One of the positive things about travel for me is the interruption of routines. One of the daily things I did every day when at home was watch the news. I have not done so in over 10 days now and I have noticed an interesting consequence: mental space.
There is more space in my mind to learn new things and take on new impressions. And strangely enough, the world still goes on whether I know about it or not.
So here is another resolution: less news and media and more books, museums and walks in the park.
Image taken at the giant animated globe simulation in the Saudi Arabia Pavilion at the Dubai Expo.
I chose to spend another day today at the expo and visit some of the pavilions. There is so much to take in at an event like this that you need to stand still sometimes and assess what the significance of all of it is .
I had planned to visit the German pavilion and it has proven to be incredible, eye opening, well thought of and simply brilliant. All focused on the thousands of ways in the works towards making a better planet 🌎; it called on all one’s faculty using interactive tools to help the visitor focus on only one thing: the future well being of planet earth, sustainability, clean energy and becoming carbon free by 2040.
It was certainly worth the long wait. If you have the chance to see, visit it physically or virtually, please do.
The ending hall with the swings and giant presentation almost brought me to tears. Well done Germany.
This is day 2 on this trip to Dubai and I am slowly adjusting to its timings, rhythms and frequency.
It’s probably the case with many photographers, discovering that it takes time to connect with a place during travel. Usually and if I have the luxury of time, then I try not to take photos on the first day. Instead I walk around, take in the impressions around me and wait for the place to draw my lens to it.
But then there are days where you see it all come together, the sun, the sea, the birds, the color,the silhouette and the incredible details and you just have to make the photograph.
If you celebrate Christmas, you must be counting down at this point to the event next Friday. Here in Germany, some of the cities like Duesseldorf are lucky to have their Christmas markets still open despite the rising Covid-19 numbers, but with restrictions.
At this point the change and strangeness of the pandemic can no longer be denied or ignored by anyone. Masked faces are becoming the new normal and we are learning to read faces from the expressions in the eyes. A city of masked super heroes who keep on going towards the holidays armed with hope, the will to live, the love of joy and being with family and friends.
The resilience of humans feels like an encoded gift in our genetic makeup. We somehow seem to adapt and keep finding the beauty in life despite the circumstances. History is filled with examples of this and it just makes me smile.
Enjoy the countdown and let’s see what this new year is bringing.
Time and time again, I dwell on the concept of ‘time’. It’s time for ‘time’ one more time, and how many times are enough times.Well just maybe one more time.
Time passes slow when things are difficult, fast when they are joyful, time heals our wounds and time can be endless when we are waiting. The truth of time is illusive, almost incomprehensible. Why do we perceive time? Is time the same here as it is at the edge of the universe? We measure time by the rotations of our planet around the sun and that makes our time unique to us here on earth.
Why do we need time? Is it to perceive and to measure change? Is it to urge us on to develop and discover why we are here in the first place? What is it like to live on on the top or bottom of the planet where it’s endlessly day or endlessly night?
I can go on like this for hours and yes, that’s part of the reason why I find myself awake at 4 am.
It’s time to stop writing and have that second cup of coffee… Wishing you a peaceful ‘time’ during the remainder of this week that seems to zip by at an unusual speed.
As part of my daily morning process, I have always started with observing the root number of the day. You arrive at this number by adding all the numbers of the day, month and year till you arrive at a single number between 1 and 9. Today is 15+12+2021=5.
5 days have to do with, yes, you guessed it, the nature of 5. If you start to observe the nature of days between 1 and 9, you gradually see a pattern. The best way to start this investigation is by researching the number itself, where have you seen in in nature, religion, culture, mathematical anomalies…etc.
5 is a prime number, we see it in many flower petals, in the number of fingers and toes, in our extremities (we look like stars), in starfish, the 5th Fibonacci number, 5 senses, the five elements in hinduism: earth, air, water, fire and space or ether, the 5 faces of Shiva, the 5 pillars of Islam, the 5 woundings of Christ, the 5 books of Judaism… and the list goes on.
The reason why my mind went more into 5 and numerology today is because of the image above. You see handprints in the world since the beginning of time, from cave paintings till today’s modern art. There is a huge discussion about these ancient hand prints to determine if they are art or not, as if that matters. But what is the real significance of creating a handprint? Where have we seen it before? I just love finding clues in history about things like this.
And what would the nature of a 5 day like today be? Balance comes to mind… What else? What is the root number of your birth date? What does it suggest? Mine is 5.
‘The morning process’, how the day starts, what sets the tone for the rest of the day, how do we arm ourselves to handle what is planning to meet us on that day? For me, this time just upon waking is the most important of all.
Do you ever feel that you travelled to unknown places in the night and that you have to meet yourself again in the morning? I scan through my faculties in the early morning to do a check-in and see what is there that wasn’t the day before and what is no longer there that was, what feelings need to be dealt with and relegated and what strengths do I need to call onto myself that day to have balance and well being.
That extra hour is priceless for me and so necessary for checks and balances. We are constantly changing every moment on a cellular level and so is everything around us. It’s mind boggling. So the morning becomes a ceremony to look forward to, and over time I have grown to feel a sense of awe and inspiration upon waking, wondering what the day will bring from challenges to giftings.
The images above were taken in Shanghai on the Bund. It was always inspiring to see the locals at sunrise practicing Tai Chi, meditations, kite flying, fan and sword dances and to witness the atmosphere of calm and concentration before the day sped into chaos as it does in a metropolis of 30 million.
Wishing you a balanced day and a great start into this week.
When you are like me and you love exploring this planet and learning about its inhabitants, then some places haunt you for years after you visit them. One of these places is Varanasi in India. You probably have heard of Varanasi, its floods of pilgrims, swamis, holy men and women, the river Ganga and its famous healing powers, great promise of immortality for those lucky ones who are cremated and released into its waters, or the miraculous healing to those who bathe in its folds.
I arrived there with an open mind, camera and great eagerness to document what I see. I saw and felt so much more than I could possibly hold on to, but to single out one topic from that journey for the sake of economy, it would be ‘faith’.
If you want to study faith, how people adopt it, how it leads their lives and actions, how it fortifies them against all challenges, then Varanasi is the place.
There is so much more to say about it, but I leave you with these 4 images for now until I dive into that world again.
This morning I smell winter in the air, and it smells calm, quiet, contained and protective. Can you smell the weather?
I thought for today to use some motion in the imagery that I chose. It’s a funny thing when you add some skills to your toolbox, you begin to see through them. I used to always dream of translating what I see into reality and with motion this becomes slowly a reality.
It is amazing how the world around us influences our mood, our state of being and how we then handle and merge with the day as we step into it. Today feels careful, but armed with well being of a quiet kind. With the imagery and snow videos I captured from last year I try to translate the feelings into imagery.
Thank you for joining me on this journey of discovery…
Good morning, it’s a little after 6 am. I love the early morning, the smell of the first cup of coffee, the calm that envelopes the world around me, the promise of the first light to come reminding me that I live on a spinning sphere, a mind boggling fact on its own.
My thoughts travel today to the balance needed in these times of increasing intensity. Everything seems to register on our lives with more power, life events, world happenings, personal changes,.. it’s all quite impactful and I have the sense it is not just me registering this.
It feels more important than ever to take a moment every now and then and weigh the balances, do a self check on personal well-being, and perform some necessary housekeeping internally.
The white blanket of passage into winter is here and it feels like a cloud of peace inside all the hurry and scurry of the world.
I wish you a peaceful next weeks of crossing into the new year that I am certain will bring its own surprises and changes.
The images were taken earlier this month and last month in Duesseldorf, Germany.