This project has turned out to be everything and nothing that I expected. While getting settled into the apartment, getting organized with classes, trying to keep up, often snapping a picture a day was not the first thing on my mind. It was really remarkable, though, the way I would think to take a picture. Walking between classes, or across parking lots, or looking at something I see everyday in my living room, something little would strike me. Once it was while I was boiling water to make pasta for dinner. As I was watching the steam rise and listening to the gradually increasing sound of simmering, I looked at the bottom of the pot. And what I saw just left me struck. Bubbles. Little bubbles of gas clinging to the bottom of a hot pot of water. Something I know is there, I know the chemistry of why it’s there, but I actually looked at it. Another time I was walking across the library parking lot in the snow and looked down to keep the wind off my face. There, on the thin layer of snow, were little squiggly lines, as if little worms had wiggled their way around and eaten paths in the snow. What? I couldn’t figure it out. Then I looked closer and realized the salt they had lain had been blown around in the wind, writing their little dances in the new snow. I’d never seen anything like that before. In fact, I’ve probably seen it a dozen times before, but I’d never seen it. I couldn’t figure out how to take a picture of either of these little marvels, but I wanted to.
Carrying around this camera with me, with a minuscule post-it in my brain to take a picture of something beautiful in a place not covered with old buildings or statues or cobble-stone streets, has made me see things I wouldn’t normally see. It’s also forcing an open-mind to what has the potential to be appreciated. Like icicles hanging next to a flamingo light. Things that intrigue my interest or simply make me smile. Objects that represent good things in my life, good company, good friends, a good dog.
I admit to cheating a tad. Though I did take at least one picture a day, some days I took more than one. Some of these pictures were taken on the same day as another, but together they represent the beautiful things I’ve encountered this week, astonishing, intriguing, or simply smile-making.