curtains & blinds

When I first got my camera, I did this nearly every day: snapped dozens of photos of a single, mundane subject—watched its edges drift in and out of focus, watched the light encircle its form, leaned back into the silence and held my breath for every click.

That was before the everyday began to strike me as boring, before I prioritized finding flaws over searching out beauty, before I began dismissing my work as uninspired and my world as unphotogenic. Lately, I've been dissatisfied with myself and my surroundings, and that discontentment has manifested itself in the form of disappointing photos. I've thought about selling my camera, because, instead of being an avenue into wonder, it's become another channel for my perfectionism and control. As I wrote a while ago, I use my camera to capture moments instead of letting these moments capture me.

But last Saturday, I found my imagination captured by something completely unexpected—something that I don't consider particularly attractive: my kitchen window. (The fact that I was trying to delay writing a [now-completed] 10,000-word essay may have had something to do with this experience). I picked up my camera and spent half an hour teasing out beauty from something that I pass by every day without a second glance...

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The resulting photos aren't particularly remarkable, but they surprise me—they remind me that my world, while it may not be as glamorous or attractive as my Pinterest and Tumblr feeds, is extraordinary. If I don't get into a habit of recognizing that beauty now, what makes me think that I would appreciate more picturesque landscapes or a more elegant home?

My word for this year is Enter—it means a lot of things to me (if I have time, I'll blog about it), but one of its most important connotations is this: I want to enter my everyday life. I've grown too used to overlooking it, to escaping it through daydreams, computer screens, and noise-cancelling earphones. This year, I want to practice being present precisely where I am—and maybe my camera can help me to understand what that looks like. Because sometimes, enter is just a call to enter your kitchen, to step into the dancing noonday light, and to see.

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I'm Oksana—Communication major, shutterbug, occasional blogger, incessant doodler, graphic design geek, and writer of sentimental prose. I am quite content to spend an afternoon with a pencil, a few blank Moleskine pages, and a playlist of indie folk. I love musical theatre, black-&-white movies, and Eastern European illustration. Conversations with strangers make my day. When it rains, I make a beeline for my mug of green tea and stack of 19th-century fiction. I'm vegetarian about 98% of the time. I'm extremely awkward and rather nerdy. I love the sea. My name means 'hosanna' and I'm having the time of my life living to praise the One who set me free.

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