Shanghainese women, famous for their strong personalities and their control of the household including their men have become a stereotype in China. The wife in Shanghai is known to make her husband hand in his whole salary at the end of the month and to only give him back a small portion as pocket-money as she sees fit. He also has a strict curfew for coming home at night and he is expected to perform certain household duties on top of his daily job. I took a sneak peek at some of these lovely ladies’ mahjong gambling activities in the afternoon behind a dusty window screen in one of the alleys of the old city, and strength is certainly a quality they emanate.
So much power can travel from and between human eyes, intensity, excitement, alarm, fear, inspiration, hesitation, suggestion, avoidance, guilt, pride, strength, wisdom, glow, inner beauty, and so many other emotions and radiations, too many to list here. Gateways to the soul? Portals of higher communication? However we see them, once the mouth is masked as it often is in Asia, I find that the eyes intensify as it does in other places around the world where only the eyes are shown.
New York, it rises from its ashes each and every time to prove time and again that ‘when there is a will there is a way’. And New York’s will is not like any other, it the combined strength of warriors that gather from all over the world powered by their vision and their wish to stand out from the pack. I remember living through the attacks of September 11th and seeing such a gloom that I thought this powerful city would never recover from. But it did, and it always will because of the will of its people. Yes, it is a city built to withstand the storms of the world to evolve into something better and greater.
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
Nature always finds a way to erode away human traces on its surfaces around the planet. In the temples of Angkor Wat, like in this old one in Ta Prohm, nature’s ways are not very subtle. The magnificent banyan trees just march over the great temples with their large trunks and extend their roots to wrap them around the great rocks and squeeze them till they simply fall apart under the intense pressure. And no matter how many times humans try to cut the trees and free the ruins, the trees just keep coming back. Such are the mysterious ways of the jungle temples of Cambodia. In these places you don’t have to squint or extend your arms to try and feel any energies or vibrations of mystery, because it all stares you straight in the face and if you stand there long enough, it just might warp you in its powerful grip.
A small boy, on the run from Rwanda, pausing in a medical center in Goma, hiding behind the folds of a UNICEF tent, his life will never be the same again…
While days before he was just a little boy, living in a village, part of a family, living a somewhat normal life, today he is labelled a refugee. He is another number added to a list, a surprisingly large list, that grows and grows each time a new war and a new conflict is born. This boy is a side of effect of the greed of humans, of their struggle to gain power and of their disregard to what misfortunes and casualties their games are producing in the lives of others.
Until I went to Africa and saw the children face to face, the issues resided in my head as statistics, facts and numbers…
This child is no longer a number. This little girl has a unique story, she has a name, she has parents, a favorite game she liked to play back in her home in Rwanda and maybe a favorite color. I met her in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, where she was taking refuge in a medical center with her mother after crossing the border and receiving milk and medication with groups of other refugees, mostly women and children. She is one of millions affected by the conflict in the area and her future is unknown, unsafe and uncertain.
Another powerless victim in a war waged for no other purpose than the attainment of power.
Seeing the state of our planet today, one cannot not be happy to see a power generating windmill! And Germany is filled with them. It is one of the first countries with a firm plan to close all nuclear power plants by the year 2022 after the Japanese disaster and survive totally from sustainable energy! Another reason to be thankful for nations that consider the future and the kind of world we plan for our children to inherit.
They were once tiny seeds, placed inches below the ground in darkness and they were coded with one single purpose, to reach up towards the source of life, the yellow power, the great sun. So with a tremendous effort they pushed, over and over in one singular direction till they broke through the earth and came out into the light. Their will is something to learn from, their singularity of purpose and continuing relentless struggle is something to take on as a way of being towards success.
Rain, we all have feelings and emotions about it. Some think it’s romantic, some get annoyed by it, some complain about it, it drastically changes the mood of some, some love to run in it, some love to sing in the rain, some pretend to love it just because they want to be special and there are some who really love the power of it. Whatever our reaction to rain is, it just shows that water falling from the sky has enough power to alter our emotional state. And water is powerful. We are made of almost 70 % water, our planet’s surface is mostly covered with water, we need water to live, we use water to wash, cook, swim, sail, surf, dive, irrigate and blow soap bubbles. And how humble and grateful do we feel to a glass of water after a long hot walk…
Personally we made a rule to bake cookies when it rains, just a trick to look forward to rainy days 🙂