Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Capture Your 365

For thirty days, I have been capturing one photo to post on Instagram with the #CY365 hashtag. Why? To cultivate the routine of taking at least one photo each day, document my year, increase my observatory skill, and/or retain the memory of something beautiful or important (and those two are not mutually exclusive). It's an entertaining hobby and far from routine. It keeps the synapses firing in my aging brain. I hope you enjoy some of what I share, but that is not my measure of success.

The only measure for me is this: did I take a photo today?

There are several apps and websites which help promote the photo-a-day concept. I use this one for photo prompts. Some people can do it on their own, I personally like to have a prompt, though I am not locked into that. If the prompt doesn't resonate, or if I find something more interesting, I simply hashtag it as #offprompt. I chose Instagram as my depository, but others have posted on Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere.

You'll find me on Instagram as @north59lite. I tell you in case you're interested, since you are here, voluntarily reading this blog. I have no marketing agenda, I'm selling nothing, I've no desire to build a larger platform of followers. I can't keep track of the ones I have. The odd nicknames mean I usually have to click a person's profile to figure out who they are in real life. And then there are those of you whom I've never met...

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Henry once asked me why I share things on social media. I didn't have an answer then, so I ordered two books I thought might help me answer the question for myself. "Why We Write" and "Why We Write About Ourselves" gave me some interesting reading by other authors, but also offered as many different reasons to write as there were chapters in each book.

Steve Bell, writing in "Pilgrim Year: Ephiphany," finally hit on something close to my own motive. He said:

"We all have interior landscapes that deeply long to be expressed." 

Steve tells how he was once moved to tears reading about the late-life longing expressed by Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky. "As he neared his own death," Steve says, "the great writer was desperately trying to complete The Brothers Karamazov." Dostoyevsky reportedly said that if he could just finish the work, "he would die a happy man, having expressed himself completely."

That quote exploded like fireworks in my heart. It was my own sort of Epiphany. The longing to express oneself completely drives some artists mad. If we tie it to approval of what we have expressed, we get driven there a bit sooner. I determined long ago that I would offer my expressions to the world, be it poetry, prose, photographs, or music. I have been sharing via this blog since 2005, having published over 1,200 posts. That's an average of eight expressions each month for 13 years. Not prolific, but regular.

As someone else has said, "Just because it happened doesn't mean it's interesting," so I try to be interesting, not just self-indulgent. The key to being boring is telling everything to everyone. So, one photo a day for 365 days might is a somewhat interesting record to me of this year. We shall see if I can consistently persist in this. I'm quite aware that I like to try things and abandon them if I get bored. So far, so good. Thirty days in, I'm game to keep going.

Come along if you like!

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