There is so much that keeps me doing photography day in and day out for the last almost 30 years, but one of the most incredible reasons is the ability of a single photograph to take me back.
An image has the ability to encapsulate the moment and keep it alive beyond our memories, past our limited recollections and allows us to relive the impressions, the smells, the light and the sights that we witnessed at that moment as we freeze it in time.
And then if someone else can connect to the image and feel what we felt, then wow, mission accomplished.
Balance is on my mind today. I am looking outside my window and seeing how on top of a very large pine tree a bird is standing gracefully on a single thin branch in the freezing morning air, gently looking around and scanning the quiet neighbourhood as the cold wind moves the tree back and forth. The bird is unaffected by the movement and seems to surf the wind with so much ease.
So did the fishermen of Inle Lake in Myanmar. If you ever get the chance to witness them going about their tasks as they balance on their little wooden boats, it is a sight not to be forgotten. The inner quiet that goes along with their way of life is contagious and it leaves you with a distinct sense of balance and peace.
If I were to focus on one quality to aim for today, it would be just that, balance with the aim of remaining intact inside of the rushing river of my day.
Wishing you a balanced day and peaceful end of the week.
Throughout my travels I have seen places where people felt content with who they are, blissfully living between earth and sky without want for anything more. That would seem to be the ultimate goal and the secret to happiness, being able to feel truly satisfied. These people seemed to be always doing something, busy, working, creating, in harmony with life somehow as they toil in it. Our modern world keeps dangling carrots in front of us to make us want more, with hardly any time to appreciate what we already have.
Have you ever tried to photograph or just picture in your mind an office worker who does not like what they do, but do it only because they have to? Can you imagine the expression of discontent and almost despair on their face? I still remember having jobs before where I did a mental countdown daily until the time came that I was free to go home. How unnatural it is to live that way…
Imagine finding what you love to do and doing just that all day, every day, wishing you had more hours in the day to do it. This is how I feel about photography and my work in it. I love doing it, sharing it, learning it, teaching it, exploring the world with inquisitive eyes, mind and faculty and remaining constantly at awe of everything I see and everyone I meet.
All of this has become more and more intense since I found another photographer who shares my vision and who was willing to dive into the unknown of a new amazing project of taking our love of photography and exploring the world while sharing it with others who have the same passion.
We found and keep finding ourselves in the streets of the city, where we meet the unexpected, exchange unforgettable moments with other humans, and then capture and share bits of it with the world.
More than half of my life In Lebanon was spent by the beach. We used to not even wait till school was over before moving to our summer little home by the seaside. With life on the shores of the Mediterranean came certain traditions, like swimming one hour-long to reach a cargo ship and jump from its deck, take a knife and a lemon on a ‘haske’ (a flat wooden row-boat), and dive to some nearby rocks to loosen sea urchins from the rocks, open them, clean them with seawater and then finally garnish them with some lemon juice before scooping out the orange caviar and humming our enjoyment. I can say for certain that life by the beach was always the highlight of the whole year for us children. This past summer I wanted to relive another special excitement from my childhood, which was waking up at dawn and joining the fishermen for 5 or 6 hours to witness the process of their daily catch. There is no meditation as soothing as those early morning hours spent rocked by slight movement of the boat, warmed by the early rays of morning sun and serenaded by fishermen’s songs as they dive in and out of the water in search for their sea dwellers.
They live near the sea, they start the day before sunrise, they work all day on their fishing boats, they speak the language of the water, wind and sun. They search for their fish, they are guided by signs only a fisherman can translate, by coordinates, by subtle movements of wind, water and clouds. They told me they only find balance when at sea, in the midst of it, where peace lives. On land they get nervous until the next dive.