In 2017, I had Ann Bischoff as a guest on the People Helping People Podcast – from the Star House, a day center for youth experiencing homelessness. Something struck me about the situation that these youth face — especially a life circumstances that they never chose. I had such a supportive family growing up, and still do today… and I can’t imagine life without that. Especially at age 16 or 18, I can’t imagine having to make it on my own without any support.
2017 was a busy year – in the pause before the end, I find myself reflecting on the past year.
It was a year of seeking. But a different type of seeking. I embarked on a project to learn how to make a social impact, with an ambitious goal of interviewing 25 people for the People Helping People Podcast. I’ll post my 26th tonight.
Wandering online through the collective stories we’re telling is like driving an old truck down a bumpy dirt road — you kind of expect your car to fall apart at any moment. Yet somehow, it keeps going.
It’s been rough lately — namely the election and billions of opinions written in the shock following the election. But that’s not all — there is a lot of messy stuff happening around the world — the middle east, Brexit, the Philippines, a massive refugee crisis, a 7.8 earthquake in New Zealand, and then Apple had to go and release a laptop without any normal ports, when we’ve all been waiting for a super upgrade, and all we got was a… touch bar?
Do you ever notice a disconnect between what you say you do, and what you actually do? I, for example, say that I practice yoga, but realistically make it into the yoga studio less then 3 times a month.
I was reflecting on this in December while I was in India, wondering how I could “get” myself into a healthy yoga routine. The determination to bring about sudden change for a renewed commitment often fails, in the same way that the new years resolutions typically are forgotten by February. And determination against your natural will will often have other detrimental side effects.
I know successful change contains two key components:
- Build a habit.
- Find the joy in it.
Reminiscing over summer as autumn rolls in – here is a delightful view down onto the Chicago beachfront, from the top of the John Hancock Tower.
I am quite proud of this photo – it was my most popular photo I ever posted on 500px. It was from the weekend trip during the summer up to Chicago, from the top of the Hancock tower looking down. There is something so refreshing about tromping around all day in a city, such that your legs are aching by the end of the day. I used to live in a city where I had no car, and could walk endlessly. Now that I need a car to get anywhere, I rarely walk. The world feels different when you’re able to get around on your own to feet.
Light is best at sunset.
Or at sunrise. Actually, this is a bit past the magical 15 minutes that happens around sunset. There is this moment as the sun is setting, where the contrast between the sky and the horizon is such that you get beautiful deep colors and details in the horizon. But this is not that moment. Here it is past sunset, and the horizon is a silhouette.
I don’t think people realize that the Hancock Tower has a lobby, except when exiting the tower. It’s got this funky sculpture call Lucent, which supposedly accurately maps the stars in the northern hemisphere.
I’ll be honest though, I looked from different angles, and I can’t even find the big dipper, so I don’t know if this is a case of the emperor has no clothes, or I don’t spend enough time stargazing.
A lonely tractor on a sunny day, up on the blueberry fields of Maine.
I am on a spree of Maine photos, from my trip this summer. I love this lonely tractor on a sunny day, up on the blueberry fields of Maine.
I love how a long exposure at sunset leaves a misty boundary around the rocks.
My true dive into photography started in 2005 when I inherited a Canon 40-D digital DSLR. Living in London, street photography was a natural fit, and I used to roam the streets taking pictures of everything I found. Slowly I started attending meetups and photography classes, learning news ways to take pictures. From those, I started learning the art of long exposures, especially during that magical moment when the sun is just rising or setting. These photos are fun to take, because they’re longer exposures – this one was 8 seconds… which gives you enough time to sit patiently and enjoy the moment while the camera is taking the picture.
Sitting on the water, watching the sun set over Branch Lake up in Maine.
I don’t know what it is about the colors at sunset, but the world seems to come into a different focus. And that’s just magnified when you’re at the water’s edge. Maybe the lighting changes so quickly, that you can watch it happen, and this gives you a pause to slow down and actually just observe what’s happening around you.