Small Things Forgotten

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“Most new discoveries are suddenly-seen things that were always there.” ~ Susanne K. Langer

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My goal is to, everyday, take photos to capture mundane concepts, everyday things many of us usually overlook or do not often see as beautiful such as raindrops, moisture on soda bottles and windows, streams of water, lines and edges and textures and hues, things thrown on the sidewalks, shadows, reflections, vehicles, broken glass, graffiti decorated walls, city lights, cracks on the pavements, old or abandoned buildings, gates, counters, street signs, traffic signs, city lights, shadows… I aspire to show them in a beautiful light and reveal their truth- their essence and beauty through the pictures. Everyday things make up our lives even more than the “big” things like celebrations and vacations and weddings and holidays and things that happen once in a blue moon.

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We often automatically see the beauty, to some degree, of a big bouquet of flowers, holiday decorations, weddings, and beautiful elegant dresses.
But we’re generally not as quick to notice the beauty of the simpler things which are really no less important. The texture of your kitchen table you see day in and day out, the curve of someone’s shoulder, the steam blowing through your coffee pot, the stream of water pouring into your sink, the beautiful color of your skin, whatever it may be, beauty marks, tears, laughter, beads of sweat, the edges of books, the abandoned house on the corner, the broken payphone outside of a store, the color of money….

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I believe if we focus more on the beauty of the mundane, we can be more joyful and mindfully grateful for our current state and for life itself. When we soak up and bask in the everyday beauty, we live fully. It’s a great thing to take full advantage of being alive. “Taking full advantage of living” and “living to the fullest” mean something different to each one of us. For some, it is traveling or dedicating life to helping or inspiring others in some way, helping animals, or certain kinds of work or rock climbing or skydiving, for others it is having a family to tend to and love, for others, still,  it is as simple as staying home reading or watching TV, creating, cooking, sewing, painting for fun, simple conversations with friends or playing video games on a phone. All of these are amazing. It’s amazing to live how we truly want no matter what others think, as long as we aren’t hurting anyone or directly interfering with others and as long as it’s what our authentic selves truly desire. But whatever living completely and deeply is to you, it’s important to live mindfully in each moment whether you’re doing something for fun, work, chores, tasks and errands, reading, watching movies or tv, on vacation…soak it all up, pay attention, get everything you possibly can in this life. We can make it a point to turn “boring hassles” into little thrilling adventures by tuning in, searching for the beauty in the ugly and the boring monotony.

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In Sarah Ban Breathnach’s “Something More – Excavating Your Authentic Self,” she writes:

“A lovely concept in the excavation process is searching for ‘small things forgotten,’ as archaeologists James Deetz calls it. Because so much of our life is spent in a variety of commonplace activities, the search for small things forgotten is ‘central to the work of historical archaeologists….Chipped-stone hand axes made hundreds of thousands of years ago and porcelain teacups from the eighteenth century carry messages from their makers and users. It is the archaeologist’s task to decode those messages and apply them to our understanding of the human experience,’ Deetz says.” 

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This book is about self excavation, going deep within yourself to find your calling, your true passions and interests, your Truth. She urges us to look around as well as within. Look at all of the details and things that were part of our lives years ago and the things that are today to help us realize our true selves.  The author uses the concept of archaeology to parallel her concept of exploring within. Archaeologists explore the mundane details of specific cultures to get an extensive understanding of who the people are or were who live/d those cultures. They look at all the simple, everyday things because those are the important things. Those are the things those people live and breathe each day. They capture and reveal the stories, lives, and breaths of those people. 

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Sarah Ban Breathnach also writes: 

“Our authenticity is found hidden in the small details of our daily round – home, family, work, pleasures. We think that it’s the big moments that define our lives- the wedding, the baby, the new house, the dream job. But really, these big moments of happiness are just the punctuation marks of our personal sagas. The narrative is written every day in the small, the simple, and the common. In your tiny choices, in these tiny changes. In the unconsidered. The overlooked. The discarded. The reclaimed.”

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The things you choose to wear, to decorate your house or office with, your books you choose to read, the colors of your nail polish, the knick knacks on your shelves, the stuffed animals in your bed or on your bed headboard, the streets you walk each day and all their little details, the buildings you walk by, the bridges in your city, the street signs, the sounds of the crickets outside your window, the gentle flapping of butterfly wings…. are all the simple but important things that all come together to make up your beautiful life. 

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Sarah Ban Breathnach shares a beautiful quote by English writer Storm Jameson:

“As often as not our whole self…engages itself in the most trivial of things, the shape of a particular hill, a road in the town in which we lived as children, the movement of wind in grass. The things we shall take with us when we die will nearly all be small things.”  

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Sarah Ban Breathnach encourages us to select the small things we are taking with us in our lives right now, with care and savor them.

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Notice them, cherish them, embrace them.  

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Let’s make a vow to search for the extraordinary in the ordinary.

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😀

“There are no little things. ‘Little things’ are the hinges of the universe.” ~ Fanny Fern

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I do edit most of my photos with filters/effects to make them have a certain “feel,” make them more vibrant, make certain details stand out more…i love the creativity of taking photos and fixing them up in artistic ways. I think photography is not about the equipment used and not  just about what we take pictures of but how we see it. We all see things in different ways. It’s also about how we express it. Most of us can hold a camera or phone and snap a picture but we will not all see and express things the same way. Photo editing helps us express what we see & feel.

If you like them and want to use them for whatever reason or put on your own page or wherever, you can. I don’t copyright or want credit necessarily for any of my content. You don’t have to ask either. I want to share whatever I can with anyone who wants it. What’s mine is yours.

Xoxo Kim

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9 Comments

9 thoughts on “Small Things Forgotten

  1. Pingback: Random Inspiration #9 {Beauty (and mystery) in the Mundane} | A Dose of Inspiration

  2. Pingback: Stepping out of our ruts | A Dose of Inspiration

  3. Pingback: 30 Days of Photos – Day 21 {Small Things Forgotten} <3 | A Dose of Inspiration

    • I still see them around, not a lot of them though, but a lot of the ones still around are broken. These ones here are outside of a grocery store here in Philadelphia but cannot be used. There’s metal to block so coins can’t go through and they have no service. I don’t know why they are still here! Or why they are blocked like that. 🙂 Thank you for reading!!

      • Think about all the stories that have been told on those phones for all those years. Stories of love, break-ups, good news, sadness, book after book could be written from those stories

    • That’s beautiful!! ❤ I don't think I thought of it like that before but I love to think about old & used things, like old books, and the stories & experiences of all the people who have touched them and used them at one point. Very fascinating! 😀 Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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