In February, we had cold weather as expected on Long Island, so most of our days were spent at home. We had a snow day! On the snow day I documented an hour of our day. We made 100 pieces of popcorn out of tissue paper for the 100th Day of School project. During winter break, we had unusually high temperatures on LI. Many photos for that week were taken outside. On day 55, we went to Planting Fields Arboretum which is a historic state park in Oyster Bay.
Here it is, the first 31 days of my 365 project. My goal when I began this project was to simply take a photo every day, to honor the commitment of that, regardless of how I was feeling that day or how truly mundane the day seemed. I am not the most self-disciplined person... on top of some recent medical problems and battling chronic conditions, I felt that simply following through with one photo a day was going to be a mountain of an undertaking in itself.
I started to realize early on in this project how much I depend on my comfortable way of doing things. That I don't push myself often to do new things when taking pictures. I prefer certain light, I book clients for outdoor sessions during the golden hour, I avoid using flash, I am anxious about grain and ISO +3k. I am insecure about shooting in public places - places where a good amount of life happens - restaurants, shops, parks, the library... I will push myself to photograph my family's important moments outside our home.
I'm grateful that my boy has enjoyed participating in this project with me and that it has given us an opportunity some days to be creative together.
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We are expecting snow this weekend, reminding me of photos I took of my son last winter - pictures that capture a season of play, but also a time in life when he was moving out of this very special capsule of time that we had created together - his years of being home with me. He is wearing the same coat this year, but the boots don't fit and he has outgrown the rest. The hat and gloves and pants are folded up in the basement waiting for the second child that I still pray to have. Long Island was covered in snow for what seemed like three months last year. We spent more time inside than usual. Hot tea, warm almond milk… Raffi Radio on Pandora… in a few weeks I would be registering him for kindergarten and he would be gone "all day". Time was slipping away… I took a lot of pictures to try to preserve what is intangible and fleeting.
He spent hours each day deep in imaginative play. For the first time he was really lost in his work as a child. He was in a different place from me, though I sat right by him on the same floor. He was a sailor, a knight, a fox on a boat… He was a superhero, a baby, a world explorer… I was invisible, in the corner, capturing Quiet and the smooth sound of wooden toy moving across wooden floorboard.
I am very introspective all winter. It is my way of hibernating. I go inside and get quiet. And the light is like that through the windows, quiet - while nature is asleep on the other side of them.
I was 40 and just starting to feel like a real grown-up… and at the same time becoming acutely aware of time. I am in a place now, a year later, of trying to hold onto things that I have no control over. Mainly my son's growing away from me. And so I take his picture. It is my "woobie" right now, my security blanket.
And so it has been a year. And he IS gone "all day". And I am alone in the quiet light of winter. Working on pictures and learning more, as he is having his own time at school. Sitting down at my computer today, I found these images, some that I had not worked on, some that I thought were "throw aways". They are gems to me now. I get the housework done while he is at school and we have time together to just Be. Last year I knew that I couldn't keep him little. And this year I am learning that I wouldn't really want to.