Bokeh

January.

I don’t really make New Year Resolutions. Resolutions – or rather, things I’d like to try to do – come to me all year long, and I take a stab at them, and some stick and some don’t. Most don’t. I always aspire to write every day. I aspire to make room in my schedule for a regular yoga and meditation practice. Exercise goes in waves of on the wagon and off the wagon. Sleep rarely gets the prioritization it needs or deserves. But even so, I think we can’t help but think about a new year as a chance to start, in one way or another. To start new. To start fresh. To make change. I mean, each year we have to get used to writing the new year instead of the old year. If we can adapt in that way, why not others?

Personally, my themes haven’t changed since last year. They’re pretty simple.

  • Create space in my life and schedule for creative pursuits.
  • Continue my photography practice.
  • Write (every day, most days, some days) (and if not, at least write one sentence a day in a gratitude journal).
  • Be present. Focus on the joy in the now, instead of being saddened by the past or possible future.
Subject matter = meh. Bokeh = happiness. Bokeh in photography is the way the lens renders out of focus points of light, like the pretty white globs in the upper right of this photo.

That last one looms larger this year than in years prior. In some ways, I’ve spent the last couple of years in a sort of recovery phase, both physically and emotionally. As 2014 dawned, I’m more aware than ever that much of the pain I feel now is self-inflicted and comes largely from my wantings or longings for my future, not from any present condition. If I sit down and take stock of the here and now, there is absolutely zero basis for pain. My arthritis is well controlled. My work is challenging and engaging. My personal life is full of love. My home is full of light and music and laughter. And – to make a photography analogy – I tend to see the world with a shallow depth of field. If I focus on infinity, then I miss focusing on what’s right in front of me. Why not shift my focus to the beauty and joy that’s right here, up close, and let what’s beyond blur to glorious bokeh?

More bokeh, glorious bokeh.  Christmas lights on a tree, San Francisco.

So as conventional resolutions go, I do have one: I’m participating in #365infocus, shooting and sharing one photo a day for the entire year. So far, I’m 13 for 13, and am really enjoying the challenge. It sounds like a little thing – to snap a photo of one moment a day and share it – but it’s incredible to me how challenging it can be to make room in a life for even that few moments of mindfulness. And I’ve always remembered my life through my journals – my memory is faulty. I’m enjoying having a photo album of the days of the month to keep my rememberings more fresh. If you’d like to keep tabs on the #365infocus project, my username is TwoEggBreakfast on there.

I had the epiphany on the bus to work the other day that I do what I do now because at some point in my past I started DOING it.  Sounds ridiculously simple, but it’s true.  So why not start making time and energy for the other things in my life that I’d like to be doing and … well … start doing them?

I’m also getting SaraGraceTakesPictures.com up and running so that I have a place to share my favorite photos outside of social media channels. It’s funny to me that I keep finding myself in this spot, where people in my life have feedback on whether and how I “split” my personalities: photographer, writer, professional, used-to-be-climber, when I’m the sum of all of those things and would rather just be a whole person in these channels where I share stories and information.  That said, this blog platform didn’t allow for me to easily setup the type of photography site I had hoped to, and another platform did, so while my photos will naturally make appearances here, I didn’t want to make this a “photography blog” since this is my “life blog.”  Starting another site just made sense.

Back to the point, and, time to go to work.  Sending wishes for your new year to get off to a nice, fresh, productive start.

Where is YOUR focus for 2014?

One thought on “Bokeh”

  1. Hi!

    I love your thoughts here and I’m on board the 365infocus bandwagon, as well. I post under anniebvd.

    I so agree with your comments on “being present” and trying not to focus too much on the big picture. I think that is one of the reasons I love photography so much, because it causes you to focus on the moment. I like to call it, “living in the moment.”

    I’m looking forward to doing just that in 2014!

    Thanks 🙂

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