As the fresh new snow blankets the ground and lays a layer of white powder on everything standing still, it feels like a permission for a new beginning. All is still, all is clean, all is white and a new chapter can now begin.
Yesterday the sun was shining as it still is today and the whole day, snowflakes shimmered in the sun, floating, dancing and eventually landing gently on surfaces, each in its unique glory.
Despite the bitter cold, I kept finding myself jumping up, grabbing my camera and heading outdoors to try and capture the magic of what was going on.
At this time, when ‘physical distancing’ has become a daily used term, what kind of an impact has this had on us all? Those of us who are used to being with other people on a daily basis, the extroverts who thrive with social contact, the teenagers who miss the daily get togethers that fill their day with purpose, and even the introverts, how are we dealing with the new normal under Covid-19 lockdown?
The concept of ‘human connection’ is taking on a new meaning and invites a new definition, so I put out the challenge this time to my photographer friends to come up with words and images to go with their new understanding of human connections. Here below is the work we did.
This is day on of lockdown in Germany where we are currently living after the start of the Coronavirus pandemic and life has never been more interesting.
Suddenly there is space, and at first, you feel like you don’t know what to do with all this time, you feel restless like you are forgetting something, an errand, you need to do, a doctor’s appointment, a meeting, something… and then you realise that you need to stop.
And once you feel settled to that fact and you delete all the appointments in your calendar, it starts to dawn on you that something is shifting, onsetting, happening in a big way, seen and unseen that is bringing the whole world to a halt. And you listen very carefully, you hear the planet breathing a sigh of relief.
Manufacturing has stopped, planes are stopping, trains, cars, football games, concerts, events, all the things that allow you to feel lost in the crowd and all of a sudden there is a large mirror facing each one of us.
How will we spend our time now? Will we panic watching the alarmist news? Will we take long unhurried walks in the forest? It is Spring here after all. Will we learn something new? Or much better even, will we take the opportunity to do our much needed dwelling on the meaning of life that we had put aside all these years due to our rushed and busy lives?
What a great opportunity this is. Humans working together to combat an undiscriminating and common threat to all. How do we battle this with our humanity intact? Will we take the time to reconnect to the most basic truth of our connection to our amazing planet and its natural laws? And what about the intensifying and onsetting future? Are we ready to meet it?
In the last few days as we hurriedly tried to get ready for lockdown, I saw scared and worried faces everywhere and a big chunk of confusion and concern, which caused me to be kinder than normal to others along the way. As I let a person pass in front of me on the line, stopped the car for a pedestrian, waved and smiled at a stranger, I realised with great delight that a small act of kindness is going a much longer way than ever before. People are glowing because of it and that caused me to understand that in situations like these, humanity thrives, values are resurrected and the future has a chance…
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.
It’s 2019, I used to imagine 2019 as a child with a cloud or mystery and wonderment, what could the future hold? How will we be? where will we be? what would we be doing?
I have always been fascinated with the unknown. It is about that excitement in the pit of my stomach every morning that is a fine line between inspiration and not knowing what the day will hold. Life changed me, it took me to different places in myself and in the world, I gained and I lost, I laughed and I cried, but this gift of loving the unknown never left me. I am thankful for that. It’s what drives me to create, to want to explore and to see rather than look, feel and not only be.
I wish you all an inner peace and the gift of inspiration, no matter where you are and what you are doing. Life is a mystery, waiting to be lived.
You often hear people escaping mentally to their happy places where they can reconnect with who they are meant to be for a moment; rewriting some chapters, rearranging some priorities and for just a short moment, just ‘being’.
I found my happy place when I went to Myanmar. I could not stop smiling there, it was a wellness trip of sorts where I met the ‘me’ that Life had made me forget.
In Dumbo, the bit of urban neighborhood that defines itself by the fact of living under a bridge, there is much adventure to be had. If you are a photographer then that would be an ideal playground and every other child seems to play nice.
And to think that this neighborhood didn’t even exist when I lived in the city some years ago!
Day 27 of 365
Images taken during a creative street photography that I gave today that some very cool people attended.
I just can’t wait to be back in this amazing city again.
Is there something that allows you to live life more passionately? Do you find yourself doing something regularly that you cannot not do and it makes time as you know it stretch, fly by or completely come to a halt? Is there a place inside your world that only you hold the key to? Because only when you find your art do you truly know real passion. Don’t you love watching a musician lost inside their music, a dancer moving as if in a trance or a cook absolutely absorbed in what they are creating?
Inside of that magical world of real art there is little room for boredom, lethargy, competition or ego. Inspiration, satisfaction, happiness and the right kind of struggle seem to resonate with it.
That is the world I want to live in if I can be so lucky.
Image of a young boy who loved music and created a self made instrument of wood and string. I met him in 2011 in the old beautiful city of Kashgar, in Xinjiang, China
The amazing speech of Oprah Winfrey at the Golden Globe awards is still resonating in me today with its powerful and poignant attention to the issues that women of the world face today and how it’s more than ever time for a radical change. She caused me to think of all the stories I have heard throughout my life growing up in Lebanon and feeling fury at the roles women and girls were forced to adopt. In some places in the Middle East women can be legally killed if there is any “suspicion” of adulterous behavior. Dead before proven innocence is the way to go.
I am thrilled for the amazing women in the entertainment industry and their #metoo campaigns, but who is fighting for the rights of the forgotten women in places like India, Africa and the Middle East among many others. It’s #themtoo.
I took this image last April in the slums of Delhi where girls hide behind doors and windows andhesitate to shine in the glory they were born into.