Project History: Sometime in early 2000 I was sitting in a Kmart parking lot in Eureka, Ca…. It’s the north coast of California, so of course it was cool, foggy and raining…As I sat snuggly in my warm car I watched a boy, not so far from my age but probably 1/2 my size (and I’m not a very big girl), trying to wrangle a train of wet, and surely somewhat ornery, grocery carts through the parking lot.  As his awkward frame struggled to herd them back to ‘safety’ something dawned on me.  It was brighter than his ridiculously fluorescent yellow parka that seemed to consume him, and it’s message I haven’t been able to shake since…

I wondered in that moment, and for many after, what his day have been like if someone had gotten those carts under control and back to their home base for him… What if a ‘random’ act of kindness met him on that rainy day?  How would that ordinary day in northern california have changed, for just one person even?  And what kind of ripple effect would it have had?  I daydreamed of the possibilities…Of running off into the unknown and finding out… Spending a full year doing a ‘random’ act of kindness each day, and documenting the experience through photography and journalism.  I fantasized about financial freedom from the waitressing job that was paying my way through college, and the bravery to leave everything in my sweet little life, and travel around the country spreading this light… But it didn’t seem like time yet, so the daydream stayed safely tucked in the clouds…but never went away.

Fast forward to now…I’ve grown a lot over the last decade or so, leaving my cozy life to venture to other lands, practicing kindness ‘randomly’ along the way… But it must have been time for this project to unfold into a more focused vision, as something shook that daydream up, and it fell in it’s own kind of way, out of its sanctuary in the sky and into my lap… I struggled a little to understand how to hold space for it’s manifestation in a different form than I originally saw on the rainy fall day years back… But slowly it came together.

I began to realize what was getting in my way was the self inflicted expectation of it being every day that I found something to do – what if I couldn’t?  The project would be a failure, and that’s not a risk I was willing, or able, to take…And I had created  attachments to each act of kindness being something SO inspirational that it would cause the reader to practically jump right off their lazy-boy and into action.  Like I was going to instigate a tribe of superhero do-gooders over night.  Oh, and then the traveling about like a modern gypsy around the world and leaving everything I loved and was committed to…All of this would have made for a really fantastic story and my dream of publishing it in a book would have increased in probability,..but it’s not real life.  And I realized that’s ultimately what I MOST wanted…was to change up the way we look at an ordinary day…To take that ordinary day, in an ordinary life, and add a bit of sparkle to it.  I realized that my path was to aspire to do that… That this is where revolution begins, when the canyon begins as a small crack in the ground.  To remind myself, and the world, that we don’t have to pioneer the eradication of polio, or rescue every single kitten on the streets to have a powerful impact on the state of our world.  (Mind you, I have utmost respect for the kitten savers and the polio eradicators…)  I have witnessed that feeling of  ‘it must be grand to be something worth doing’ in so many moments, within myself and others.  And I think it’s a big piece of what’s holding us back from unleashing unlimited love on the world around us…So here I sit, on a chilly mountain winter day, and I begin my journey of  “Ordinary Days”…

 

Leave a Reply