Two months ago, lockdown began as a precaution for the Covid-19 pandemic in Germany. I had to find a creative way to change the way that my busy and very active photography meetup group of over 2000 members meets and keeps on finding inspiration.
So the photographing a concept came to life. The first idea was to invite everyone to try and photograph ‘hope’. The results (photographs and words to go with them were sent to me and we had a short zoom meeting afterwards to reflect on the process and share the work). I had no idea what would happen. To my surprise the process caught on immediately and attracted people from outside the group who saw the posting on facebook. The results were so inspiring to me and the process has kept us all busy week after week (we are up to project 5 by now). I will be sharing the presentations from each of these here starting with ‘hope’.
The reset button was pressed, the world is taking a moment, the birds are singing loudly, the trees are not shy to dance in the wind freely, the skies are crisp bright blue, the clouds have more definition and the sun is shining ever more brightly.
As we find out lost time gifted back to us, the usual that we normally filled our time with somehow does not fit anymore. It is as though our software received and is receiving an update. New applications are needed, with new language and upgraded aims and intentions. What are you doing with your new time? Maybe like me you are finding yourself diving into new territories or seeing the old ones with a brand new light?
Where are you traveling to in your mind now that physical travel is no longer an option? Have your dream patterns changed? Do you feel the buzz in the air, the loud silence of something else making itself heard?
For the first time in a long time kindness is celebrated on the news channels! Stories of good deeds are main headlines. Is this planet earth? Is life winning in spite of death?
Something is connecting us all like never before. Do you feel it?
Who can be sure that the future is a continuation of and a consequence of the now? Could it be that the future is arriving independently of all what has been and that is?
Isn’t every dawn a new fresh beginning and a new permission for a brand new future?
Do we decide our future or is it predestined?
Is the answer hidden in the future and any answer that we arrive at today is already condemned to be in the past?
And what about light? What lives in the ever changing light?
Today I took this iphone photo of a tree outside my parents in law’s home where we are gathered for Christmas and I showed it to my sister in law. The light had a haunting quality in that moment that made me stand still in utter awe.
She ran out to the window and said to me “you must have magicked your image, it does not look like that!”
The truth is it did look like that and so much more but light doesn’t wait. It moves and evolves and radiates differently with every passing moment. Light is alive that way.
Musing last from an enchanted Christmas Day in the German countryside.
The most striking thing about visiting the refugee camps is always the unmistakable bright spark of hope that lives in the children. Despite all the hardship and unbearable living circumstances, they find the ability to play, laugh and be children.
After a puzzling 2016 to say the least, when almost nothing conformed to the ‘norm’ of life as we expect it to be, from world affairs, to weather, and strange phenomena; 2017 approaches and I find myself moving towards it with caution, deep thought, care, apprehension and hope for a shift towards higher standards and a world with saner priorities.
Wishing you all a peaceful transition and a bright new year!
My daughter asked me after hearing of the sad events caused by terrorism in Beirut and Paris the last 2 days: “why do humans terrorize other humans?” Questions like this always get us into a journey of search for the truth, for reason, for sanity and for an explanation that can offer settlement, even if it was short-lived.
We are given a choice, the moment we were born to be as good or as bad as we want to be. We battle with our own morality throughout our lives here on this planet. We seek out desperately that bit of cool blue logic to give us strength to choose wisely.
I posted several ‘pray for Paris’ tributes on social media today and I was caught by one comment from someone saying that “if prayer helped, then the world would already be a better place”. But do we just give up hope in the face of an uncertain future? What kind of world are our children inheriting?
As the west prepares to launch a missile attack on Syria in the coming days, the innocent children find themselves caught in the games of warring adults having no say as to where their life will be taking them next. More than 4000 Syrians are seeking refuge daily in Lebanon, where they make a staggering 35% of the Lebanese population today. A ticking bomb in a fragile zone, heart breaking and unfair in so many ways. If the children are the hope for our future, why are we endangering that chance?
One of the greatest powers of being human is the ability to move on. No matter how difficult or hopeless a situation is for a person, there is always the chance that they will be looking back at it with a lighter heart. Maybe this is what gives us all the hope to keep moving and to seek the lighter side of life, because we know that there is a certainty of the good overcoming the bad and of the light overcoming the dark. It is the constant sacred dance between our nights and our days that demonstrates to us this simple law.
photo taken: a girl on the streets of Phnom Penh~ Cambodia
If I were to put one common word when describing children from any country, I would say ‘resilience’…
Children are developing beings, changing at a rapid speed, growing, absorbing, evolving and filled with energy that drives them through their process of becoming young adults. What I saw in a lot of the children in Congo was hope, strength, power, joy and possibility despite of and against all odds.
At the beginning of their life journey, their future is unpredictable, unknown and allowing for just anything to happen. It makes me wonder what will become of the these young bright faces that I met, where they are now and where they would be years from now.
photo taken: during a french lesson at the Cajed center for the care of ‘les enfants de la rue’ (the street children) in Kinshasa.