Discovering the ladder of understanding~

ascension

This morning I was driving my daughter to her weekend Chinese class and we had a very interesting conversation. She was complaining about her inability to always find interest in continuing to learn Chinese whilst living in Germany and this took us to musings about the human brain and how we, humans have so much unused potential. It has been said that humans only use 10% of the brain capacity and once we push and struggle to learn  new things, we are perhaps activating otherwise dormant wirings in our brain and faculties. She became very interested in the process and walked to the class with a spring in her step.

Day 68 of 365~ 

image is a composite of a wall in Hong Kong and a closeup portrait of my daughter. 

Misplaced~

the art of urban camouflage

In Hongkou, part of the old city of Shanghai, was a set of grey narrow alleys that were a maze of tiny streets containing 2 or 3 story homes stacked side by side in a most claustrophobic manner. Hundreds of tangled electric wires dangled between walls that were decorated with phone numbers advertising services for those who needed them. Water flowed down the streets and bikes and colorful laundry colored the otherwise shabby surroundings. In those sad alleys I met some very happy people. Their smiles instantly appeared when we met and stories were told that I only understood partly because of my poor grasp of Shanghainese but laughter was the largest part of the conversation. I just loved that place and I kept going back again and again to photograph until one day the residents announced that their neighborhood is condemned to demolition like so many other old Shanghai alleys. The last time I visited there were metal foundations of giant about to rise from the stories of these lovely people. I had to fight back tears seeing the ghosts of what used to be there and is no longer…

Day 67 of 365~ 

Image taken in the old alleys of Hongkou, 2014

On Possession~

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Possessions: What do we really, truly possess? We think of possessions as things we plan and hope on keeping permanently, and the more we have the more we want to collect. But in the end, does it really matter? Maybe we can call them temporary belongings, because that is all they are. When we leave this place, the only possessions we are allowed to cary are the immaterial ones. How much love did we invest, how much care did we give and get, and how much goodness lived in us? Maybe these are the fuels that will be needed in our onwards journey into the next destination if there is one.

Day 65 of 365~ 

image is a composite of a bird I watched this week and an old portrait of my daughter. 

Holy water~

When I was a small child, we lived close to a very special monastery. In that monastery was a very magical well that always fascinated the dreamy child in me. We were told that the well was always empty but if you prayed and your prayers were accepted then the water flowed and you could have a drink of holy water. I was in utter awe of seeing my suspended bowl attached to a piece of rope sometimes come up full.

In my travels I saw several cultures revere water in different ways. On this riverbank in Myanmar locals considered this water a miracle cure for their ailments, the river Ganga in India is considered the ultimate destination for Hindu worshippers.

There is so much mystery in something as simple as water. We are 70% mystery ourselves!

Day 64 of 365~

Image taken on the river bank near Bagan, Myanmar

Why do we forget?~

If we were asked to recall the events of the last 5 minutes, we can play them back in our minds where they are recorded almost perfectly. Then if we were asked that same question a year later, all details become blurry and most of the story is lost. Why is that? Why do memories fade? Is it by design? Or did something go wrong along our line of evolution?

Day 63 of 365~

Image taken back in 2012, in Shanghai, China

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