Children, no matter what we expect, plan, project and wish for in them, their futures are blank pages as far as we are concerned. We are unable to control what they will become, who they were meant to be and the things they are destined to accomplish. Despite our blindness to the theaters of their future, every action we take can affect them in their vulnerability. One would hope and pray that most of us act wisely.
We run breathless towards adulthood only to find out that we would give anything to go back through the very same gate and reclaim the shadows of our childhood…
Do we live our lives in a way that our footsteps will be worth following?
It was dusk, that magical time when day surrenders itself to the mysteries of the night in a golden embrace, a storm was approaching, the wind was starting to gain speed, people were shuffling about to get to the shelter, but the boy and his guitar were completely lost inside a piece music that had to happen. I walked past him but he did not see me, I photographed him and he was completely unaware. He was floating inside of his art.
I grew up near the sea and spent almost 5 months of every year swimming, waterskiing, windsurfing or snorkeling in its waters; but when it came to big waves, I was always facing them with a bit of terror that I tried so hard to hide. I am therefore always amazed at the courage of people who willingly challenge the imposing waves and use them as a playground. Surfers have a way about them that screams out defiance or perhaps it is fear itself they are trying to conquer.
photo taken: surfer boy on Boracay~ Philippines
Imagine if you will a place where children can grow fully supported to become who they were meant to be, a place where competition and the fear of failure do not hinder their growth, where only encouragement and guidance hold their hands. Can you picture a place designed only to further their growth, where helpers artfully help without counting the cost, and where the only unifying glue is human purpose and the wish for a better future…
Sounds too ideal? Maybe it can be, and maybe it was always meant to be.
photo taken: boy playing in the waves on a beach in Boracay
How often do we find ourselves having to go through our children’s toy boxes to throw things away simply because they have outgrown some, some have been just neglected and others are just no longer wanted. And do you recall when you were a child having a single toy that you treasure, valued and held on to for years on end?
With this I end this month’s series on Vietnam, a place so haunting and beautiful, made so much more special by its strong people, who despite all what they have gone through, remain friendly, courteous and hospitable to visitors.
Moving on to the next, and sorry for the flood of posts today to catch up with my project during travels and scarce internet availability.
If I were to list seven qualities that compel me to photograph children:
1. connection to essences
2. human potential
photo taken: child running outside Hanoi~ Vietnam
Houses were built so that we may hide behind their windows and doors…
The old city of Kashgar is a maze of old narrow alleys, meandering around and around, some leading to the city center, others ending with stone walls that bar your entry. I was told that the cobble stones in the alley are shaped in code, letting you know what kind of alley it is. Square stones lead you to a dead end, while hexagonal ones will merge into another alley. The old city is filled with old codes, with mystery, with agreed to signs that only the inhabitants know of. And when you walk down those alleys, there is no knowing what eyes are watching you from behind the old Kashgar doors.