closer to the heavens
They say when something is far from your eyes it is also far from your heart and mind…
I wonder about our lives in this century so often and how much of our lives are spent in boxes both inside our minds and inside our homes. All we have to do to be awed by nature is to see nature, and to feel the magnificence of the planet we call home. I have found that the most religious people I have ever met are those who choose to be close to the earth and to the sky, who choose the simple life instead of the complicated and who find their god in the open skies and in the tiniest of flowers. It is such a pity that most of us these days see our flowers on ipad and computer screens and how little chance we have to experience life with all of our senses.
photo taken: a couple of shepherds in the grasslands of Tashkurgan near the Pakistani border~ Xinjiang.
to walk with the clouds
A long time ago, before the camera and I were companions, I went back to Lebanon with a very good friend who loved to follow the unknown. We were near the top of one of Lebanon’s two mountain ranges when we spotted a phenomenon. On a bright and sunny day, a lone cloud on top of the mountain was dancing in circles as the wind spun it round and round and round again. My friend suggested we follow that cloud and so we did. After hiking to the top of that mountain where if you stretched your arm up high you can pass it through the spinning cloud, we met an old shepherd named “Abou Akram”. In his aging eyes we met the essence of kindess and her sister wisdom. He lived in a stone hut alone for 9 months of the year and tended to his goats and sheep comforted by the occasional visits from his wife who lived with the rest of his big family down in the valley. Abou Akram invited us to a cup of tea that he cooked on a small fire and he spoke to us of his life. He said he had read all that needed to be read, heard all the stories that needed to be told and ate all the delicacies that needed to be eaten. Now, he can only find his peace here on top of the mountain. He said people seek him out to ask him questions about their future, because you see, his mind became so clear that he could now see. “I am a seer” he said. When I looked around me and all I could see were hills, clouds, sky, grass and rocks, I asked the seer how he could bear being alone. He then looked at me with eyes overcome by tenderness and filled with tears and he said: “alone? I am never alone? Don’t you see him? Can’t you see God? He is in ground, in the air, in the sky, in the rocks, in the very air I breathe! Love is flooding my heart and I all I can be is thankful. With this kind of love you are simply never alone…”
no I am never alone
shepherd at grasslands in Tashkorgan
Today was a very long drive along the Karakoram highway, all the way to Tashkorgan a mountain village near the Pakistani border, 3600 meters above sea level. The landscape along the way was breathtaking, with the occasional but sparse settlements of tiny Tajik and Kyrgyz villages along the way.
photo taken: shepherd in the grasslands of Tashkorgan near the Pakistani border