Year nine: The wisdom that is truly your own

One of the many notes from Harold. Discovered in a box today. Lucky me!

Generally I’m tracking this day for at least a week before it arrives, but when I woke up this morning at 4:30 because the sun announced itself to my eyes, I thought: “Hmmm, it’s getting earlier and earlier. How I love these longer days.” Then I thought, “Solstice!” Then I sat up-right in bed and thought: “OMG, it’s Harold’s departure day and I haven’t done my yearly blog remembrance post!” Friends sometimes ask me when I plan to stop doing these yearly posts. Ten seems like a good round number,so I’m guessing that will be it…but you never know!

My assistant, Cheylin, sorting out proof prints with me and finding little treasures.
I began my day greeting a lovely new assistant who just started today and we headed down to the basement to begin looking through boxes of proof prints — part of the greater project of getting the contents of Harold’s archive ready to ship off to the Briscoe Center for American History where it will find it’s final home. More to say about that in another post. We had fun together, and it’s always great to find treasures tucked away in boxes waiting to be discovered and reminisced upon. While sorting the proofs into categories I alerted Cheylin to turn over the proofs because sometimes Harold signed them and I wanted to put those in a separate box. The photo above was a surprise gift on the back of a discarded proof. So there I was in an instant, back in time, smiling and feeling warm inside upon receiving one of Harold’s notes, which were frequent pleasures throughout our 27 year marriage.

Recently I’ve been exploring some “video repurposing” platforms that can take an hour long video, up-load it and create 20 short clips for Instagram or any other social media platform of your choice, complete with captions. (There’s all kinds of other fancy stuff you can do, but at this point simple is better!) A few days ago, I up-loaded a teaching tape from September 19, 2001 and received back the little clip below. In it Harold shares, once again, his take on creativity and empowerment. It wasn’t just photography per se that he loved and taught. His true muse was the creative process itself and he saw much of mainstream education as an attempt to “deposit” outside knowledge into the student and then enforce that “knowledge” through testing and grading – something that he refused to do when he worked in colleges and universities. (Or…he just gave everyone an A. You can imagine that administrators were none too pleased). There is more I can say about this, but stay tuned for year ten and take a look back at my musings from previous years where I share more of Harold’s words and wisdom. Harold’s love of the creative process has become a love of mine and I am being constantly nourished by following his guidance. Stepping outside the box of the known into the Unknown and listening to your own inner voice, not the outside authority. I’m getting it! Thanks my darling. xoxo

“I think that knowing less helps. But it depends on where that knowledge is coming from. If it’s coming from the journey freely taken and joyously encountered, it will evolve into a certain kind of wisdom that is truly your own.”

P.S. The thing about keeping this going or stopping after next year is it’s kind of a rule that my mind says “makes sense”, but I realize that I prefer Harold’s approach, which is abandoning the rules. So, we shall see.