Thursday, January 1, 2015

year's beginning

Starting off Year 7 with the early morning in - or rather, from just outside - our back yard: a very thin dusting of snow, and sharp cold air.  All the mountains all around are covered in white.  

This is precisely the kind of entry that causes me to ask - why a seventh year?  It functions as a means of sharing an image that gives me pleasure; as a diary (of the kind that doesn't involve any private thoughts or that summarizes exactly what I've been doing - for the record, reading tenure and promotion materials, and reviewing a journal submission, and obviously there's nothing that can be written about in any detail there); that would cause me to meditate on the power of photography to mediate and present the beauty in the everyday - if I hadn't done so a thousand times already.  There's no reflection, angry or otherwise, on the state of the country/the world (I'm bad at doing anything other than stating the obvious, there); no trenchant observations on what I'm reading (other than the aforementioned, this would be Matthew Thomas's We Are Not Ourselves, which manages to convey emotion and family tensions in a very deadpan and unadorned way - I fail to see why it made best-of-the-year lists, but it's readable; the terrific Goldin/Lubell Never Built Los Angeles, which makes me lament the fact that we could have had a Frank Lloyd Wright Aztec-fortress-style building on Bunker Hill; and a 1970s dissertation on the West Riding Recovered Wool Industry c.1813-1939).

But this still works, for me, as a kind of daily practice, a call to attentiveness - and it's great looking back, now, all the way to 2009.  So even if there are days (fewer this year than last, for some reason) when I kick against the sense of obligation, or organization, that this demands - off I go with 2015.

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