magic likes to meet us when we walk alone~ River Seine~ Paris
Does it ever happen to you that something so special joins you when you are alone; a spark of revelation; a moment of clarity; something that makes you want to jump up and down in glee, and you might even do just that? I find that when that happens, it mostly does when I walk alone. Maybe when we walk alone we invite into us what wants to give us clarity, and maybe at other times, we are too busy and crowded to hear it. As long as I can be with inspiration, boredom will never meet me, they seem to live in different essence realms.
duomo di siena
Another one of the architectural marvels of Tuscany, the so called “zebra cathedral” with its black and white marble is just a stunning structure from both the inside and out. You could spend hours trying to decipher the codes of a place like this, the numerology and symbolism of it are begging investigation. The mystery in history…
they look down on you
I often wonder if the impressive and extravagant architecture of cathedrals is meant to distance believers from what is heavenly and saintly, almost belittling mere humans in the face of religion. But when I think of religion, the image that comes into my mind is a special place in nature that is so inspiring that it draws on all the awe that lives in me and leaves me in sympathy with the mysteries of life, not scared, not feeling smaller, why would it? Aren’t love and kindness the essence of religion?
After many years of fascination and research of cathedrals, I have come to discover that these massive houses of worship were mostly constructed over generations in places that held a great historical significance. If you dig deeper into the history of cathedrals like Chartres in France and the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, you will find out that the land they were built on used to be home of other much older churches and religious places. This all perhaps points to the significance of the exact location on the planet and much less to convenience or coincidence. It is fantastic to see the villages and towns you drive by in Tuscany and to see that the focal point of each one of them is a church or cathedral around which people gather in the Piazza.
candles and stones~ Lucca~ Tuscany
Real faith is spending your days building what you know you will never see completed in your lifetime.
Incredible how fast the time moves in certain aspects of our lives and in others it stands still. Here I am in month 8 of this 365 project and I feels like I only just began. We have travelled together to 7 different countries with daily posts, photos, words and impressions and I loved every comment I received from you, every like made me smile and it just pushed me on further into my daily contemplations. My journey was going to go deeper into Asia this month, but then Tuscany compelled me so much to dive into its photos and relive the beauty of its large skies, the smell of its delicious food, the charm of its friendly people, so I opted to be flexible in my plans and travel back to Tuscany.
I hope you will enjoy this month’s impressions that will be quite different from what came before.
A remnant of the French presence in a Hanoi suburb, a stamp of another religion that made its way East into Asia, this gothic looking church stood out so much from its surroundings and it begged to be photographed.
Somewhere on the outskirts of Hanoi~ Vietnam
her 'Sunday Best'
It was a Sunday morning in Goma and we had spent the early morning in the medical center meeting and photographing refugee children. The children and their parents had nothing but rags on, some had bandages, very tired faces and exhausted smiles.
And then driving back on the black volcanic streets of the city I was startled to see this beautiful girl. She was immaculately styled as she crouched there playing with dry reeds on the ground and waiting for her parents to walk together to church.
The best moments in photography are the ones that just happen when everything comes together without much planning and I love this photograph for just that fact.
Beirut, one of the oldest cities known to man, destroyed by earthquakes at least 7 times, has been known by names such as Colonia, Julia, Augusta, Felix and Berythus, and was home to the world’s first law school. The teachers of Beirut School of Law helped draft the famous Justinian Code. Beirut was then named ‘Mother of Legislation’.
Despite the various total destructions and the later occupations of Beirut by Arabs, Crusaders, Romans, Ottomans, French mandate, and most recently Israeli and Syrian presences, the beautiful and buzzing cosmopolitan city was and still is referred to as ‘Paris of the middle east’. I still remember being in total awe of how many different languages are spoken on the city streets and the impressively rich culture and panorama of arts adorning its galleries and museums.
To be in Beirut is to experience all that the past as well as the future has to offer and it is about finding yourself living the moment to the extreme with people who choose to love life as a first priority. Yes the Beirut feeling is contagious and it can leave you longing to go back with every single part of your being.
excavation site in downtown Beirut