During this weekend in Germany and other north European countries, bonfires are lit in celebration of the easter weekend. I have been asking locals about the origins of this tradition as well as Mr Google and it seems to be a pre-Christian ritual that welcomes the spring by burning away the lurking darker spirits of winter. It is amazing how much of what we believe in and do has lost it’s original significance and is relegated to a “feel good” thing to do. Imagine how life would be if all our beliefs and traditions were alive!
Day 87 of 365~
Images taken today at the edge of a nearby forest somewhere in Germany.
All over Asia where Buddhism abounds, the saffron color pops up worn by monks to symbolize their simplicity and detachment from materialism. They always look amazing in photographs and they are so kind to humor tourists and photographers.
Day 78 of 365~
Images taken at Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
In Hongkou, part of the old city of Shanghai, was a set of grey narrow alleys that were a maze of tiny streets containing 2 or 3 story homes stacked side by side in a most claustrophobic manner. Hundreds of tangled electric wires dangled between walls that were decorated with phone numbers advertising services for those who needed them. Water flowed down the streets and bikes and colorful laundry colored the otherwise shabby surroundings. In those sad alleys I met some very happy people. Their smiles instantly appeared when we met and stories were told that I only understood partly because of my poor grasp of Shanghainese but laughter was the largest part of the conversation. I just loved that place and I kept going back again and again to photograph until one day the residents announced that their neighborhood is condemned to demolition like so many other old Shanghai alleys. The last time I visited there were metal foundations of giant about to rise from the stories of these lovely people. I had to fight back tears seeing the ghosts of what used to be there and is no longer…
Day 67 of 365~
Image taken in the old alleys of Hongkou, 2014
When I was a small child, we lived close to a very special monastery. In that monastery was a very magical well that always fascinated the dreamy child in me. We were told that the well was always empty but if you prayed and your prayers were accepted then the water flowed and you could have a drink of holy water. I was in utter awe of seeing my suspended bowl attached to a piece of rope sometimes come up full.
In my travels I saw several cultures revere water in different ways. On this riverbank in Myanmar locals considered this water a miracle cure for their ailments, the river Ganga in India is considered the ultimate destination for Hindu worshippers.
There is so much mystery in something as simple as water. We are 70% mystery ourselves!
Day 64 of 365~
Image taken on the river bank near Bagan, Myanmar
Somewhere life goes on, just simply, disconnected from our worldwide web. When you have the universal web of sky, sun, stars and earth, why would you downgrade to the contaminated world of Social media?
Day 52 of 365~
Image taken on the Karakoram Highway, old silk road, Xinjiang.
During the last few days, Germans around Duesseldorf have been assuming new identities, merrily yelling our “Helau” and throwing candy from parades. The ‘Karneval’ is going at full force and no it’s not over! There are 2 more days of this jolly madness still to come 🤪!
Day 42 of 365~
Photos taken during a Karneval parade today
There is a place on the bank of the Ganges River in the holy city of Varanasi, where more than 300 bodies get cremated daily and the ashes thrown into the river with the belief that the soul of the dead will be allowed a chance at a new life through reincarnation. Hindus from all over India and Asia carry their dead to award them that honor. I sat for a long time on a boat watching the burnings and the surreal picture they painted while this regal bird circled around the ghat reminding me of the certain mortality of the physical body. It was eerie in a good way, because life begs us to question death and death urges us to value life.
Image taken last April in Varanasi, India
Day 17 of 365