Jes Lee

One can’t survive on photos alone

I used to be a very stressed out and high-strung person. I still can be at times. But this is something that I promised John I would work on, and he is one of the first people to say I have gotten better over the last couple of years.

Sure, a lot of it is attitude. Training my brain to let go of the things I can’t control, the changes I can’t stop, and taking one thing at a time. To let go of things that aren’t working, which sometimes has included certain people as well. That last one hasn’t been easy.

I have been changing my diet in small ways. I have stopped critiquing my body. I have stopped listening to people telling me what I should do, unless I have asked for their opinion.

I keep creating, because I have to, and because I want to. I have changed my definition of creating.

I go to yoga and I meditate as many days as I can, and every day I remind myself that I know how to breathe.

I am noticing more. And stopping to notice more often.

I am forgiving more. Trying to. Sometimes this takes more time than I would like it to.

Am I perfect at all of this? Hell no. Are there still times when I get super stressed out and un-wrapped and need to be reminded of these things? Sure. But I am trying. And it is helping me. It is making a difference.



New Year, new journals






Yesterday was my last day as an intern in the preservation department at the Hennepin County Library. My last four months there have seemed like such a whirl wind, but it was a welcome change of pace. I have taken many photos of my work there, and developed most of the film (I had a bit of a stash to develop…) last week. I will share those photos soon! 2013-12-30 13.24.52

I hate talking about the weather here. But, the days we have had of below zero temps seems unique this year. What I have been amazed by is my walk across the Hennepin Avenue bridge on the days I work at the library. I never realized the Mississippi River would freeze over so completely here. I never realized how awesome it can be to watch the steam rise from the St. Anthony falls just a little ways away from the bridge I cross. Now I know, and I am excited that I photographed the river every day I crossed it. Expect a new project on that coming soon!

2013-12-30 14.00.26

I make New Year’s resolutions. I try to make realistic resolutions, and I am usually successful at sticking with them. I don’t make a big deal out of slipping though. This year, I am lacking in the resolution department. I usually try to focus on resolutions that will change the coming year, shape it a bit into something positive. This year, I am facing a year that is going to be so vastly different already without any help from a resolution or two from me. So, this year, I will be a bit vague in my resolutions.

I want to journal more, and give myself every day (realistically at least 3 days a week) to writing, journaling, and working in my sketchbook. I love the book I made in a recent class I took at MCBA with Timothy Ely, and I want to use that book as a jumping off point. I plan for that book to be the first of many volumes, and I plan to document it more here.

I want to try more meditation and yoga, to help train my brain to slow down a bit more.

That’s it. I am facing 2014 with an open mind, and an open heart, and I am ready to see where it takes me.