Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Seeing like a child and being a better person

My camera broke!
I've had to buy a new one off ebay, I spent more on it than I thought I should so I'm kind of holding my breath for a few days, anxious to see if it's any good.  That's my reason for not having anything interesting to say on here - bad excuse.

You can - as always - see my ongoing photo-a-day project here I'm about half way through and still loving it, although it's harder all the time to find new things to photograph.  But I guess it's the same with any hobby, it's harder to find unique stuff, and original ideas.  What I love about the project, and the reason I'm writing about it here (not just to get sympathy for my poor camera) is because I realised it makes me look at the world harder.  Not just harder, it makes me look like a child again.  I take pictures of flowers, new shoots growing, snails climbing up the wall.  When do adults get the chance to stand and ogle at a snail climbing up a wall?  Funny signs, funny people (the other day I saw a huge, morbidly-obese woman going into McDonalds with a NIKE sweater on that said 'Just Do It'!) just about everything - and I see it all with an excitement only born from getting a decent shot that day, nevertheless I remind myself of being a kid.  I get giddy when I see a cow, I go quiet and move in slow motion when a bird lands near me!  Recapturing my childhood through photography.

So then I thought - I wonder how interests and passions can change us, or can give us transferable skills or have an indirect affect on us?  Worth a thought.

I wondered if writing, and probably reading fiction too, might make for a better person, a more caring and understanding person.  After all reading and writing fiction is often concerned with the ins and outs, and ups and downs of peoples lives, and we learn to empathise and appreciate them during their struggles.  It at least dispells ignorance, if your reading is broad you can learn about all kinds of people and their lives.  If you read the right books I suppose you'd say, but fiction at least is a way to learn about people, and what makes them tick.  Has anybody ever felt this actually taking place, perhaps you read a good book and felt a deeper understanding for other people and became more accepting and easy going?  Maybe you stereotyped a kind of person and then read a novel with a character in who reminded you of that person and you realised why they did the things they do.  Or am I being too idealistic?  As a writer I at least think you love to talk to people more than if you were not a writer, because people can give you great story ideas just by moaning, or explaining something from their life.  After reading and writing hundreds of plots I have also found I can predict the end of films pretty quick, but thats another story for another day!

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