I had something else planned for this episode, but I got a little surprise in the mail and decided to go in a different direction. On Wednesday of last week, as I went to take Cooper on his ten o’ clock walk, I noticed a big padded envelope on the front porch with the words “UNSOLICITED GIFT” written on the outside. Now, I can be a little strange about gifts, even the ones I know are coming, so when one just shows up anonymously I sometimes don’t know how to react. Fortunately, Adrianne was working from home that day and was able to offer some sage advice that wasn’t as obvious as it probably should have been as I stood there staring at the package. “Well,” she said, “the only way you’re gonna know what it is is to open it.” Right. Inside, wrapped in newspaper, was the gift itself and an envelope that contained a card. I’ll get to the what in a moment, but first I want to address the why, because without the why, the what isn’t nearly as meaningful.
Here’s a terrific article from The New York Times Magazine called The Day the Music Burned, which tells the story of the 2008 Universal fire that destroyed the original analog and multitrack recordings of nearly a half million songs, some dating back to the 1940s.
I’ve just picked up Adam Savage’s new book, Every Tool’s a Hammer and one of the reasons I did is because I read an article on Wired that featured an excerpt from the book all about the power of making lists and how Adam’s list making life changed when he started working at Industrial Light & Magic.
In an article on Witness, Lewis Bush addresses “why there is such a poverty of theory about storytelling in photography compared to other fields, and why there is so little precision about the terms and techniques we use. Why, for example, are so few photographers able to differentiate between such fundamentally different things as story and narrative.” It’s a fascinating read that definitely has me thinking about the type of work I’d like to produce moving forward.