One of the wonderful phenomena to watch in Shanghai parks and on its riverside in the early morning, is the congregation of retired men sending their well cared for and brilliantly crafted kites high into the city sky. They do this for long hours watching the extensions of their souls soar into worlds unknown, higher and higher above the noise of the city where all is calm and harmonious, into a state of freedom where they too one day wish to be…
Tag Archive for ‘flying’
Day 22~ November 22nd~ New York
Manna-hata, the original name of Manhattan from the Lenape language, translates to the land of many hills, but I also heard it referred to as the island of drunkenness. Perhaps all that has happened on that small island if put together and condensed to one single film, it would be the strangest movie ever made. Magnetic city, it will always be that to me.
Day Three Hundred Four, November 22, 2011
Life these days is becoming a struggle to base oneself in the known, in scientific certainties, in facts confirmed in Wikipedia, in information validated by experts on television, on twitter, in newspapers,… we just need to have everything open and clear with no unpleasant surprises. But what about life’s mysteries? Do we still give room for those? Or do we miss them in our rush after the next confirmed fact?
I was walking the busy streets of Shanghai today when I felt something stop me in my tracks. Not just me, but a few other people too. There were birds tracing a circle around this building again and again and again, like a sacred dance for more than 20 minutes. The same circle, which was more like a spiral, and it was the most awe inspiring sight for me in the city that day. I felt a great calm come over me as I watched them and I knew that this phenomenon will forever be part of of my mystery box, my collection of unknowns, to marvel at and to mystery dream about.
Day Two Hundred Ten, August 20, 2011
Doing a 365 photography project, you are bound to have a day spent in airports. These days we find ourselves in transit so often and our children become expert travelers at such a young age.
I still remember my first flight as a child (from Lebanon to Cyprus) and how totally exciting it was for me to get on that flying machine that was almost too magical to comprehend. I still remember so many little details and the flights after that were counted on a diary page proudly as a great achievement in the world of adventures and quests.
Not for my daughter, she flies too much to keep count of her journeys, too often for it to be super special, and too easily available for it to be an achievement. Another strange onset of the modern world we are creating!
Day Sixty Eight, March 31, 2011
Fengzheng 风筝 —Kite, was first invented in China as early as 500 BC, and was originally made out of wood, and later out of bamboo and paper.
They have been used for sending messages, distributing propaganda, and even some were large enough to carry people on them for war strategic purposes.
Nowadays, the main purpose of kits is play, and in the case of some photographers, to carry cameras for bird’s-eye views. During a nice day in Shanghai, the kites fill the sky.
Children, adults, old people, all are flying kites. There is even a kite festival in Shandong province in April that I dream of one day attending!
But flight in all forms is so exhilarating to us humans, whether it is brief while on a swing, carried between 2 parents in pretend flight as a toddler, bungee jumping, parachuting, paragliding, pretending to be superman, or having a flying dream; we just wish we could do it.
Maybe part of us on some level can fly…