I’ve been taking a photo every weekday for the past 1o months. It was part of my mindfulness project. The original idea was to run the same 2 kilometers – back and forth – each morning, aiming to see something new each time. Thinking I would get to know those 2 kilometers intimately.
I forgot that there would be months when mornings would start before dawn.
And I didn’t realise that even cultivated landscape changes wildly.
I read once that a sign of maturity is accepting that all things change, abandoning the idea of others as fixed personalities, giving up our need for others as constant footholds: good or bad.
Our lives are only experienced through our stories, and stories unfold, after all. They fold back on themselves with new information. Accepting change, seeking it out, is what keeps us alive. Not young, mind you: alive
– and appreciative of a mature outlook that does not pursue images of fixed identities. I suppose that is a folly of youth. At least it was one folly of mine.
On Sunday, E. and I ran later than usual, and I noticed that they’d cut down the trees in an area that had been flooded the last two months.
He told me they’d cut them weeks ago, but that I hadn’t noticed because we’ve been running in the dark these months.
E. has always liked the dark, the quiet. That’s what he tells me. I wonder about the monsters in his boyhood closet, under his bed. Didn’t he have them?
I’m still growing accustomed to it, this running in the dark. Learning to spot the shining patches and to avoid them: ice on the gravel. I’m learning to pay attention to a closer periphery. Framing the landscape a few feet ahead, behind, watching shadows grow longer and shorter with each lamppost, like sunrises and sunsets caught in frames, sped through like a flip book. A year of the Earth’s turning in twenty-five minutes. A surreal passage of time. Monsters lurk in the shadows: good or bad.
My view limited and expanded, and no photos to show for it. But that is okay; the photography is a tool, not the work.
Now, a new mindfulness project: 10 months of close-ups, to expand my view.