The Small Things
I’ve always been a fan of the small things. I love to photograph the smallness, the tiny details that we don?t usually notice. I am the one who gets irritatingly close to your face with the camera to photograph the tiny blond hairs that come off of your cheek.
Small things, like the tiny fingernails of my friends’ newborn baby hanging over the edge of the sling. Small like that one line of age on my left cheek I am riveted by in photos. A small sign of age.
Small things like the small shift of sadness in my mother?s voice when I ask her, “But mom, really, how are you??” and she says, “Oh, fine.”
These are the small things that add up to a life. They are small things, and yet, strung together like beads on a necklace, they can create something sad or strange or beautiful. A life.
There’s a guy who wrote a book called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and It’s All Small Stuff. But is it really?
I learned how to cross country ski this year. I was nervous, took about 20 excruciating minutes to get my skis on and went painfully slow for the first hour. On the way back, I hit a downhill stretch that was amazing. I was grooving, flowing, literally in the grooves in the snow feeling high, like I was the greatest skier who ever lived.
Until I saw a curve in the distance.
Logic and physics would dictate that I would simply stay in the grooves and follow the curve, but my fear questioned whether I would keep going straight, jump the grooves and go flying to my death off a cliff.
So in a moment of panic, I jumped the grooves myself and dove into the snow, just to be sure that in a pinch, there was a way out. A skier stopped and asked if I was okay, if I needed help. “No, I did it on purpose,” I explained, “just wanted to make sure I could.” Puzzled, he skied away…
Do I do this in my life? See a curve in the distance, leap out of the groove, and fall on my face just to know that I can? What if I trusted that the grooves would carry me safely along, just like the skiers ahead of me and behind me?
Is this a small thing?