I read this phrase in a book about Zen Master Suzuki. A couple had gone to see him for advice. They were seeking a way through a complex set of problems. As I recall the story (and it could be that I am not recalling it in its exact form, while still holding its truth intact), the teacher wrote these words and handed them to the couple. "Don't say too late."
I began making pictures and taking photographs when I was in elementary school. I started with the basic childhood cameras that many children who grew up in the late 1950s and early 1960s had. Then, a friend sold me his 35 mm Canon camera during my freshman year in college. That camera and I became inseparable until it was stolen many years later. When I look back through the stretch of images that accompany my life, I feel as though that camera looked through me at least as much as I looked through it.
Since that first 35 mm companion, I have never been without a camera. I have lived a lot since then. Having taken photographs of my son throughout his life, I now take photographs of his children. Now in my 60s, it would have been simple--if not easy--to let my library of images remain in their closets, to tell myself, "It's too late." Fortunately, I read that book and saw the page that reproduced one man's writing of one phrase: "Don't say too late."
I hope that my picturing of the world and what is in it will greet your gaze with beauty, serenity, and a quiet thoughtfulness. It's not too late, it's never too late, to stop for even a moment, and look, and see...first with our eyes, then with our heart and mind.