A warm world is where I want to be, where smiles animate the stiffest of faces, where hugs disarm the most guarded of people, where trust draws out trust, and where no one will find themselves with no one to turn to on a chilly day.
I still remember riding my bike to work in Soho with wet hair and arriving with jingling frozen dreadlocks from the blistering New York City wind that blew in the maze between the tall buildings, and then suddenly the first tulips appeared and with them the slightly more mild and beautiful weather that makes the city so special in the Spring time. At this time of year, you feel hope very strongly as it floods the place with the promise of Spring and warmth emanating from every single flower on every city street.
One hour from Kashgar, along the old silk road and just before the start of the Karakoram highway, lies a small village called “Opal”. In the middle of the hustle of the village market, the busy bread stalls, the people milling around and moving goods from place to place, I saw this pretty woman with the amber eyes. She stood there in the sunlight near a row of trees, alone, maybe waiting for someone. I approached, we did not speak, I looked at her, she looked back, I flet a silent agreement from her to photograph her, so I did. After clicking several frames I had the strangest feeling that with some people, as you photograph them, they are photographing you back. Her eyes were steady and piercing, blinking occasionally, just like a camera would. Weren’t cameras fashioned after human eyes in the first place?
It is getting to the time of year when the days are shorter and the darkness starts to slowly creep closer and closer to merge with the light. It is the time when we like to bundle up with a blanket, a warm sweater and a cup of tea, to light a candle and be cozy inside our homes. And the darker it gets the more attractive lights become to us and the more comforting we find them to be. I love fairy lights and in China they are just everywhere and in all the color you can imagine. I am ready for Christmas early this year, it is in the air…
After being on an intense journey such as this to one to Xinjiang, the return to the big city is a bit of a shock. When I look back at my over 2 thousand photographs from this trip, it really feels like months were packed into less than a week. To have met Uighurs, Tajiks, Kazakhs, seen their old cities, homes, markets, traditions, to have eaten their food, danced with them, traveled their long roads, sat in their round tents, drank their yak milk, looked into their beautiful eyes, enjoyed their enormous hospitality, puzzled at their secret codes and customs… to have done all that and more and then go back to normal life is a bit of a jolt.
There will be a lot of sharing of their wonderful world in images in the next few days and lots of little stories to tell.
Today’s photo: a composite of sunset from the plane window as we approach Shanghai and bokeh of city lights on the drive home.
Just like that, unannounced, a day of summertime came today. The temperature rose to almost 35 degrees centigrade, the sun was shining, even the mosquitoes showed up to claim center stage. But this is Shanghai, a city of extremes, and so many times the gentle Spring is very short lived and is pushed over by the more aggressive Summer. The children have no complaints as they have been eying these pools all winter and finally they can splash away!