The organizational part of me asks why? Can’t I get rid of them? How many thousands of photos does one person need? They are all going down the drain eventually. Someday they will get thrown out. Why not now? Why in the world do I keep taking them?
It’s not like I’m going to be a famous photographer like Ansel Adams.
Or a famous painter like Georgia O’Keefe .
If I am taking them to paint from, then I already have enough. I couldn’t paint them all if I lived to be 200.
Yesterday I took a couple hundred pictures of tulips. Tulips in my garden. For God’s sake, what am I thinking?
The answer is, I’m not thinking. I’m noticing. I’m getting caught in the beauty of the garden. Taking pictures helps me see.
For so many years, until I finally got glasses, I never saw the detail in the world. I saw pine trees, not needles. I saw birds flying, but for the life of me I couldn’t tell what kind.
I could care less about butterflies…I couldn’t see them unless they were on the big screen.
It never occurred to me that other people could see more than a blur.
I wasn’t blind. I could read books and see people’s faces, even though I was farsighted. I had glasses in the 4th grade, but then I was “better” and didn’t need them anymore. The eye doctor I went to in college didn’t realize how poorly I saw. He just thought I had eyestrain from studying.
But when I had to get a First Class medical to fly, I really began to see the world. Literally, in more ways than one.
Not only did I begin to travel and explore other countries and cultures, I could see them more clearly.
Now I don’t take anything for granted. I don’t want to miss the colors, the detail, the beauty or any part of my life. I absolutely love to see.
If my house burned down with all my pictures tomorrow, I would be fine.
I could still see them in my mind. Taking photos is fun. Sure, I’m getting better and better as a photographer, but mostly I take pictures to pay attention; to be here, in this moment noticing and being grateful for the world around me.