Sometimes the world feels so vast, it’s people too many and the weight of it to heavy to bear. At those moments, and if you were a person that enjoys their own company with the endless mazes ripe with possibilities of self discovery, then the obvious result would be a self engineered containment. It can have the color of your own choosing, a palace on a hill or a hut on a beach, butterflies in its gardens or pebbles on its beach, the choices are endless.
So, I travel in my mind to my own palace of containment, letting my mind chart the journey and my spirit project the destinations.
One of my favorite things about big cities is movement. People moving, going places, coming from places, going up stairs, crossing roads, cycling, running, walking and playing a part in rotating the great metropolis wheel. It’s the urban magic waiting for us photographers on every corner.
Visiting the city we called home for almost 12 years is nothing short of strange at first. But within a day or two I felt the streets call me back with their charm, unique flair and warmth of the people. So little of the old city is left as the large construction projects drive forward leaving bits and pieces of the beautiful old alleys around the city. As I walk around and find huge empty lots and big buildings on the sites of my favorite alleys, I realize that all my photography over the years in Shanghai has been about recording history and vanishing alleys that are never to come back again…
I think the beat way to feel the souls of a place is to meet it at a magical moment, a time when something as common as night surrendering to day never fails to amaze us. Every time that I witness a sunrise, it seems as if I gained a chunk of time, a bonus bit of living that would otherwise have been lost to me.
Vibrant, colorful, artful, tolerant, cosmopolitan, reasonable, creative, culinary, interesting… some words that pop in my mind when I reflect on Berlin. Few days were just a teaser for me and they just tug at me to visit again and again. What a city!
Marrakech, a city that does not trust photographers, a place that lives off tourists and snubs them say the same time, but that’s just on the surface. In the last 4 days I asked every local I had the chance to speak with why is there such an automatic and immediate negative response to being photographed, and strangely, no one could give me a straight answer. So I took an approach that I never had to use before in all my travels, I asked, then I laughed and joked (speaking Arabic is definitely helping) and somehow the ice was breaking here and there. It has definitely been a great exercise in disarming, building trust and finding a human common ground connection that is making it all worthwhile.
More about my day in the Berber villages in the next post.
It has been said that the chains that bind us are mostly self-manufactured by our own self-esteem and pride. Personal development is an uncomfortable journey upward and into the unknown, if only we dare.
Day 54 of 365~
Image taken in the entrance to the old tea house in Kashgar, Xinjiang
Two fantastic workshops had, a gazillion steps walked, reconnected with old dear friends, one bagel eaten, a couple of New York slices enjoyed, new restaurants discovered, museums visited, and the awesome vibe of NYC felt…
Now I can sigh and fly home.
Day 28 of 365
About to board my plane a little richer with experience and good feelings.