Analog & digital journaling

I’ve never been someone who writes in a journal

But earlier this year, my therapist suggested I keep a journal and so I’ve been doing just that.

I started keeping everything in a field notes book but I felt too vulnerable — like I would lose it or someone would find it and read all about my innermost thoughts.

I still write in my paper based notebook every day but for notes during various meetings, scribbling down to do lists and jotting down ideas while they are still fresh.

But for daily journaling and keeping a diary of sorts, I switched to Day One. It’s super clean makes it super easy to write down thoughts during the day. It also makes sense of your unorganized and often overlooked mobile photographs. And it’s all secure with end to end encryption. Best of all (I think) the company behind Day One was recently acquired by Automatic.

And if there is one company I trust with this sort of product, it’s got to be Automatic.

Our collective trauma

As vaccines are being widely deployed in the United States, it seems as the volume of harsh rhetoric these days demonizing “the other” side’s response to the current state of the pandemic is rising. 

On one side, if you will, some are being exceptionally cruel towards folks that are genuinely nervous and scared about the Covid19 vaccine. These hesitant people are not one monolithic demographic. Each has its own set of concerns. It could be religious. Or they would rather see more data. Or they have a medical situation. Or they want to wait until the vaccines are no longer part of the emergency exemption program, or frankly they have been given false information. I encourage you to listen to this recent podcast on the Daily for those of you frustrated by vaccine-hesitant folks. 

Yet another other side is demonizing vaccinated folks for wearing a mask outside. But we don’t know their story either. We don’t know if they lost loved ones during this pandemic. We don’t know if they are actually vaccinated. We don’t know if they have other life stress in their lives. We don’t know if they have been dealing with misinformation. 

While we don’t know the stories that each of us is carrying, we know one thing very well. Our society and planet have suffered so much loss and pain during this pandemic. Every day we have beared witness to the loss of life and economic devastation. We suffered while a former President continuously denied the virus threat while knowing the absolute truth back in February 2020. We have experienced a deep and widespread collective trauma. 

This pandemic has reminded us that we are all in this together, that we need each other more than ever, that we are deeply connected. And thankfully we have seen countless examples of people and communities stepping up to help each other.

Let’s all give each other a little more patience and support as we enter the next phase of this process. Be kind.

(full disclosure: I am fully vaccinated as well and so is my wife. Two of our adult kids are fully vaccinated and our youngest will hopefully get his first injection in the coming days).

Joel Meyerowitz: a lifetime of passion and love for photography

To suggest that I am a tremendous admirer of Joel Meyerowitz would be a gross understatement. I have several of his books on my shelf and bedside table. I return to them several times a year to appreciate the brilliance and for inspiration. I’ve watched and heard countless interviews. He has been a guest on the Candid Frame several times over the years and there are number of great recorded interviews on YouTube.

Joel recently sat down as a guest on Talk Easy and I absolutely loved this conversation. It might be one of my favorite Joel Meyerowitz interviews of all time. It’s clear that the host, Sam Fragoso, has spent a great deal of time being curious about Joel’s work and genuinely appreciate the photographs. I love the format of the interview. Sam and Joel spend over an hour talking about Joel’s life as they flip through a number of Joel’s photographs.

I also learned a number of things in this conversation that I did’t know previously about the “why” behind some of these iconic images. Joel speaks from the heart about his life’s experience about his own journey and challenges. For someone that always seemingly comes across as happy and joyful, you can feel the pain as he describes his first marriage as essentially a long term loveless affair as well as his own father’s sadness in being in an unhappy marriage.

But the thing that comes out the most throughout the entire interview is Joe’s lifetime of passion and love for photography. At 82 years of age, he speaks with the clarity and poise of a much younger man who has just fallen in love. But in this case, we are talking about someone who has been making photographs for over 58 years, from the streets of NYC and Europe with a 35mm Leica camera to large format view camera on Cape Cod and New York and then to his most recent body of work — 365 days of self portraits during the Covid19 quarantine.

It’s a breath of fresh air to hear Joel talk about photography. You can feel the authenticity behind every shared sentiment and his words are poetic.

Thank you Joel for your amazing gift and for your inspiration.