Friday, October 7, 2011

Jamie Livingston Story

       Are you inspired by simple things, just a little outside the box, that can really impact you and others as well. Jamie Livingston, ever hear of him?  This is his picture, I’m fairly sure you won’t recognize him.  

         He was born a year after me, on Sydney’s birthday, October 25th of 1956. He lived until he was forty one and passed away on his birthday on October 25th of 1997. Jamie Livingston had been a circus performer, and also did some film work for MTV and for Nike. He loved film and music which is not so unusual  either….but, when he was twenty four, in March of 1979, he got a new polaroid camera and came up with the idea of taking one polaroid picture a day to chronicle his life. That’s just so genius to me.
      The pictures started out quite simple and uneventful.  Pictures of his friends, picnics with family and mundane things, discarded lunch or showing his love for the NY Mets!  He played some instruments in some, and marked the day of Frank Zappa’s death with his picture for that day. His pictures all had a quality and simplicity to them, that appealed to the everyday person.
       Throughout the early nineties, his pictures seem to show him in in a good place in his life.  He'd had some success with his film career and in love.  By early 1997 he seemed to be in his pictures more and more, looking a little thinner... because sadly, he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
      The last month of his life, the picture pf the day was engagement rings and his marriage on October 7th.  He died eighteen days later.
       His friends took all his pictures which were dated, put them in order and posted them on this website. Take a look; I think they are true art.

       What do you take from this? I am struck first of all, by the power of a simple thought and the gratitude we should all have for every day given to us. Then I wonder, what our photographs would look like? 
        I listen all the time to people talk like they have no choices in life. For some people they can be millionaires and can’t stop working for the dollar. Others are rushing around working twelve hour days to have all the finest toys for themselves and their children because isn’t that what success is? I encourage you to live your life with meaning and awareness that every day we have the choice to seize the day or let it pass with excuses and reasons for not stopping to smell the roses. Everyones got a few minutes a day. Long enough to snap a mental if not physical picture of the day.
        I found this story really thought provoking and inspiring and I hope you do to.  What is your picture of today?