A new month, a new place, part of the Guangxi autonomous region of far Southern China, is the beautiful and enchanting Guilin. When I travel in the heart of China or any other country, I find myself impressed mostly with the local people, the essence carriers of the land. Guilin, Yangshuo, Longji and the small villages along the Li River are inhabited by some beautiful people with a very rich culture just waiting to be explored and appreciated. I travelled to Guilin back in 2009 with a great friend from New York and we spent all our days and nights between its beautiful people and the hills. This old lady was washing clothes by the side of the river and she granted me several portraits that I treasure dearly. Her name she told me through a toothless smile several times but I just could not get it, and it does not really matter. She is so much more than a name.
When you ride the subway trains in New York City everyday with their strong smell, the shrieking brake noise of the arriving trains, the unintelligible speech of the conductors, and the repeating “stand clear of the closing doors”, you beging to feel a sense of belonging in those underground tunnels, almost like a city rat. You pick a spot that is convenient for you stand in each day while you wait for the train, you decide weather you are in the mood to look for a seat or simply just stand, and the train ride becomes a kind of a meditation. I always loved people watching while on the subway, and trying to imagine the stories behind each face while trying hard to keep mine anonymous.
A rest well earned, a smile well chiseled, a face so lovely and so difficult to forget!
We are often asked by others about the place we call home, especially if we tend to move around the planet. Looking at this photo of a family in Phnom Penh in my archives, I realized that the answer is simple. This family has created a little home on the pavement of a big city, and when I look at it and when I remember what it was like, I know that at that moment, this was their home. For this little girl lying on the street next to her brother and behind the legs of her mother, there was a safety of being at home.
It is not our things only that define our home, it is much more the people we call family.
posting this from the airport on the way to Denmark… I will be posting as time permits between now and June 1st and apologies in advance for having no time to comment or respond till I go back home in about 8 days.
I was riding a boat on the waters of the Tonle Sap around sunset. The sun was shining a very bright gold and there was light breeze that gently toyed with the surface of the water. It felt as though I was transported to a strange future, a post natural disaster of some sorts, where all around me were stilts, make shift floating homes and boats, humans in rags smiling wistfully and surviving with the bare minimum. Then I felt a face gazing at me from a boat passing nearby, and there was this lady with her beautiful kind face and her warm smile. She allowed me to keep her radiance and to share it with you.