Every day of 2008 I took a photograph first thing every morning out my dining room window. I didn’t know why and I didn’t know if I had the discipline to follow through every day for a year – after all I started Bonnie Craig’s 21 day shape-up program at least 5 times and never got past day 8 (and never did the whole thing). But something in me knew it was an important undertaking for me and so, day by day, every day, I took my picture.
I made myself be content with the pictures as they came out, altering them only to saturate the color a bit to compensate for the compression of the jpeg format. I was frustrated sometimes by what I didn’t know about – how to better capture the light and by the inevitable smudge on the window on the days I couldn’t open it to take the picture.
As I reflect on the project this from Jung comes to mind:
“If a woman strives for perfection she forgets the complementary role of completeness, which, though imperfect by itself, forms the necessary counterpart to perfection. For, just as completeness is always imperfect, so perfection is always incomplete, and therefore a final state which is hopelessly sterile…the imperfectum carries within it the seeds of its own improvement. Perfectionism always ends in a blind alley, while completeness by itself lacks selective values.” (C.G.Jung, CW 11, para. 620)
I had to be content with my imperfections as a photographer, with the errors that inevitably crept in and in the process, as completing the project became my goal, I became better at what I was doing. Good lessons in it.