There have been some great responses and suggestions, both in person, through private emails, and here on the blog, for my July Practice. I especially appreciate that they were all serious and well-thought-out ideas.
My own inclination was to take up letter-writing: to send a missive on nice paper every day to someone, enjoying the long-lost art of pen and ink and such. I still hope to try and send out some, but as I promised, popular demand is suggesting something else.
AmandaT came up with an interesting idea: a photo a day, with a haiku to accompany it. At first I didn’t like the idea – I don’t especially have a desire to be a great photographer OR a great poet. While I do enjoy haiku, I’m also keenly aware of how great the chasm is between good poetry and bad.
However, when I thought about it for a while, I realized that this isn’t about photos or haiku. It’s about establishing a creative habit, of a discipline of composition and observation and reflection. I need to take pictures, I need to let them inspire me, and then I need to express that in some way.
I won’t necessarily post every day or even every photo or haiku – I will have the poems in a book, and decide whether or not I want to share them as we go. What I will do is talk about the difficulties of the practice, or the joys, and we’ll see what, if anything, changes over the next 30 days.
Here is the first photo, though. Not technically taken on July 1, but it is the first picture to inspire: