We get so busy with life that we ignore death. We celebrate distractions, the things that make us avoid the question of our own mortality on this planet and all the time treating something as natural as death as we would an avoidable inconvenience.
I wonder if this great fear stems from our lack of education, our inability to handle the unknown, not coming to terms with the inevitable, or the way our lives are more and more based in materialism.
Day 43 of 365~
Images taken somewhere on the Shanghai underground
This image is part of an iphone photography collection I just posted as a separate page on this blog. I have been finding such great freedom in street photography making use of the iphone and finding new creative ways every day for capturing the world around me. Please visit the new page when you have time~ I will be updating it regularly
Ask anyone who rides the subway for more than one hour a day and they will be sure to have some strange stories to tell you. I have a few. I realize that with this month’s postings a lot of memories and stories keep floating by, and that is because I left them there. On the subway at the age of 20 I met the first and hopefully last flasher. It was evening and I was engrossed in my Herman Hesse book ( Narcissus and Goldmund) not realizing that I was alone in the subway car after everyone filtered out, when I felt a shadow looming in front of me. I Looked up and there was the classic open raincoat with an extraordinarily large man standing in front of me exhibiting his pride. Funny how react in expected situations, and me being totally caught off-guard, I cried. Then I ran to pull the emergency brakes which caused the train to stop, the doors to open, the giant man to run away and I was directed to another car with people in it. I was then hugged by a big bosomed African American lady who giggled and said: “relax darlin’, that was entertainment for free!”
And there were the other stories, but one is enough…
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.
They are in every big city, the hosts of despair. They are the faceless people that cause us most of the time to grab on tightly to our loved ones and thank the heavens that we have a home. How does one get there? At what point in a life does it get so impossible to have a friend to turn to, a family member to take you in? And how many times out of 10 do we turn away at the sight of despair? This image is a tribute to all of those who help, who do something useful and real by sacrificing their time and effort to ending homelessness.