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china contemplations inspiration life morning coffee talk Photography street photography

Morning Coffee Talk~ 12/365

Searching for space~ Shanghai

Good Morning,

This post today is about a life changing moment, one of those that we have at a certain stage of our lives and they end up lodging themselves in our personal history, refusing to fade into the dusty halls of our memories, and maybe just maybe they were more significant than we can imagine and they were meant to be with us forever.

One such moment was for me back in Lebanon at a very young age, maybe 8 or 9 years old. I found myself spiralling into a tunnel of thought about space. I was sleeping on our rooftop under a thin canopy of grapes on a warm summer night with my family; a huge treat and a special event whenever we were allowed to do that. I remember watching the stars glimmering in total darkness and wondering what was beyond them? Were we contained in a bubble of some sort? And how can I ever comprehend the possibility of nothingness if there is one? Everything is existing in something, isn’t it? What’s at the end of that?

These questions have taken me on a life quest of search, research, questioning and wonder. From religion, to quantum physics, to wise people’s writings and mostly my own search during those moments of quiet when the mind can travel towards space, inside of space and beyond space towards the unknown.

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children contemplations Germany morning coffee talk Photography portrait

Morning Coffee Talk~ 5/365

Morning Coffee talk~ 5/365

‘The Future’: It keeps us up at night and occupies our thoughts at times, doesn’t it?

We have this illusion that we can control the outcome of the next moment with our actions, and yes we can to some extent, but so many times life throws you a curve ball and you stand in your tracks to reassess and make new projections.

And ‘Time’: do we really understand what that is and if it is endemic to our current location in space and life on this planet? I mean isn’t it strange that we all perceive it differently? And how amazing is it that a star we admire in the night sky has actually moved on in time and is no longer where we perceive it to be?

These are the ponders that never allow me a second of boredom. What a gift to be born without all the answers and be given the chance to live in the search for truth in this life.

What are your thoughts on time?

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Photography

The World on Lockdown~

This is day on of lockdown in Germany where we are currently living after the start of the Coronavirus pandemic and life has never been more interesting.

Suddenly there is space, and at first, you feel like you don’t know what to do with all this time, you feel restless like you are forgetting something, an errand, you need to do, a doctor’s appointment, a meeting, something… and then you realise that you need to stop.

And once you feel settled to that fact and you delete all the appointments in your calendar, it starts to dawn on you that something is shifting, onsetting, happening in a big way, seen and unseen that is bringing the whole world to a halt. And you listen very carefully, you hear the planet breathing a sigh of relief.

Manufacturing has stopped, planes are stopping, trains, cars, football games, concerts, events, all the things that allow you to feel lost in the crowd and all of a sudden there is a large mirror facing each one of us.

How will we spend our time now? Will we panic watching the alarmist news? Will we take long unhurried walks in the forest? It is Spring here after all. Will we learn something new? Or much better even, will we take the opportunity to do our much needed dwelling on the meaning of life that we had put aside all these years due to our rushed and busy lives?

What a great opportunity this is. Humans working together to combat an undiscriminating and common threat to all. How do we battle this with our humanity intact? Will we take the time to reconnect to the most basic truth of our connection to our amazing planet and its natural laws? And what about the intensifying and onsetting future? Are we ready to meet it?

In the last few days as we hurriedly tried to get ready for lockdown, I saw scared and worried faces everywhere and a big chunk of confusion and concern, which caused me to be kinder than normal to others along the way. As I let a person pass in front of me on the line, stopped the car for a pedestrian, waved and smiled at a stranger, I realised with great delight that a small act of kindness is going a much longer way than ever before. People are glowing because of it and that caused me to understand that in situations like these, humanity thrives, values are resurrected and the future has a chance…

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contemplations inspiration Paris Photography street

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??!!

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art CHINA contemplations Guilin life Photography

Day 17~ December 17th~ Guilin

planetary beings
planetary beings

We often talk of people of other planets, wonder if they exist, worry if they do, feel a thrill at the possibility, make up stories and fantasies about what they might look like and act like, but meanwhile if they did exist, wouldn’t we be the extraterrestrials to them? We are planetary beings confined to this blue planet, we arrive with no memory of what was, no vision of what will be and the freedom to act in the now. What if we were able to remember, and had the vision to see past our limitations, how different would life be then?

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Day 19~ August 19th~ Boracay

flare~ fire dancer in Boracay

We live on this planet in close proximity (relatively) and with great reliance on this huge wonderful burning star we call our sun. The center of our solar system, it rises every morning with no fail, completely reliable, warming us, providing us with light and energy, giving us life as it marries with our beautiful planet’s resources. After a quiet period of rest and sleep from 2005 to 2010, our sun has awakened and is emitting powerful flares and electromagnetic storms that can travel through space at a staggering speed of 5 million kilometers per hour. If any of these flares were to hit planet earth (and often they do), they can in the very least disrupt GPS signals, radio signals and power grids. And yet, so many of us are living oblivious to the fascination of this phenomenon and are not at all moved to investigate it or follow its trends. But I find that incredible happenings like solar storms can help shrink our daily nagging concerns and bring the mysteries of life to a whole new level of interestingness. We are part of this universe and its issues should trigger our interest in the very least.

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Photography

Day Eighty Eight, April 20, 2011

One fifth of humanity lives here

Almost 1.4 billion humans live in China. This is almost 20% of the whole world population. It baffles the mind to think of it. I come from a tiny country of 4 million so these numbers take a lot of getting used to. There is so little space allotted to the majority of Shanghai’s 18 million residents, that they find themselves needing to extend their space to the street. Washed laundry hangs on pavements all across the city streets, so do lounge chairs and dinner tables in the summer time. This makes street photography such a fantastic exercise in this amazing city where the unusual abounds.