How the Light Gets In

How the Light Gets In

A small pocket of light in an otherwise dark alley. A window throwing it’s light onto a shuttered one, one that’s incapable of accepting it or providing any of it’s own.

One of the things I wrestle with is trying to step back from my generally insignificant troubles and to focus on the positives I do have (the family and friends around me, and the good inside me), and be honest and realistic with myself about the things I want and need. To concentrate on the things that make me happy and give me some joy, and not fret too much over the negatives, real and imagined. It’s not my natural state, to not focus on the negative disproportionately, to not have unreasonable expectations of myself and others. It’s good to step back and give myself, and others, a break. It’s a bad habit that can be tempered, with some effort, and some questioning of the yardsticks I employ for measurement.

I’m reminded of some lyrics by the recently departed Leonard Cohen, who has been on my mind quite a bit the last few weeks as well.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
– Leonard Cohen, Anthem

Forget your perfect offering. Nothing is perfect. Everyone is not like you. Not only is not everyone like you, but there’s light to be found in the distance that separates us, if I only look for it and embrace it. And it goes both ways. I am not like everyone else, and there’s differences to embrace there as well.

I think of this in relation to my photography as well. Being receptive to the things I want to photograph, the things that interest me and catch my attention, as mundane as they generally are. I post my little musings here, along with my little photos, because they make me happy, and they outline a humble personal journey. These photos, even (especially) the ones that no one else seems to give a shit about. These are the ones that make photography worthwhile for me. The little gems that mean something to me, are interesting and often beautiful to me, even if it’s only me. They satisfy some need inside me, and it’s not necessary to expect anything more than that or measure them by any external measures which, to my dismay, I sometimes find myself doing. Ultimately, it’s authenticity that I’m looking for in my photography, being true to myself; that’s the task at hand. That’s one of the bells I can and want to ring.


  1. I agree with your sentiments, Paul… it’s the little things in life, that we personally find joy and pleasure in, even if it’s just our own and nobody else’s… like the subject of the photos we each take… they appeal to us to take them… nobody else on the planet may agree with our choice, but it’s what caught our eye, it’s what we find beauty, and/or interest in, so damn to all the others.

    Though, not really, that thumb-in-the-eye last sentiment… for just as you wrote too, to each their own, who are we to judge? Especially when doing so, leads us to be negative. Just let be. For if and when that which touches us, does, allow it to, especially when it is in a positive and uplifting way… if not, go about your way, move on, leave such things to their own, and don’t let oneself fall into the which may not move us in a positive way.

    Good to see you shooting and posting again. All the best to you.

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