A Stark Reminder~ India

_Y9A4131-Edit

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

Spirited~ India

_Y9A4283-Edit

When you love photography and have the tugging urge to travel the world and see as many humans as you can, you end up staring into so many different faces. Some of these faces are simply unforgettable. This girl had a strength of spirit that radiated out of her as she stood there defiantly and curiously questioning the stranger in her village. She stood her ground and all I could do was smile in awe.

One of so many stories along the way…

Day 16 of 365

The Delightful Freedom Gained From a Simple Life~

_Y9A4360-Edit

Over time I have come to believe that the simpler life is a secret key to satisfaction of the right kind. We often feel overwhelmed with our lives, with our possessions and the responsibilities that accumulate as an aftereffect of these possessions and where do we run to? A beach, a forest, a long walk, or a meditation. They say hard work is the best remedy for an idle and restless mind, and maybe something in our design needs us to be busy and rewards us with happiness.

This beautiful girl was walking along the village road with a sack of small rocks on her head that she was taking home for a small building project. I followed her for a while till she caught on and turned around and gave me this dazzling smile followed by shy giggles.  I was in the presence of pure and uncomplicated happiness.

Day 15 of 365

Anonymity~ the great gift of urbanism

Because you don't want everyone to know your name

Because you don’t want everyone to know your name

The most difficult thing about change is to not be allowed to do so. In a big city change is a way of life and conformity can be easily pushed aside to make room for a journey of personal development. But then there are some rare villages and tribes where personal development is championed above all else. I have seen one or two.

 

Day 28~ December 28th~ Guilin

idolized by the people

idolized by the people

What is it that makes us humans want to idolize someone and hold them high, look up to them, attribute super powers to them and be completely subjective about the whole affair? We do it with sports teams, with movie stars, with religious leaders and with politicians. Or do we sometimes do it from a sense of obligation or pier pressure?

Day 3~ December 3rd~ Guilin

the quite old village of Xiping

the quite old village of Xiping

There are so many places in the world where life is slow moving and where people are not scurrying around from train to office, to market, to bar, to home only to wake up and do it all over again. It is almost as though they are there to balance the high speed of the cities that might cause the planet to spin out of control. So is the beautiful old village of Xiping near Guilin, where a card game could be enough to add thrill to the day.