Recently a friend of mine introduced me to the concept of listmaking. Listmaking is the act of making small sequences of things (words, concepts, ideas). It can be anything, even seemingly nonsensical thoughts that “pop” into your head. Many people are familiar with listmaking by way of the “to-do” list. It is a simple act that can have a powerful impact on your emotional well-being. I have added a page to my blog to remind myself of things I am grateful for. That page is simply titled “Gratitude” and can be found in the top menu.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”~ RALPH WALDO EMERSON ~
After college I worked as a commercial photographer photographing architecture primarily in New York city. If I’m honest, there was not much success, and I suppose I didn’t chase the idea of success with much enthusiasm. I began to feel as though I had lost a personal connection to my craft. The funny thing is… I hadn’t ever used the camera, or rather the medium of photography with any intention of communicating or investigating anything personal about my life. Yes, I would take personal ideas or concepts and attempt to illustrate them photographically, but it was never what you would call “personal” work.
Starting this past spring I picked up a job at a local plant nursery, called Mazur Nursery which is still operated by the same family that started it back in 1932. It took quite a while for me to decide to start bringing my camera to work with me. Partly because working at a nursery always keeps you busy. There is always something that needs to be done. Secondly, I did not want to have a distraction while at work, because I believe that if you have a job to do, you should focus and do it as well as you can. However, I came to understand that I was benefiting from this non-photographic job, this manual labor work, and that it was helping me personally to appreciate life and all the small things it can offer (birds singing throughout the day, bugs that were always around, the nursery cats that keep the mice away and lounge around all day, and of course the flowers).
I realized that what I had was an opportunity to document a personal experience, a small yet important moment in my life, and that the best way to do that was through a medium I understood- Photography.