"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
New Year’s Day 2023: Happy New Year!

New Year’s Day 2023: Happy New Year!

From “Winter Hours” in Winter Hours by Mary Oliver:

“Light streamed from them, and a splash of flames lay quietly under their feet. What is one to do with such moments, such memories, but cherish them? Who knows what is beyond the known? And if you think that any day the secret of light might come, would you not keep the house of your mind ready? Would you not cleanse your study of all that is cheap, or trivial? Would you not live in continual hope, and pleasure, and excitement?”

From “Journals (1858)” in The Complete Works of Henry David Thoreau by Henry David Thoreau:

“Each new year is a surprise to us. We find that we had virtually forgotten the note of each bird, and when we hear it again it is remembered like a dream, reminding us of a previous state of existence. How happens it that the associations it awakens are always pleasing, never saddening; reminiscences of our sanest hours?

“The voice of nature is always encouraging.”

From A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz:

“In each little life, we can see great truth and beauty, and in each little life we glimpse the way of all things in the universe. If we allow ourselves to be enchanted by the beauty of the ordinary, we begin to see that all things are extraordinary. If we allow ourselves to be humbled by what we do not and cannot know, in our humility we are exalted. If we allow ourselves to recognize the mystery and the wonder of existence, our fogged minds clear….

“Thinking clearly, we follow wonder to awe, and in a state of awe, we are as close to true wisdom as we will ever be.”


Here are a few photos of some sparkly grasses — in color and even sparklier black and white — that Nature waved in the air to help us celebrate the first day of 2023.

Happy New Year!


    1. Dale

      I love that quote! Came across it a couple months ago and saved it to use on New Year’s Day. It wasn’t intended to be about photography at all — yet seems to capture why we take (and look at) pictures better than many things I’ve read in photography books. No matter how much I learn about photography and software tools, it always comes back to getting a chance to look at things closely, study them, and see how wonderful they are.

      Thanks for the comment!

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