I have never tried a 365 project but after seeing the highlights from Roxanne of J is for Jane’s, I am really tempted.
She says about it, “It was such a powerful learning experience for me – one of letting go and learning to love all that I am – the good and the bad – and the artist I have inside.” But her words below slay me. She’s as good a writer as she is a photographer.
“I am full of holes. But I didn’t realize how many until I began this 365.
Over the years, I’ve made volumes of things I have hated. And trashed many beautiful things. But taking photos every day for one whole year cracked me wide open. Quickly, I realized I had to keep the mistakes. I had no choice but to keep shooting. There were simply no days to hide.
Many, many days I was disappointed.
But the rhythm took over. The daily song held me accountable.
I started to see the real need for our memories to be etched somewhere besides my own heart. The daily grind of motherhood easily wore away the slivers. The bits of life so tiny they went down the drain — yet so lovely I wanted to hang them on the wall. I began to catch those moments here.
As I did, I realized how important is was to write our story. One picture at a time. It grew. Often lopsided and ugly. And some days a photo never materialized. But that was OK because the next day I could create two. My project became a huge wobbling bloom. Until it burst into a love letter. I stood there with tears in my eyes realizing it was glorious. Not because of technique or execution, but because it was for my children. My children’s children. My husband. And myself. A living memoir. Glorious because of its heart. And intention.
So I started to let go. Of the rules. Of the fear of making the wrong things. Instead, I just made pictures. Everyday. I didn’t share them all. Many were just for me. But I came to see erasing the ugly ones did no good. They were often the best seeds. I leaned on friends. Any journey that takes a year to finish requires loyal, honest, loving friends. I leaned on them often. And I made a book. One for each of my children. A storybook of a year of our lives. With the images that echoed the memories I wanted to hear until I could hear no more.
I’ve got miles to go as an artist. But this is the first year I have realized the importance of seeing with my eyes closed. Putting the lens directly against my heart – and letting it thump the shutter open and closed. Here I am one January later, feeling a bit naked without the rhythm of my 365. But so grateful it’s changed my life. And the fluidity in which I am making things – a new path has been carved. I am moving forward. And making without fear.”