Steam rises from a cup of tea
and we are wrapped in history,
inhaling ancient times and lands,
comfort of ages in our hands.
— Faith Greenbowl*
I’ve said before that I don’t aim for variety in my 365, but rather that I want to find new ways to explore my everyday surroundings. Nowadays, that means lots of images of my favourite beverage – tea, as well as the occasional mug of coffee. With the different types of mugs and the different places I drink it, combined with all the processing options of my mobile camera apps, the possibility for variety is surprising.
* Anyone know who Faith Greenbowl is? I tried to google her name, but got only quotes about tea and an Amazon reviewer. Another example of a quote that’s too good not to share even if the source is in doubt.
If you listen to the critics, images like this are a sign of all that is wrong with the world, of our shallow and egocentric world view where everything revolves around developing ourselves and displaying how successfull we are (how we can afford expensive coffees and fancy food), while our children grow up lacking empathy because their parents fail to tear themselves away from Instagram and Facebook.
As usual in these cases, my response is to tell the critics to start seeing the world from more than one perspective.
Yes, I enjoy sitting down to drink a fancy coffee, and I photograph my coffee to remember a quiet moment in an otherwise stressfull word. Having gained a degree (= successfull) that brought me unemployment followed by a job only partially relevant to my education (= less than successfull), my life is hardly magazine-glossily perfect, and I have no wish to present it as such.
Yes, I have grown up hearing that I am clever and talented and that I can manage what I want if I work hard at it. This is a healthy attitude if it makes you do your best to achieve something, but it sets you up for potentially painful realisations when your course towards your goal is permanently barred by the brick wall that is real life sometimes. Believe me, I know.
So I guess what I am saying is, leave me to celebrate the beauty and peace in my life through my photographs, and don’t take for granted that this is the sum of what my life is like and how I want to present it.