Since my brother moved in we’ve talked a lot about shared childhood experiences — over the last few months we’ve unearthed stuff I hadn’t thought about in decades. One of those things was pets (we had lots of them), including Smokey, the fire bellied newt. Smokey was one of the first pets we ever had and he lived an astounding 31 years, departing this mortal coil in 2014 (for the curious: the average life span of a newt in captivity is 3 - 5 years, but they have been known to live up to 30 years). He was such a fixture in my life I never thought to photograph him — fortunately @mlokbitis had the foresight to snap a couple shots of him back when we were roomies. I almost forgot how much character the little guy had.
Everyone’s a critic.
How I listen has changed this year: I’m wanting that risk-taking, vulnerability, and humanity more than ever, knowing that these things will often come at the expense of a “perfect performance.”