Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

Life in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA

More of the same…

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It is beautiful out today! It is sunny and in the high 40s/low 50s – muddy and spring-like. Gist and I are in the QC (Quiet Corner of CT, kinda like the OC only…not at all like that) today. She’s taking her beading class and I am sitting in Victoria Station working/killing time. It is a lovely little place and in a way it amazes me that that it’s here. When I was in high school there was just nothing to do here. The Bean opened when I was a sophomore and that was something but it still amazes me how much this area has grown. It especially amazes me that Putnam is some kind of antiques destination.

I have to figure out what to take a picture of today. I am still plugging along on my Project 365 – it has been 134 days (only 231 left to go) and I am a little surprised that I am still with it. It is still an interesting exercise but I fear that I am getting a little bored with it. At first it was novel and exciting and now it sometimes seems like a chore – not all of the time which is what keeps me going – but there are definitely days when I think “Oh no, what will be my picture” and I just snap something. I do think that one of the biggest benefits of a project like this is that it has made me a lot more aware – aware of my surroundings, aware of potential shots and aware of small flashes of beauty/ugliness/interest.

On Thursday I had a really nice Project 365 moment as I was walking to work and it really helped kick me out of my boredom. As I was passing Nuestra Señora I noticed this wilted bunch of greens on a little ledge on the side of the church. I saw it out of the corner of my eye, did a double take and as I was pulling out my camera I began to create stories in my head. How does a bunch of collards (I think) end up wilting and covered in snow on the side of a church? Did someone drop it? Did someone put it down while they were waiting for the bus (even though it isn’t really near a bus stop?) Was it a gift for the church? Who knows. All I know is that I don’t think I would have noticed it or stopped if it weren’t for Project 365. There are enough moments like that to help keep me going.

There’s a discussion among members of the 365 Group about “making progress.” I find the discussion interesting because it seems that for many members “progress” is defined as improved pictures. That wasn’t my end goal when I signed on (but it could definitely be seen as a happy benefit!) I was mainly looking for the discipline, challenge and a way to keep a record. The biggest challenge for me is whether or not I could stick to taking a picture every single day for a whole entire year. I love to start things and I hate to finish them and this seemed like a good way to help break that bad habit.

I also wanted to recognize different things that happen each day. Are my pictures of the most important things that happen every day – not often? Will they, when taken as a whole, provide an accurate picture of my life between October 20th 2006 and October 19th 2007? Probably.

Another added side benefit of the Project is that I am more likely to do new/different/interesting things so that I can take a picture of them. Is that kind of lame? Yup. But does it also help break the inertia of wake up; then work; then home; the sleep; maybe something fun on the weekend; lather, rinse, repeat for all eternity? It does and it has had the wonderful side effect of helping me to appreciate and live my life more. To pull myself out of the rut a bit.


Author: Marianne

Hi my name is Marianne Gries, welcome to Art is the Handmaid of Human Good. I use this space to write about and share pictures of things that interest me. That includes my life in Lowell, my adventures in car-lite living, the food I cook and eat, my dogs, home improvement projects, vacations, knitting, and interesting things and places I see and visit. Thanks for stopping by!

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