It’s always difficult drifting into a new year for me. I never feel quite ready to release the last one – for all its memories, love, fun, adventure and emotion. Letting go is very hard for me, something I’m always working on. I never want the year to end… endings can feel so lonely to me.
In December of this year, a great hero of our civilization passed on and I guess for 2014 I’d like to integrate his words into all I try to do. Nelson Mandela was amazing in so many ways. A fearless, selfless leader who shared smiles regularly. He was a unifier, a communicator, a savior to many.
Here’s something Mandela said that (continues to) speak[s] to me:
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
As I think at my past work, I’ve realized much of what I’m trying to do is develop a common language for ecology and people – together. I believe photography and imagery is a universal language. The visual world speaks so universally – it can be private, discrete and loud and clamorous all at the same time. Visual information is so rich. The question is how to take a photo from something you look at to something you imbibe, get intoxicated on, sing about and fall in love… I think we maybe have those images with family – or a great Ansel print, but what if we could raise the bar for many more photos – this could be our common language, his language.
I hope to continue to develop a universal language for conservation, for love and for family. Happy New Year to all of you!