The fear of being alone~ we all have it to some extent, the great anxiety that we will have no one to share our moments with, good or bad, the whole time forgetting that we are born alone and we die alone.
Maybe we should take a moment everyday to enjoy, value and make use of our own company, learning to meet and know ourselves a little better.
I once practiced a month of silence and discovered among many things that there was so much to be learned inside of the human complex I learned to call ”me”.
As I go through my archives, I relive moments from my past travels and like a magical time travel machine, I find myself there again in the moment, looking into the eyes of other humans, feeling what I felt then and simply connecting.
This is one of the many reasons I love photography, the real connections that are made, human to human, where all the differences melt away.
Day 76 of 365~ Image taken in the remote village of Dayangjie, Yunnan, China
Most of what causes in us awe and admiration is mostly based in the simple things: air, water, clouds, light, fire, nature, and how humans interact with these simple things. Aren’t clouds magical? And reflections on water?
Colorful stilt houses on a reflective lake under white puffy clouds, a background of hills touching the sky and simple happy people navigating the waters. This creates magic and I can look at this scene again and again and be lost in its charm.
This image is but a poor attempt at capturing an awe inspiring scene and atmosphere.
After having travelled to faraway places, they become part of you. Their people, the colors, the smells, the feelings and emotions that define each place are always at hand ready to reconnect you to that place in a split second. It is the most amazing thing. And with photography: that connection is instantaneous. A frozen moment like this of 3 girls in a New Delhi slum comes to life and buzzes with feeling when I connect to it once again. And isn’t life a continuous stream of such frozen moments?
There is a place on the bank of the Ganges River in the holy city of Varanasi, where more than 300 bodies get cremated daily and the ashes thrown into the river with the belief that the soul of the dead will be allowed a chance at a new life through reincarnation. Hindus from all over India and Asia carry their dead to award them that honor. I sat for a long time on a boat watching the burnings and the surreal picture they painted while this regal bird circled around the ghat reminding me of the certain mortality of the physical body. It was eerie in a good way, because life begs us to question death and death urges us to value life.
When you love photography and have the tugging urge to travel the world and see as many humans as you can, you end up staring into so many different faces. Some of these faces are simply unforgettable. This girl had a strength of spirit that radiated out of her as she stood there defiantly and curiously questioning the stranger in her village. She stood her ground and all I could do was smile in awe.
Over time I have come to believe that the simpler life is a secret key to satisfaction of the right kind. We often feel overwhelmed with our lives, with our possessions and the responsibilities that accumulate as an aftereffect of these possessions and where do we run to? A beach, a forest, a long walk, or a meditation. They say hard work is the best remedy for an idle and restless mind, and maybe something in our design needs us to be busy and rewards us with happiness.
This beautiful girl was walking along the village road with a sack of small rocks on her head that she was taking home for a small building project. I followed her for a while till she caught on and turned around and gave me this dazzling smile followed by shy giggles. I was in the presence of pure and uncomplicated happiness.
Innocent, untouched, warm, human, uncorrupted, devout, kind, charming…. the people I am meeting in Myanmar. I find myself smiling constantly and feeling grateful to be experiencing a culture so rich, and I pray for the hands of our modern world to go easy in their inevitable plans of tourist invasions and homogenization.
Every new journey gives me a renewed set of reasons to do what I love to do. I love the art of photography. Time stops when I am in the streets of a new place, meeting people, looking through their eyes, watching them from a distance as they do what they do, and feeling a rising sense of excitement at being part of it all. In my recent trip to the region of Yunnan around Dali, I had a lot of time to reflect and to ponder what it is about photography that keeps me traveling, venturing and adventuring in search of human connection. It came to me one early morning just before sunrise, it is the soul of the place, that is what meets me at those special moments and gives me permission to capture its magic. You may give it any other name you wish, for me, it’s the soul.