When this video went viral the other day, I had one of those rare feelings: I’ll never be the same again. Something about watching the story of a boy dying of cancer changed me. It was a fairly short-sighted feeling, considering that after each day, I am inevitably different. I cannot live all day and then be the same person falling asleep as I was when I woke up. However, we all have those instances of compartmentalized “ah-ha” that overwhelm us all at once and makes us resolve to participate more fully in the life we have in front of us.
After watching the video where Zach fought cancer and found something incredible in his short life, I felt inspired to start something simple: 30 days of beautiful moments. One new post for thirty days over the summer. Through a daily life where I am faced with break ups, let downs, social work: violence, tears, poverty, addiction, cancer, hospitals, trafficking, not to mention rapist after rapist lined up and the stories of abuse never stopping EVER, I want just to document thoughts or things that make me feel happy, thoughtful, reflective, empowered, interested, passionate, hopeful through it all. There are details, thought processes that happen each day that help each of us get by. You have a way of being reminded everything is worthwhile too, I know you do.
From today on, for the next 30 days, I will just post something small every day: A recipe, a series of photographs, a poem. That’s all, nothing more. 30 days of beautiful things or thoughts or instances.
The first is this:
30 days of beautiful: 9 eyes
Jon Rafman is an artist who sorts through Google images and finds moments. He seeks out the images that a remote camera on top of a car found while traveling around the world. The images are accessible to the world through Google maps streetview, but they are not broadcast, not put in an exhibit, not proclaimed as art. On his tumblr, these images become something we can read, view, absorb together and find meaning within.
We grant the image captured by a robotic camera all the feeling and meaning in the world.
After I had spent time on the tumblr, seeing everything, I turned to Google streetview myself. I was reminded about the fact that I had been driving to the store the other day and passed an old building with a fading car wash sign over it. I wanted to see it again. I googled the street in St. Louis where I was driving, hit streetview, and clicked until I found it. The car wash was open at the time the camera drove by. I was captured. I streetviewed a few other places in St. Louis that fascinated me, which I had only driven past and never taken the time to stop and take my own picture. Then, it hit me. I can be anywhere right now. I can even be in Paris. Right now, in this moment, I can “walk” the same streets I love. I googled. I found the parks, the cafes. I sauntered over to views of the city where I knew the Eiffel Tower would be visible in the distance. I found birds flying and saw people watching the world pass.
I walked old streets. Then, I went to Montmartre. I found not only the view but the same ageless lovers kissing on the stairs. I thought, this is everything. Lovers and all. Thank you, Internet, for bringing the world to me. Thank you, also, to the artist who thought to transform the technical into the emotional, into connection. It brought me down a path I didn’t believe I would wander today.