The Day my Most Important Life Project was Born

in honor of her

in honor of her

No matter what books you read, what stories you hear, and what preconceptions you may have, nothing ever prepares you for the moment when your child is born.

Everyone has their story from the magical to the confronting and mine was a mixture of both. For years before, I had been chasing and building my career in a very aggressive manner and I looked at jobs as something to conquer and when one did not suit me, to have to the confidence to just drop it and move to the next. With this state of mind I waltzed into my pregnancy thinking it was just another task to win at. And then she was born.

All my preconceived ideas came crumbling in one big heap. I realized that nothing is as I thought. This job will be for life. There are no options for quitting, no turning back, no chance at slacking, and the responsibility of it was just mind-boggling. It was like joining a secret parent cult that no one warns you about.

If there is magic in life, then this is where it lives where I am concerned. Watching a life grow, evolve, develop and become the human it is meant to be.

The honor of being entrusted with the care of another human is the greatest honor of all.

Today, with this post, I begin my third 365 photography and writing project.

Day 2~ December 2nd~ Guilin

hanging in the balance

hanging in the balance~ mother and child in Yangshuo

Of all the significant issues in the world, nothing strikes as more crucial than that of the future of our children. It is them who will inherit our planet in its current state, and it is they who will have to cope with the changes that are onsetting. How do we handle the very fine balance of preparing them without weighing them down, inspiring them without hiding the reality and training them when we ourselves are not sure what to do?

Day 7~ October 7th~ Yunnan

human proximity~ Yiche people~ Yunnan

When a child is sick or unwell, the only thing it craves is the warm touch of a parent or family member. We are creatures that thrive on warmth and human contact makes us tingle. This fact begs the question: what will be come of us when our lives become more and more digital and virtual and will Siri’s calm cold voice be enough to serenade a child to sleep?

In Yunnan I only saw children attached to family members while they walked, worked, cooked and these children were strong, confident and loved. I will take a hug over a text message any day.

Day 5~ June 5th~ Xinjiang

the little man and the wheel

As beautiful as the old city of Kashgar is, it is also heartbreaking to visit. The charming old architecture is being demolished systematically by the authorities section by section for the last few years. The reason given: a possible danger from earthquakes the real reason, I leave for you to research. The locals are horrified as they are moved family by family outside the city and in place of their neighborhoods, malls, plazas, and fancy holiday housing is being planned and erected. Every year less and less of this historical city is left to admire and its traditions diluted slowly into the new characterless architecture. Yes, it is most definitely painful to see and to know about.

photo taken: a little family in front of a neighborhood condemned to be demolished in the old city of Kashgar

Day One Hundred Fifteen, May 17, 2011

Lea in her Uighur hat behind a gauze curtain

It is when you are far away from the thing that you love that you value it and miss it the most. As each trip that I take alone comes to a close, I feel a very strong tug and a yearning to see, smell, kiss, talk to and be with Lea. The last day is a countdown of the minutes and seconds till I see her again. This time she was asleep when I arrived, so I had to wait till the next day to exchange stories with her about the week, to freak out about her cutting her own hair right in the front of her head, to give her the hats and other local keepsakes that I brought back with me from what she keeps calling “high mountains” and to then resume my role as the keeper of the disciplines and  balances after her brief unruly time with her father.