mama, take a picture of broken!

Earlier this week I posted a journaling tip over at the blog that was inspired by a blog post of my friend Patricia Anders. Try this exercise if you want, it’s really interesting to think about your work in this way from time to time. I did it and will share my thoughts in a few days.


The other day my little guy and I decided to take a photo adventure in our neighborhood. Little kids have the innate ability to find the smallest cracks in the sidewalk or a special rock hidden under a leaf. Somewhere along the road adults lose this fascination. We are always in a rush, no time to look at the details of our surroundings. Too rushed to find the beauty in the cracks of the sidewalk. I feel lucky that I have not and I think that most creative types do not. We have to keep our eyes open. Lucky us!

I was also inspired to take these photos by a blog post made by fellow Chicagoan Gerri Newfry where she posted photos of her urban neighborhood. She said that whenever she reads blogs with people posting their surroundings it always seems that people live in these magical wooded wonderlands or beautiful countryside. I laughed when I read that because although I dream of living in a wooded wonderland and love reading and seeing those posts, reality is that I live in a very urban setting. But there is still beauty to be found. A different kind of beauty.

So, here is what Noah and I found on our photo adventure. By the end, my 2 year old was finding cracks and rusted walls and pointing excitedly saying, “Mama, take picture of broken!” Oh boy,I think I have passed on my fascination with natural decay and patinas…










{Noah was convinced that this very, very old garage door, photo above and below, was a barn from a farm. Hmmm, I think it’s time we took another visit to a farm soon}




Our photo adventure ended with the biggest adventure of all behind this last red door. We stopped at the fire station that is about one and half blocks from our house and the garage door was open with the fire truck inside. The fireman there saw us admiring the fire engine and gave Noah his own personal tour, putting him behind the wheel and his fireman’s hat. What a morning!


  1. Thanks for sharing those photos.

    I have a husband that is always looking for broken. The sense of wonder is not there, however. My daughter is always looking for perfection. Her idea of perfection is quite imperfect, thankfully. I seem to have a thing for crumpled.

  2. this is a fabulous collection from your meander and clearly your little guy has the innate artist eye of the child…absolutely wonderful and an inspiration for me as next week I am sending my charges (adults) out with camera in hand to look for the Wabi sabi evidence that surrounds them…just what you’ve done here.
    So cool.

  3. I love urban photos, particularly of broken. And I hope you didn’t unleash a monster. . . for years, I prayed the doors of the fire house would be closed when we passed by. Otherwise, Gavin would insist we stop so he could chat up the firefighters and help wash the trucks.

  4. So inspiring…reminds me to get out and look at the colors and textures around me. I love old building parts but don’t always take the time…sigh

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