Saturday, July 10, 2010

Starting over. Again. Long Story.

My friend Julie told me today that logging on to my blog and finding the same post that's been up for over a month made her feel better that she hadn't updated either. So I'm really sorry Julie.

I haven't stopped taking photos. In fact, since June 4th (my last post) I've taken 1637 photos and 27 movies. I've just quit telling the stories that go along with the photos. Last week I read this on Stacy Julian's blog:

There are too many [people] not telling their story because they are sinking in an ocean of excess photos.

We tend to assign an immense amount of value to photos because in the past, they have been rare and therefore extremely valuable. In other words, 12,000 photos are not as valuable as twelve. Stop and think about that for a minute.If you had only twelve photos from your childhood, they would automatically (regardless of their quality) be valuable–they are all you have.
12, 000 photos are not individually valuable, until you assign value to a few of them.

Excess photos create an environment of anxiety.

Creativity requires full engagement. To connect to that most essential place inside of you where emotion and memory come together to find expression, you really can’t feel anxious or distracted or overwhelmed.

Anxiety does not allow full engagement. You can hardly take a deep breath when you feel anxious, let alone find the calm and focus to fully engage!

I believe the antidote to all this anxiety is (quite simply) action. We need to learn to take action, in small chunks of time with small groups of images. We need to develop the skill of selecting a relatively small percentage of our digital images and then we need to assign value to them–somehow make them different from the rest. Make them rare.

So I've decided to start again, choosing only one (or so) photos to "make rare" and tell our story. Here's my photo for today:

I read both of these books over the past week, and LOVED them. It was serendipitous to read them in conjunction. The Power of One is an uplifting, moving story of a boy in apartheid Africa who overcomes huge obstacles to lead a full, exciting life which impacts many people for good. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is the story of an author who edits his autobiographical book so that it can be made into a movie, and it's a very thought-provoking look at what makes a story (or life) interesting and meaningful, and how we can re-write our own stories to become the protagonist we want to be. I love this quote:

"A good storyteller speaks something into nothing. Where there is an absence of story, or perhaps a bad story, a good storyteller walks in and changes reality. He doesn't critique the existing story, or lament about his boredom, like a critic. He just tells something different and invites other people into the new story he is telling."

You're invited.

1 comment:

Rachelle said...

SOOOOOO glad you're back. I've missed you!