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??!!
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?
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.
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.