Tipping the scales of good intentions

Reflections & Ramblings: Volume Thirty

It’s been eight days since my brother died. Emotionally, I’ve been all over the map. I’m thankful I’ve had the ability to step away from my responsibilities at work to take some time to grieve and process. I’ll step back into those responsibilities again tomorrow. In the meantime, my wife and our assistant have really taken up the slack for me, for which I am inexpressibly thankful.

We are over a full week into 2021 and it’s felt pretty chaotic so far. Not just for me personally, but for the entire country. Over 4,000 people died from Covid-19 in a day recently, and I barely saw it mentioned. For obvious reasons, the focus has been on the people that stormed the Capitol building last week and how to properly respond to such a thing. What a mess.

Overall, I’ve felt pretty raw. I’ve experienced varying emotions in the last week. Sorrow and grief, obviously, but also joy and gratitude. Some of the difficulty is riding the roller coaster between the two ends, because sometime the ride from one end to the other goes really quickly. One of my oldest and closest friends came into town for a few days and his support and presence helped me feel supported, heard, and not alone. And I am extremely appreciative for that.

Me and Nathan at my brother’s funeral, finding the ability to smile (even if masked)

I want to funnel the emotions I’m feeling right now, the insights into the brevity of life and the glimpses into what seems to actually matter in this life, into a sense of curiosity and a creation of content. I want to write more frequently. I want to take and share photos more frequently.

My brother had all sorts of plans and lists made for himself for projects that he wanted to film, videos he wanted to make. He had great ideas, but he rarely seemed to get to the follow through with the creation or publishing of the content. I don’t mean to be critical, because wow, I can relate!

Matthew showing me various ideas he had of videos he wanted to make and publish on YouTube

He’s not alone. I think there are all sorts of creatives or creative-types that have great ideas, but lack that follow through energy that it requires to put it out in the world. Sometimes we can be too self-critical, or we want what we put out into the world to be our very, very best. But that’s not really what people want. People want to see authenticity. We are attracted to vulnerability. We are drawn to a sense of confidence of self. Everything doesn’t have to be awe-inspiring or perfect.

And so my endeavor for this year of 2021 is to not just have ideas of writing or taking photos or making videos. It’s to follow through with it, knowing that I am doing it from the deepest places in my heart. The goal is not motivated by likes on Instagram, or followers, or comments. My goal is creating and writing for myself, and inviting people to join me in my own journey should they want. But their participation isn’t necessary. I am motivated by a sense of finding a deep confidence in who I am and in consistently finding my voice in this noisy world.

A self-portrait after coming home from the hospital.

Putting expectations on myself of one photo per day, or a published blog every week doesn’t seem helpful in this instance. But my goal is to recognize the ratio of content I consume contrasted with the content I create. I want the creation side of that equation to be much, much higher than it has been in the past. Even if it’s just a short paragraph, or a simple shot that I’ve taken 100 times before of one of my kids. I want to create content that gives glimpses into my own reality, my daily experience, my life — a library of impressions, an archive of moments noticed by me, captured by me. Little secrets of time and light that I choose to share with the world.

So here we are on January 11th, 2021. We’ll see where this all goes from here. If you happen to be reading this, thank you. I am Andrew Seaman, Matthew Seaman’s big brother. And in his memory I intend to create and publish more content this year — to push past the insecure feelings and grow in a confidence of who I am and what I can contribute to this world. Feel free to follow along.

There are a handful of images I’d like to go ahead and share with you now.

I have a number of photos of my kids, and especially Lydia, that I’ve taken recently:

Before Nathan headed back home to Indiana I asked him if I could take a couple portrait shots of him in my backyard. I’ve recently discovered that I typically like portrait photos better when people are not smiling. I don’t need forced smiles for individual portraits.

Below are a collection of moments in time, those secrets I was mentioning above, that I caught my eye enough that I pushed the shutter button on my camera. I like moments like these and generally they are the types of photos I enjoy taking the most.

I took photos throughout the last two days I had with my brother in the hospital before he died. Some of the photos I took will probably forever remain fairly private for me and my family and close friends, but I did document a fairly detailed account of my last day with him. It was heartbreaking in pretty much every way, but something I am glad that I captured. I will never again get another opportunity to take another photo of my brother. It felt necessary to do at the time, even if it hurt. I’m including just a few photos from the hospital and the funeral here.

My mom hold’s Matthew’s hand while he lays in his hospital bed.
A self-portrait after changing into scrubs, to prepare to go down to the operating room to be present with my brother as he passed away.
The empty ICU room that my mom and I had to walk back to after my brother died. We had to change out of our scrubs again.
At the Covid-19 restricted funeral.
Pastor Joe shares a message with us for Matthew’s funeral.

Thanks for following along, friends.

Published by Andrew

a ragamuffin dad planting some sequoias

2 thoughts on “Tipping the scales of good intentions

  1. Thank You Andrew. Your pictures and words touch me. Many of us have remarked how well you write your thoughts and feelings. I admire your talents and so glad you are willing to share.

  2. I really enjoyed ready your story. So many feeling went through my body as tears rolled down my cheeks. Please continue writing because it is wonderful. Sorry for the loss of your brother.

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