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Morning Coffee Talk~ 44/365

Taken near the empty quarter, Liwa, UAE

Good Morning,

Have you ever felt the need to back things off when so much tries to claim your time, attention and energy? That is the time to use the power of ‘NO’.

So many of us find it very difficult to say no, maybe in fear of upsetting someone, the worry of not being liked, not living up to someone’s expectations or thinking simply that being a good person dictates saying yes. It doesn’t.

At certain times in my life and when it is needed, I like to imagine a portcullis dropping in front of me to offer me a space to be, to think, to gain clarity and to feel a sense of containment.

Our first responsibility is to ourselves and our own wellbeing because if we are crowded and overwhelmed, we can only make clouded decision.

I wish you a clear day filled with inspiration and joy.

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Morning Coffee Talk~43/365

At the gate of Expo Dubai~

Good Morning,

Today my thoughts wander around the subject of intactness. What does it mean to be intact? How vulnerable do we allow ourselves to be with the onset of change? How does one become intact? Is it a permanent state or something we need to keep working towards in our personal development?

All these ponders take be back to the importance of reconnecting to the very basics, like the truth and meaning of life. Why are we here? What are we meant to be doing? What are we supposed to be collecting in our lives? And what do we leave behind as a legacy?

One thing is for sure: we are born alone and we die alone, so relationships matter and clean human interaction is vital during our short lives here on this unbelievably unbalanced planet.

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Morning Coffee Talk~ 42/365

At the Pacita Abad exhibition in Jameel Arts Center~ Dubai

Good Morning,

I am back in Germany getting readjusted to my routine and processing the 13 day journey I just had in the Emirates. Before it blurs into the halls of my memory, I thought to list 9 words that I would choose to describe the trip and my experiences. It’s a challenge to do this live here as I write the blog, so here goes.

1. Art

2. Sister

3. Reconnected

4. Warmth

5. Innovation

6. Future

7. Overwhelming

8. Tradition

9. Otherworldly

Luckily my camera will keep so much of this extraordinary experience alive. That’s another reason I love photography.

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Morning Coffee Talk~ 39/365

Liwa Desert~

Good Morning,

We are in the desert today in Liwa, close to the border of the emirates and Saudi Arabia, the empty quarter (الربع الخالي) and very close to the Tropic of Cancer.

The sand get more and more red as you drive towards Liwa due to its concentration of copper and the world gets more and more quiet. All you see are sand dunes a blue sky and a bright yellow sun.

We had privilege of the hospitality of a local lady who is a force of nature with her incredibly powerful presence, her utter pride of her culture, history and tradition and her generous nature that she gifts in abundance.

We were shown around, offered food continuously since we arrived and were directed to have a rest before we continue our journey into the desert until it’s time for dinner and a bonfire after sunset.

It is an amazingly beautiful experience to add into the archives of good memories and photography.

Photograph from earlier today of the beautiful granddaughter of the Lady.

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Morning Coffee Talk~ 27/365

Good Morning,

Today is all about preparation for travel and until now al is well. I will be heading to Dubai this evening in an overnight flight and my next post will be from there if all goes according to plan.

I don’t know you feel the way I do, but when you rise in elevation above the clouds, perceptions alter. I suddenly feel a bit detached from the normal habitual day to day issues that tug at me. It might have to do with rising above the fog or the speed of jet travel, but the changes are undeniable.

Going from cold to warm, forest to desert, habitual routine to new rhythms… It is always exciting to travel.

I caught my camera doing cartwheels too 🙂

Photography UAE

Street Portraits~ Finding Myself in the Streets of Dubai

captain of his own boat
captain of his own boat

his eyes and my lens had a conversation
his eyes and my lens had a conversation

shrouded with mystery and distance of the far seas
shrouded with mystery and distance of the far seas

the eyes that sailed the ocean
the eyes that sailed the ocean

These striking men are part of the foreign working force that powers the engine of the Dubai metropolis. They granted my eye contact and for that I am grateful.

Images taken during our last ‘finding yourself in the streets’ street photography workshop earlier this month.

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Hello desert, so strange to meet you!

infinite grains of sand arranged by the wind

We live on a planet of such a rich variety of landscape, each unique, magical, breathtaking and must be met.

This is the second desert I have met since I was born, the first was the desert between Egypt and Nubia and now this one in the Emirates.

It is very eerie meeting the desert, an ocean of wide open space, hot, forbidding, barren, endless and simply magical.

My little 6-year-old just stood there in a state of total shock and amazement meeting the entity that the desert is for the very first time. She was compelled to stare frozen at the golden sand, flushed by the intense heat rising from the sand.

Lea's very first moment meeting the desert

It is just incredible to be able to store the experience of being with the desert in our storage of life journeys. Once you meet the  desert is stays in your blood, in your mind, in your soul, and your spirit flares at the magnificence of our planet’s treasures.

And it is so gold, so still, forcing you to move ever so slowly. The heat makes you slow down and the dunes are forbidding and challenging to pass through.

It is not a place that invites a permanent home, and it never was. No water, no trees, no possibility of imposing our usual box structures that we live in inside our cities. The desert may let you pass but you are not welcome to stay.

The nomads move around their whole lives through the desert and navigate through it with no intention of settling anywhere.

The desert is a mystery. Where did all this sand come from? Why is it so compelling and yet so forbidding.

So grateful to have met you. Maybe we will meet again!

sunset over the dunes