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india inspiration life Photography street photography

Morning Coffee Talk~ 11/365

Good Morning,

When you are like me and you love exploring this planet and learning about its inhabitants, then some places haunt you for years after you visit them. One of these places is Varanasi in India. You probably have heard of Varanasi, its floods of pilgrims, swamis, holy men and women, the river Ganga and its famous healing powers, great promise of immortality for those lucky ones who are cremated and released into its waters, or the miraculous healing to those who bathe in its folds.

I arrived there with an open mind, camera and great eagerness to document what I see. I saw and felt so much more than I could possibly hold on to, but to single out one topic from that journey for the sake of economy, it would be ‘faith’.

If you want to study faith, how people adopt it, how it leads their lives and actions, how it fortifies them against all challenges, then Varanasi is the place.

There is so much more to say about it, but I leave you with these 4 images for now until I dive into that world again.

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inspiration myanmar Photography street photography

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

Categories
art contemplations New York Photography

The greatest fear~

One of the greatest fears might be to one day realize one is insignificant. To have lived a life that touched no one deeply, to not have loved passionately, to not have given for the sake of giving and not to have believed in something much greater than oneself. And scarier even than all of that is to have lived without ever meeting or knowing who we are.

Day 39 of 365~

Image taken somewhere in New York

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inspiration life Photography story Yunnan

Day 4~ October 4th~ Yunnan

old Hani woman~ Yunnan

In Yunnan province in China, there are at least 26 ethnic minorities living in small villages up and down the lush green mountains. We drove through these villages and met some of these amazing people who were said to have come from the mountains of Tibet before settling in Yunnan.

The Hani believe that all things on earth have souls They offer sacrifices to mountains, rivers, dragons and heaven, and, as often as every week, to their ancestors. Animals have spirits that are honored in hunting rites.

It was such a gift to walk among them, witness their unique lifestyle and see faces that are still connected to one of the old natural religions of the earth. Their faces told their stories…

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lebanon life Photography

Day 21~ February 21st~ Lebanon

direct connection

At about age 5 or 6, my sister and I used to love playing house games with the neighborhood children in our village. We had an unfinished floor in our home that was still cement walls and bricks and we created our own pretend little world there. We had a basket tied to a rope from the kitchen window on the top floor and we snuck food ingredients down in it to create our own breads, coffee and other pretty disgusting recipes that we ate with total pride.  We also found there an old discarded yellow closet that we declared to be our very own church. We acquired all sorts of iconic pictures, crosses and religious signs and hung them inside the walls of the yellow closet. We would go inside it with complete reverence and pray daily for miracles. One day a miracle finally happened. We heard a big bang on the walls of our little yellow church that made it vibrate miraculously! We ran yelling in awe and in great fear with shaking knees declaring our religious status and direct connection to all that is holy. It was only a couple of years later that our neighbor Nabiha, the very same one who offered us the yummy bread from her ‘saj’, gigglingly confessed to have thrown rocks at us to make believers out of us.

photo taken: My daughter visiting a favorite church or ours in the mountain in Lebanon.

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life Photography

Day Three Hundred Sixty Two, January 19, 2012

broken

I have been thinking a lot lately about children and the process of growing up. My daughter is 7 and she is a dreamer, a total believer in the magic of life, in fairies, in angels, in the unusual and special things about life. As she gets schooled and gradually grows older, some of her beliefs will get beaten to the ground and deemed silly, childish and unreal. I dread that day that is sure to come to at least some parts of her magical life and I pray that she may gather some of this sparkle to keep for herself in a special place somewhere, because how dull is a life without magic?

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Photography

Day One Hundred Forty One, June 12 2011

a cookie offering for a fairy

To believe in fairies

To imagine what their tiny wings look like

To dream about seeing them one day

To struggle with patience

To make them offerings

To promise to be kind

To be respectful of nature and its helpers

To have a mind sparkling with the wonder of mysteries unsolved

Is the  charmed and magical world of a child