I’m still slowly, but surly plugging away at this project I started last year. Its images now feeling distant. I’m not clear on what I was thinking or feeling as I photographed and I don’t remember specifics about what my son may have said or the whys other than what the image lends me. It’s somewhat freeing to distance myself from my work and seeing it with fresh eyes. However, when you are hard on yourself, such as I, you see the imprecations. Technical imperfections to even seeing that raggedy plant in the background, which I was trying to nurse with some light. What I do when I am overly hard on myself is I cause myself to not enjoy the beauty of the subject matter or appreciate how far I’ve come with my craft. But, if I shift my focus from what wasn’t perfect to what was right I make room for growth, taking note of what worked for me, so I could do again. I didn’t set out to document my son weekly perfectly. I set out to document his seemingly ordinarily life as beautifully as I can and to preserve our memories. When I re-shift my thinking I allow myself to enjoy what is meaningful and that is seeing my sweet boy with his messy hair, legs bent in, that little roll on his ankle, lost in play. This is week 32, the first week of August.
“To require perfection is to invite paralysis. The pattern is predictable: as you see error in what you have done, you steer your work toward what you imagine you can do perfectly. You cling ever more tightly to what you already know you can do — away from risk and exploration, and possibly further from the work of your heart. You find reasons to procrastinate, since to not work is to not make mistakes. Believing that artwork should be perfect, you gradually become convinced that you cannot make such work. (You are correct.) Sooner or later, since you cannot do what you are trying to do, you quit. And in one of those perverse little ironies of life, only the pattern itself achieves perfection — a perfect death spiral: you misdirect your work; you stall; you quit.” ― David Bayles,