I realize this is an odd title for a blog post that you’re reading online. It also contains digital images that you’ll probably click through faster than they can load. This all being said I really do have an appreciation for the digitized world but recognize its fragility as well. As some of you know, I just had an external hard drive go corrupt as I was backing up files onto another drive. I realize I should’ve done it weeks ago but I never had another drive to do so. Far too often we can take photos on our phones or cameras or have a digital file of an essay that we spent hours on and then within milliseconds it can be gone. Sure there are file recovery programs but it doesn’t always work and for the case of my hard drive I think that may be the uncomfortable reality. To conclude this micro rant I want to simply encourage you to go through your phone or computer and print out 10 of your favorite photos from the past year. They can be anything; selfies, food pics, memes that made you laugh, or maybe even something sentimental. Simply go to your local photo store and get some inexpensive small prints or check out Posterjack to get some grand high quality wall prints!
The images below are all from a farm that doesn’t have a problem with digital files being lost because it’s within a culture that’s primarily comprised of tangible things. The old hoe that was probably used for decades before resting to rust, along with the decrepit wagon, or even the sheep and horses are all tangible, physical objects interacting with the people and environment around them day to day. In each of the images I made I saw one reoccurring theme; texture. Everything seemed to be reaching out wanting to tell a story of how it was used and what it observed during its years of decay or growth. After exhausting the barely adequate early morning light I sat down on the hoe to watch the sun rise over the hills and listen to the faint sound of bleating sheep. It was serene. I ran my hand against the subzero rusted metal and couldn’t help but appreciate the senses we have. The cold gritty rust I felt, the earthy brown I saw, the fresh morning dew I smelled, and the sheep I could hear were all like a grand performance coming together. What baffles me is that as enjoyable as that moment was, myself and many of you, I’m sure, often try to dull those senses through media on the endless number of screens we see daily.
Part of me wishes I didn’t have to stare at a screen for as many hours as I do but I also really appreciate technology and how it provides careers or even saves lives. I want to end with encouraging you to dwell in those fleeting moments when you don’t have a screen in the palm of your hand, or those finite times the power goes out or even when you take the brave step to hit the sleep button on your electronics. Take time to merely think. Thinking truly is an art and I think much of our western culture that has become inundated by screens has lost the art of thinking, or dare I say meditating. I’m trying to make it part of my daily routine and encourage you to join too.