It's almost my 31st birthday, an age marker that I have even less of an understanding of than 30. The past year has been, to use as simple and insufficient a word as possible, complex.
I usually mark a new year by my birthday instead of January 1. It's just felt more appropriate. It's also more exciting, since I, even as a lover of the heat of summer, hold the winter holidays in a certain regard. With each new "year," I tend to reflect on the last one and go into the new one with a lesson I want to come to better terms with. For the last year, I wanted to better accept the reality that I have very little control of most things in my life.
It would be an understatement to say the universe delivered on my wish. I understand now, almost uncomfortably so, how farcical a sense of control is. And yet I still try. As I head into my 31st year, I feel a sense of precariousness. As if I'm anticipating the gods laughing at my insistence on making tangible the inherently intangible nature of life itself.
I explained this perplexity to a date last night, and came to an unsatisfactory conclusion – that this year, the only lesson I want to pursue is the fact that life, and everything in it and of it, is flawed and imperfect. It's not that I don't want to wake up every day and work to be a better person – I do – it's just that it's become equally important to me to learn to accept the complexities within myself and within others.
Over the past year, I've tried and failed to make sense of many things that evaded any form of interpretive capture. My mind, both remarkably strong and frustratingly feeble, has responded in kind, trying to understand, love, hate, punish, shame, forgive – myself and others. My brain has failed me many times. My body has faltered.
And yet – here I am. After a year often feeling fallow, I have tilled the soil within my soul. Slowly, with my own hands and those of others, I have seen it grown fertile again. Perhaps the tilling, not the bounty, is the lesson after all.
This month's newsletter is a little different from previous editions. Rather than analyze a photo, I just want to place some photos here for you to see and understand in your own way. If there are any thoughts you want to share, please feel free to email me (email@example.com).
In the meantime, I'm working some exciting things, so stay tuned.
With love and light,
P.S. If you'd like to support my work, please consider the paid option for this newsletter.
P.P.S. I've just had the pleasure of reading and looking through my friend Alaric Beal's photobook, "Not Another Second." Check out his incredible work here.