Great weather has been our blessing here in the North-Western part of Germany since the lockdown over Covid19 began a few weeks ago. Mild weather, Spring bursting with color, birds chirping loudly and clear skies that go on for miles. That all somehow seems to soften the blow of the sad news of death and illness coming from all parts of our beautiful globe.
Last night was the second night of the super pink moon and I mustered the stamina to get out to the fields at moonrise to catch a glimpse, feel and an image of this beautiful phenomenon. I waited in the deserted dark field outside of our neighborhood for over two hours waiting and wondering if the moon has forsaken us. It was a clear sky shimmering with stars, but no moon to be seen. I called my friend Donna in New York to make sure she really saw it last night and that was a special moment connecting across the globe and chatting about our spinning sphere and the other spheres around it.
To make a long story concise, there was one single cloud and the moon was playing hide and seek behind it giggling and keeping me in quarantine in the dark field. I did some fun light painting as I waited and then chased the moon for a glorious half-hour as it emerged mimicking an orange sun. What a great reminder of how small we are and how beautiful our world is and how much there is still to explore.
Here are some images, some of just the moon in its showing off phase, and others are fun manipulations that I was tempted to create.
There is a little girl who lives on a mountain top, her home is made of mud bricks and it is one big room, her brother, parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents all live in that big room, also her chickens, pigs, cows, cats, dog and all the birds in their trees. She has a very pretty pearl necklace and a lovely pink dress. Her name she could not tell me, she was too shy to speak. I will call her the girl with the pearl necklace.
A strange thing about street photography is the way we freeze moments with our cameras and a split second in the life of a human identifies them for us forever. The girl in the pink coat carried on with her life, perhaps got married, had children, wore a multiple of different color coats, but for me, she lives on as the girl in the pink coat…
The long awaited event came today for Lea. She was destined to own her first skateboard at age 7 years, 4 months and 2 weeks. As soon as they finished building her board it at the shop and she held it under her arm, her face was transformed with a strange kind of excitement I had never seen on her before. It obviously meant so much to her as a significant stage in her development and she could not wait to get home and start her new found love of wheels and tricks. It never ceases to amaze me how your child can grow into something completely different to what you envisioned or imagined and they never stop surprising you…
One of the most charming things about Geneva and the neighboring villages in Switzerland is the little fountain in every village square. Beautiful stone pools with a tap of running water and a background of glorious looking flowers in shades of red and pink. They just make you stop, look, sigh and wonder at the beauty of life. It takes very little to inspire me in a place like this where simple details create a whole lot of charm.
“when it is dark enough, you can see the stars” ~ Persian proverb
So simple, so true. Light a candle in the sunlight and you see nothing, light it on a dark night and it can illuminate you way. On a very grey, hot, humid day in Shanghai, I was walking the streets as usual and everything looked dark, dull, colorless with a thick almost black blanket of clouds covering the city. Then I saw a flash of bright color, and it was this bed of flowers that looked like it was lit up, on fire! And life is like this too. Every dark age the human race went through produce a new renaissance of art and vision. Every hard time we go through is packaged with its own ‘light at the end of tunnel’ next stage.
We think we understand our children and know them back to front simply because they were created from our union and because we happen to raise them. But that is only their physical part, isn’t it? We may have been the airports in which they landed on this planet, and the waiting rooms where they gather strength to move on, but who are these little beings anyway? They come with their unique spirit, soul, mind, brain and their very own destiny. We certainly don’t own them, and we most definitely do not understand them really. We are programmed to adore them, care for them, love them unconditionally and they us until they are ready to stand alone. It is an honor to be a host for a new life, to do our best to give it a warm welcome to this planet and to help it fulfill its destiny. What better job can one ask for?
Today I planned to go into the hot streets of Shanghai for some street photography, which is normally my favorite style of work. So I got ready, bag packed, lenses dusted, hat and sunglasses on and dove into the 30+ degrees of broiling city soup. Suddenly I found myself making a 90 degree turn as if I no longer had control of my own decisions and I went straight into an unplanned visit to the aquarium!
It is just incredible how in the middle of an 18 million people city, the blue waters can host a still and peaceful existence for creatures that can drift in total calm and tranquility! I was mesmerized by the jelly fish today. They were moving at such a slow and graceful speed, almost like a sacred dance of repeating ebb and flow, simply magical! What an amazing contrast to the hectic world just outside the doors of the aquarium…but water is magical and it is a whole realm to explore.
I have always been a greatly inspired by David Doubliet, the amazing underwater photographer who produces pure magic from his journeys into the sea, and who discovered his love for underwater photography when he used to escape as a child from his severe allergies and stay underwater, the only place the symptoms could be kept at bay…