Anonymity~ the great gift of urbanism

Because you don't want everyone to know your name

Because you don’t want everyone to know your name

The most difficult thing about change is to not be allowed to do so. In a big city change is a way of life and conformity can be easily pushed aside to make room for a journey of personal development. But then there are some rare villages and tribes where personal development is championed above all else. I have seen one or two.

 

time to zoom out

Planetary life

Planetary life

Every once in a while I get this great longing to “zoom out”. It is a process I go through when things threaten to get heavy or dull. When I feel that life seems ordinary, loud alarm bells ring inside my mind, because in fact, nothing in this world is ordinary. Life is awesome and full of awe inspiring miracles, from the moment we arrive to this planet with an erased memory and a vague sense of mission, to the nuclear spurts of growth we go through from embryos to adults, to the very simple yet unbelievable fact that we live on a ball that is spinning in a great unknown space and hurling through it at an impossible speed. So nothing is ordinary and it is sinful to treat it as such. How can anyone be bored knowing this??!!

Day Two Hundred Seventy Seven, October 26, 2011

motion

We are always moving, from place to place, from moment to moment, forever on a journey to somewhere. Some move fast, others slow and some believe that they are not moving at all, but they are. All things move. Even what we see as still, stationary, dead, that is also moving. Yes, even my cup of coffee near my mac is whizzing at 107,000 km/h around the sun as I type this. Motion, another mystery to dive into…

Day Two Hundred Seventy Six, October 25, 2011

going green

We live in Shanghai, China with the other quarter of the Earth’s population who until a couple of months ago, did NOT recycle. All our trash at home goes in the same container and you could almost hear it screaming to be separated. Finally, a new and first recycling initiative is being introduced in homes in Shanghai. We were visited by representatives who offered us brown bags and brown containers to encourage recycling of just food waste. It is not too much, but it is a start.

Photo: A frozen salad in motion around Lea’s head rom the kingdom of plastic creations, hoping for it to go green for the sake of the whole planet…

Day Two Hundred Thirty Five, September 14, 2011

the fellowship of the lens

When you do something so much, day after day, week after week, you put yourself on its frequency. It is like that with everything isn’t it? Food lovers are drawn to food, drinkers can spot a bar a mile away, smokers can find a cigarette in the most unlikely of places, flirts can sense an attractive person on the other side of the street, photographers can feel other photographers. When I meet another photographer, it is almost a sense of kinship, a similarity of things shared, experienced, sought after. A relationship with light, with color, with motion. Today on an afternoon walk down the Huang Pu river in Shanghai I met this white gloved photographer and we just smiled at each other for a few moments, took shots of each other and just giggled like children before I walked away…

Day One Hundred Eighty Eight, July 29, 2011

Abou Naiim's daily walk

In a magestic valley that crosses the mountain ranges of Northern Lebanon runs a river all the way to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It is called among other names ‘the valley of the saints’, because nesting on its sides and in its caves are hundreds of tiny monasteries and churches, each with its own story to tell. I was on a hike in the valley when out of the lush trees near the river an old man appeared. He carried his bag of green beans and told me his little story. He walks every day for hours from his home in the mountain village to the depth of the valley to tend his little garden; he does not know his age, but he remembers that he was born around the time a wonderful political leader lived. He carried on and on about his first love, the woman who has haunted him all his life and was the reason he never married again. He was on his way to take the ‘loubieh’ (green beans) harvest to her. It is the least he could do he said, because it makes her happy. He has nothing else to offer her, and to his embarrassment not even a car, and that breaks his heart. But he still manages to give her his best, the fruit of his hard work, his wonderful home grown green beans!

the hands of time