanting to turn on the light because it will hurt my eyes. New doesn’t need to be like that. New doesn’t need to turn on like a switch. It can be a slow, steady thing… like the dawn of a new day.
I had the pleasure of shooting a roll of film during the dawn. As each minute passed, I clicked one more photo. I was reminded of the gentleness of dawn. I was reminded of the hope a new day brings. I was reminded how she slowly surrounds you.
As you travel through this dawn, I would encourage you to be just as gentle with yourself this year as the dawn is with the day. We don’t need to lose all the extra pounds by February. We don’t need have our house Pinterest organized by the end of the week. We don’t need to love each person perfectly by summer. We don’t need to feel like Thomas Merton by Friday. We can move slowly into the new.
I am doing this project with some amazing women. Please visit my friend Cheryl’s blog then roll on through to the others.
Photos taken with my Mamiya m645 1000s, 80mm extension tube 1, Kodak Portra 400.