Wonder

prompt

How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? #

response

Wonder is not a keyword I ever use to describe my life. I guess I wondered about the same things everybody else does, but I certainly didn’t do anything to cultivate that sense.

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date Dec 5th 2010
author Mike
category Life
tags
 

moment

prompt

Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). #

response

I have two moments, but since I’m supposed to only pick one, I won’t mention the time Ally and I spent on the balcony of the Eldo.

Instead, I’ll mention a moment from New York, an entire trip I’ve shocking left off of this blog altogether. The entire trip with Ally to New York was incredible. The city itself is so loud, so dirty, so crowded, but inexplicably beautiful. We got to see and do some really great things, and hang out with some of my best friends from middle & high school. But none of them are in the moment I’m thinking of. Ally wasn’t even there.

It was a moment where there was a sunset on the visible horizon (above the tops of buildings), with the kind of colors you know pollution helped create. I was sitting on the sidewalk at the entrance of a hipster BBQ greasy spoon called Fette Sau drinking locally brewed beer out of a mason jar (“local” kind of loses meaning in a city like New York, but the brew was good nonetheless). My fingers still smelled like the ribs, porkbelly, and brisket we had just gorged ourselves on. Fixies outnumbered cabs in the area.

Only an hour earlier I had arrive there via the subway. I had gone underground somewhere in midtown, and emerged almost an hour later in Brooklyn. First time ever on a NYC subway, first time ever in Brooklyn. The buildings were shorter than in Manhattan, but they’re both definitely and distinctly New York. It all smells the same.

It was our first night in the city, we had just flown in that afternoon. Ally was busy doing BlogHer things, so I had the evening to myself. My good high school friend wasn’t arriving from Boston until the next day, so I had to find another way to stay entertained. I decided to get in touch with a not-quite-so-close friend that had moved from Boulder to NY sometime a year earlier. We worked together for a year or so at the Cafe and had hung out a few times outside of work. We always had a good time, so I figured we could do the same in another state.

It turns out we’re different enough that hanging out together was actually pretty awkward. Regardless, it made for an extremely memorable evening. I had a great time, not because I was with him, but because of where I was and what I was doing. There was something about sitting there in silence drinking my beer, taking in the sights and smells of such a foreign world, that made me feel alive that night.

Side note: From his apartment you could almost see Bed-Stuy (birthplace of Spike Lee, Jay-Z, Mos Def, Biggie Smalls, Chris Rock, and Carl Sagan (one of these things is not like the others)). I wonder if Sal’s Pizzeria is still around. “Yo, put some extra mozzarella on that motherfucker and shit.”

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date Dec 4th 2010
author Mike
category Life
tags
 

writing

prompt

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing – and can you eliminate it? #

response

As a non-writer with a neglected blog, this question seems like it’s geared for somebody else. But at the same time, maybe it’s the perfect question for somebody like me. I guess it’s an opportunity for me to own up to my lack of writing.

I would definitely like to write more, but it’s never been a high priority for me. Every time I sit down with a good book, I always get that wave of inspiration where I tell myself “yes! I can write like this!” After pounding out a few awkwardly worded sentences on my computer, I realize it’s futile and leave the good writing up to the good writers.

As for this blog, I rarely feel like I have enough to say that it warrants going on here. When I feel strongly about something, I talk to people about it, and get it out of my system that way. If it’s daily minutia or inconsequential thoughts I tweet them. It’s almost gotten to the point where I feel like this blog is bigger and more important than it is, thereby requiring nothing but deserving content (and apparently half-assed attempts at photoblogging).

I’m not disappointed that I don’t write everyday, my only disappointment is that I don’t document my life as well these days as I used to. I don’t expect anybody to still get anything out of the Daily Photo Project posts (I know I know, two days in a row nostalgically looking back at that…) but I still cherish them. Just by clicking around it a little, I’m able to remember that year and the things I did and the places I went and the people I spent it with and the fun I had and the bad days and boring days better than any other period in my life. I miss that level of documentation and memory preservation. I’m hoping Reverb10 will be a small way for me to chronicle bits of my 2010, or even just preserve where I’m at as a person at this very moment.

That’s all for today. There’s no moral to this story.

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date Dec 2nd 2010
author Mike
category Life
tags,
 

Kindle

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date Dec 1st 2010
author Mike
category Life, Photo
tags,
 

One Word

prompt

Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? #

response

The biggest thing I see when I look back at 2010 is my job. This is the first calendar year I’ve ever worked a full time job, and it was a huge adjustment for me. I wasn’t used to the structure of it, and it took me a long to figure out how to balance my life around work. It was way too easy to settle into a routine where I did nothing but work, watch tv, sleep, and repeat. So when I try to summarize that routine, the word I think of is:

Consistent.

What did tonight on December 1st was the same thing I probably did on March 22nd, June 9th, or almost any other weekday this year. When I think of it that way, I’m tempted to actually make my word “boring”, “stagnant”, or “routine”. But I’ve actually been thinking a lot about those words recently, and it’s scared me out of a potential funk I could have slipped into.

With those words hanging over my head, I’ve been making an effort to break out of my routine, stay busy outside of work, and most importantly to really take the time to really appreciate the things I enjoy. When I was doing the Daily Photo Project, it was easy to slow down and look at the world around me. I’ve had to find new ways to do that without a camera lens to look through anymore.

When I look beyond the consistency of this year, though, I actually had some great experiences. I spent time with the people I love, I got outdoors, traveled to new places, and experienced new things. This was not a bad year, just primarily a consistent one.

I’m looking forward to next year, and what it’ll bring. Yes, it too will predominantly be full of work, tv, and sleep, but I’ll continue finding ways to shake it up. I already know that Ally and I have a bunch of fun things planned, and I can’t wait to do them with her. I can’t wait to spend the year with her. I can’t wait to do things I love, and fill the year with love. So for a lot of reasons, I think I’ll chose that word for next year. Here’s to 2011.

Love.

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date Dec 1st 2010
author Mike
category Life
tags
  1 Comment