Good photographers know this: a picture is first conceived in the heart with the eyes. This is what sets real photographers apart from the amateurs. The ability to see, to frame a shot with their eyes before capturing it with a camera. We've all seen them, wandering the streets or the parks or events, cameras poised like pens, to speak with film or digital imagery what writers dare on paper. We've seen their work displayed on the walls of cafes or studios, on tables at markets, in galleries or homes. Scenes of doorways, alleys, rusted metals, industrial machinery, any type of inanimate object, colors, patterns. Scenes of insects magnified, animals in motion, nature in concert, people in everyday moments. Good photographers have developed eyes for seeing what most people brush past on a daily basis and capturing these as art forms.
Beautiful rubbish is an attempt to capture in writing what skillful photographers do with their cameras. Snapshots of the glorious ordinary, the beautiful ugly. Don't be fooled by the simplicity, for this is one doozy of a challenge. In this world, there are all manner of tragedies and devastations, big and small, public or private, assailing us each day from our laptops or newspapers, our televisions or cell phones, from distant countries or our own homes. We don't have to look very far to see the ugly in this world.
But what if, each day, we made it our small mission to see just one thing that is beautiful? What if that one thing opened our eyes to one more thing, and then another?
I propose that 2012 be the year of capturing moments of beauty and grace in the everyday - of doing so with relentless faith. The year we all trained as photographers of life.
When you read my blog, my hope is that it functions as a brief resting place, a watering hole, for the weary reader. Not that everything you see here will be light and happy, but that even in dark places - especially in dark places - we see that beauty is not swallowed up. Indeed, it flourishes in hard places. This is a challenge to me as a writer, but I also invite you to join me in this challenge.
Make it your own.
Every day, we awake to a feast of grace and beauty, awe and wonder, in moments easily discarded. Some days, though, all we feel we awake to is pain, disappointment, heartache, heaviness, tiredness. On these days, it is hard to see beyond. But if we determine to pick up our cameras, our pens or our laptops, and train our eyes to see, our hearts will follow in time. In time, when we develop that film and look back, the beauty will emerge with each image captured.
Welcome to another year of beautiful rubbish.