Friday, September 18, 2015

Hello there, friend,

A year I ago, I huddled up in my bedroom with my computer, far from the noisy distractions of the house, to listen to photographer Joy Prouty's keynote speech at a photography conference. She talked about her family's travels, photographing her everyday, and the many battles of the public life. But she also talked about joy (appropriate, since that's her name), and how using her camera always inspires joy and gratitude for her, even on the hardest of days.

I think about the dichotomy of joy in photography, how sometimes I am drawn to it because it adds to my joy and how other times it feels like a burden just to lift the camera. But the former outweighs the latter, many times over. And if I never lift my camera, I will never find that joy. The same is true for reading a book, taking a walk, having coffee with a friend, sitting in solitude. If I don't reach for these things, I will never find joy in them.

If nothing else, I want to wish you a happy weekend. I hope you can sort through your lists, figure out what will bring joy, and engage them with your whole heart. And I want to leave you with this beautiful quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder that Joy Prouty shared in her speech:

"As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness – just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm."