365 Days of Beauty

The 365 Days of Beauty Project.

October 23, 2017

I last wrote here on November 10, 2016, when I started this project. As I approach the end of one year of taking photos every day (or nearly every day), I’m wondering what is next? Do I stop? Do I keep going. I have been trying to “see” better, but, as I have learned, seeing well and clearly is often difficult. Between now and November 10, 2017 I’ll be pondering how to keep the door of this year looking for beauty in the ordinary open into the future. I don’t think I can just stop and call it good.

 

November 10, 2016

The idea for the this project emerged from an unlikely place. For a long time, I have been pessimistic about the future. I have also felt frequent despair in the face of our collective failure to take meaningful action on the critical issues of our time, especially environmental devastation, global poverty and violence. The American election sucked all the air out of me.

But the other day, a passage from a book by Thich Nhat Hanh  — I don’t remember which one —surfaced and challenged me: “If there were only one tree left in the world,” he wrote, “we should rejoice with that one tree.”

I did not like that passage when I read it — how could one rejoice in that face of that kind of loss?  But that was precisely his point, and, of course, there are still many billions of trees, both literal and figurative, with which and with whom to rejoice.

So, unless I am prevented from doing so by unanticipated circumstances, I am going to post one image each day for the next year in an effort to rejoice with the world. Some of these images will have associated text, but most won’t; this is not so much a blog as an exercise in seeing deeply.

To the extent possible, each image will posted on the day it is taken, but some might not be. All will be my own.

The name of this project, 365 Days of Beauty, is inspired by the three great pillars of the ancient Greek triad, the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. I have always been especially motivated by beauty, but, unlike the ancient Platonists, I am not seeking knowledge of transcendentals. Instead, I want to see more often and better the sacred in the ordinary. As Leonard Cohen once wrote, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

To see the posts, click on “Photo Blog.”

You can also access full resolution versions of these photo on my flickr stream.