“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” ― Heraclitus

Sometimes the pace of progress is so slow its almost impossible to see. Then along comes an event, like the upcoming opening, that illuminates just how much progress has been made.

Today I am frantically preparing for Kristina Alexanderson’s visit and I have been doing a lot of reflecting while I am waiting for her plane to arrive. Seven months ago I was in a similar situation, waiting for friends to arrive from Europe who were traveling a great distance to celebrate our group exhibition and toy photography in general. So much has changed in those seven intervening months, I almost don’t feel like the same person. I remember writing blog posts filled with doubt and second guessing my work and what we are doing.

Today I have no doubts. Not because I think what we are doing is “right”, but that within the larger picture, it doesn’t really matter.

I am looking forward to spending the week with Kristina as we explore the Pacific Northwest. I have no expectations for this week, except that it will be a completely different experience from the one I shared with Boris and Vesa. I am excited to see what kind of trouble photographs Kristina and I will create together. I have several ideas of activities that might inspire our photography that include both indoor and outdoor locations. I will confess the weather is not going to be as stunning as it was last spring, but then again, there is opportunity there.

As Heraclitus so sagely observed, no man can step in the same river twice. It doesn’t really matter if it is I who has changed in the last few months or the river: whatever the reason, this time around feels different. I am not the same insecure photographer I was seven months ago. I have strengthened my personal photography community, I have made amazing connections within this community and I continue to be energized by my photography pursuits.

I couldn’t ask for anything more.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future. I’m not concerned if this upcoming exhibition is a success.  My friends have rallied on my behalf, I’ve put my best foot forward and I know that those who take the time to stop by the gallery will be glad they did. But my thoughts have already moved past this show and raced forward into 2016 and beyond. I have my new years resolutions worked out; I know what challenges I want to meet in the new year; I know where I want my work to be at the end of 2016 and I’m determined to get it there.

I’m continually excited by this community and what we create together. We know were we are going to meet for our spring toy meet-up in 2016 and even the fall of 2017 (yes, I have a plan and it’s a good one!) and talk of the fall 2016 European meet-up is in full swing. I can’t wait to connect with as many toy photographers as I can in the coming year.

I’ve talked about photography as a reflection of time and space. Now I realize that a gallery exhibition is also a reflection of a moment in time. As Kristina and I move through this week, we will do our best to document and share that moment with you, here and on Instagram. Because this moment is special and it will never happen again.

I think Heraclitus knew a thing or two.

~ xxSJC


I want to take Kristina to this location high in the mountains above Seattle. I am hoping the rain (and snow) stays away just a little longer.